Manufacturers: No more sloppy responses when contacted by gluten-free consumers
In honor of Celiac Disease Awareness Month 2018,
A series of bites, barks, tail wags, face licks, and pant tugs from Gluten Free Watchdog
May 19, 2018
Gluten Free Watchdog Bark, Post # 19
In mid-April I was contacted by a member of the Gluten Free Watchdog community about a curious ingredient in a variety of Magnum ice cream–“corn syrup (wheat).” This product is NOT labeled gluten-free.
My response: “This is an FDA-regulated product. There is an FDA CFR for corn syrup: Sec. 184.1865 Corn syrup. (a) Corn syrup, commonly called “glucose sirup” or “glucose syrup,” is obtained by partial hydrolysis of cornstarch with safe and suitable acids or enzymes. It may also occur in the dehydrated form (dried glucose sirup). Depending on the degree of hydrolysis, corn syrup may contain, in addition to glucose, maltose and higher saccharides.
In other words, corn syrup should be made from cornstarch. I have no idea where the wheat is coming from (unless the manufacturer meant to list the ingredient as “glucose syrup (wheat)” but Unilever should know better).”
I reached out to Unilever (Magnum is a brand of Unilever) asking them to clarify the ingredient “corn syrup (wheat).” They responded about a month later.
Unilever Consumer Care: We appreciate the opportunity to respond to you regarding the corn syrup in our Magnum Dark Chocolate Raspberry Ice Cream Tubs. The corn syrup is derived from corn, and is also known as corn sugar or dextrose. Any product that contains corn syrup will have it included on the ingredient list.
Tricia Thompson: Thanks for getting back to me but your response does not address my concern. Please explain the ingredients list on product packaging. It reads “corn syrup (wheat).”
Unilever Consumer Care: At this time, this is all the information we have regarding the corn syrup included in the ice cream. Any product that contains gluten based ingredients will list those ingredients on the ingredient list. If the natural flavor contains any Gluten, it would be called out on the label. The inclusion of (wheat) was provided to inform consumer’s (sic) that this product does contain gluten.
Tricia Thompson: Wheat is not listed after natural flavor but after the ingredient “corn syrup.” Corn syrup is defined under the FDA’s CFR for corn syrup. There is no mention of wheat. Please advise how the ingredient “corn syrup” contains wheat.
No further response from Unilever.
Why does any of this matter? There is so much confusion about ingredients. Having a manufacturer like Unilever declare wheat in corn syrup adds to this confusion. Their sloppy response to my inquiry doesn’t help.
Thank you to the consumers who reached out to me. Photo published with permission.