In an effort to ensure that individuals with celiac disease are not misled by “gluten-free” labels, FDA has established a final rule to establish compliance requirements for fermented and hydrolyzed foods—or those foods that contain fermented or hydrolyzed ingredients—that bear the “gluten-free” claim. With more than three million people in the U.S. afflicted with celiac disease, this is a vital rule to ensure their health and safety.
FDA’s rule, “Gluten-Free Labeling of Fermented or Hydrolyzed Foods,” impacts foods such as cheese, yogurt, pickles, beer and wine, and any hydrolyzed plant proteins that are used to improve flavor or texture in processed foods such as soups, sauces, and seasonings.
The new rule requires manufacturers to show that their foods are gluten-free before fermentation or hydrolysis. This is important, as gluten proteins in hydrolyzed and fermented foods are no longer intact and, currently, cannot be adequately detected and quantified through testing.