Video: Can Foods Labeled Gluten-Free Include a Contains Statement for Wheat?

Video: Can Foods Labeled Gluten-Free Include a Contains Statement for Wheat?

One of the more frequently asked questions we get at Gluten Free Watchdog is whether foods labeled gluten-free are allowed to also include a Contains statement for wheat. Please watch the video to find out the answer. And please let me know if you have questions. Note: I have been asked to provide a transcript for all of the videos. These videos are “off the top of my head.” No transcripts are available. Update: A wonderful subscriber to GFWD who happens to do transcription professionally volunteered to transcribe this video. Thank you to Corbin’s mom! For the time being the transcription is included in the comments section.

 

 

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  • Tricia Thompson Reply

    A wonderful GFWD subscriber (aka Corbin’s mom) volunteered to transcribe this video. Please know that I speak differently than I write (and I am resisting the urge to “rewrite” this transcript). Please use this transcript in conjunction with the video.

    Video Transcription: Video: Can Foods Labeled Gluten-Free Include a Contains Statement for Wheat?

    Hi, everyone. This is Tricia Thompson from GlutenFreeWatchdog.

    One of the questions that we receive the most, is whether or not a food can be labeled gluten-free and include wheat in the ingredients list or the contains statement. The answer is, it depends on the ingredient. For example, wheat starch and ingredients that can be made from wheat starch, such as glucose syrup from wheat, maltodextrin from wheat, dextrin from wheat, these ingredients can be included in foods that are labeled gluten-free. And the reason is that wheat starch is by definition, processed to remove gluten. It is a starch. It’s not intended to include any wheat protein. However, we know that it is very difficult to completely separate the protein component of wheat from the starch component of wheat.

    And so it really depends on how pure that wheat starch is, whether it can be included in a food labeled gluten free. A food labeled gluten free, includes wheat in either the ingredients list or the contains statement, the FDA has stipulated that after the word wheat, there must be an asterisk that leads to another asterisk and the statement, “The wheat has been processed to allow this food to meet the FDA requirements for gluten-free foods.” Okay. So that is what you should see on product packaging. These are two products (Yum Earth Soft Eating Licorice Strawberry Flavor and Hero Strawberry Fruit Spread) that we will be sending to the lab soon for testing. This product (Hero Strawberry Fruit Spread) is labeled gluten-free and it also contains wheat syrup. But as you can see – well, you probably can’t see it, but there’s no asterisk and there’s no statement that’s required from the FDA. So this product is actually not labeled properly.

    This is another product (Yum Earth Soft Eating Licorice Strawberry Flavor) that we will be sending to the lab. It is certified gluten-free, it includes glucose syrup and it has an asterisk that leads to another asterisk that says, “contains wheat” and it includes the statement required by the FDA. One of the reasons that you are running across products like this, has to do with FALCPA. FALCPA is the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act. It was passed way before we had a gluten-free labeling rule. And under FALCPA, if an ingredient in a food is/or contains wheat protein or any of the other seven allergens, then that allergen – so for wheat, wheat has to be declared either in the ingredients list or the contains statement. So because gluten-free foods are allowed to contain wheat starch or wheat starch hydrolysates, this is why the FDA is saying you have to help consumers and prevent confusion by including this asterisk and this extra wording to explain why these ingredients are allowed in labeled gluten-free foods.

    So, I hope that helps. If there are any questions, please feel free to ask them in the comments section and I will try to clarify. Thank you so much.

    May 5, 2016 at 5:06 pm

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