The number of gluten-free products that have entered the market in recent years is quite large—almost mind-boggling. To some degree, this trend was fostered by FDA’s relatively new rule, Gluten-Free Labeling of Foods (August 2013), which allows manufacturers of foods inherently gluten-free to make such label claims. Thus, we now have gluten-free tomato sauce, a product that was probably always gluten-free.
Gluten-free. Dairy-free. Nut-free. Peanut-free. Allergen-free. The food marketplace increasingly features such claims on product labels, but what do they mean? Do regulatory agencies police use of such terms?
According to the January 2015 “Gluten-Free Foods in the U.S., 5th Edition” report from Packaged Facts, Rockville, MD, from 2009–2014, sales of gluten-free products in grain-based categories posted a 34 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR).
August marked the completion of the gluten-free labeling rule development process. Published in August 2013 by FDA, the final rule put parameters around the voluntary use of the terms “gluten-free,” “free of gluten,” “no gluten” and “without gluten” on food labels.
As a dietitian and mom, I know first-hand that whole-grain breads and snack products have lots of health benefits, including reducing the risk of heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, obesity and some forms of cancer.