Gluten-free certification provides companies with comprehensive criteria to meet growing consumer demand
By Allie Gallant
In August of this year, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) finalized a new rule surrounding gluten-free product labels. With consumer demand on the rise, having a clear picture of which products contain gluten and which are gluten-free (defined in most countries as less than 20 parts per million) is important. It’s especially critical for those with Celiac disease or severe gluten sensitivity.
“People with Celiac disease and non-Celiac gluten sensitive consumers are among the most loyal when it comes to brands,” says Paul Valder, President and CEO of the Allergen Control Group. “These consumers are the best ingredient label readers in the world. Once they’ve identified a brand as safe, they’ll stick with it, even if that means visiting multiple stores on a weekly basis.” The Allergen Control Group, with the endorsement of the Canadian Celiac Association (CCA), operates the Gluten Free Certification Program (GFCP).
Dina Liebmann, a gluten-free consumer who was diagnosed with Celiac disease at age two, looks to the ingredient list for guidance. “I always look to the label, in particular the ingredients. It’s the best way to make sure a product is safe. But once I’ve found a brand and have a good experience with it, I tend to gravitate towards those products and use the ingredient listing as a secondary assurance.”