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Reading Food Labels: Certified Gluten-Free

Posted Aug 14 2009 4:33pm
Part four, Reading Food Labels, is for folks who can't eat Gluten.

GFCO seeks to improve the health of those living on a gluten-free diet by providing a system that ensures standards, which are based on sound scientific research.

GFCO provides consumers and manufacturers confidence in knowing, that products labeled with the GFCO certification mark meet the strictest standards for gluten-free. These voluntary standards go beyond the requirements of government laws and regulations in order to ensure public confidence.

GFCO provides a uniform system, using strict standards to certify a product gluten-free and enables people to easily identify GF foods with confidence.

Look for this label on Baking mixes, flours, cookies, cakes, crackers, snack bars, and supplements.

How does gluten-free certification benefit consumers?

Gluten-free certification benifits consumers by giving them confidence that a product is gluten-free. This not only reassures the consumer that the product has been tested and the site inspected, but it also saves the consumer time that would have been spent calling the manufacturer for the gluten-free status of the product.

How is gluten-free certification done?

Certification is a yearly process based on ingredient review, on-site inspection and product testing. Some facilities require multiple un-announced inspections throughout the year.

Who performs the inspection?

The GFCO works with auditors who have years of experience performing Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) Compliance, kosher or organic audits of food companies worldwide.

How often is a product inspected or tested?

The number of times an inspector is in the plant to review processes depends on a number of factors including the products being certified, the type of plant, etc. GF Certification is established for each ingredient in the final product, as well as the processing aids. Products may be randomly tested in the plant or sent out for independent testing as requested by GFCO.

Are Dedicated lines important?

Yes. Even if the line is cleaned, if a gluten-free product is run on the same line after gluten containing products, then cross contamination can occur. Dedicated lines for gluten-free products greatly reduce the chances of cross contamination.

Does gluten-free certification guarantee that a product is gluten-free?

The mark assures that the product contains less than 10-ppm gluten (5-ppm gliadin) and similar proteins from rye and barley as measured by using testing methods that are accepted for gluten testing by analytical associations such as the Association of Analytical Communities (AOAC), testing researchers and other such agencies. No testing method is available that measures to zero.

For more info go to

Reading Food Labels, all posts.

Whole Food Vitamins

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