Gluten-free claims update

Canada’s new Allergen and Gluten labelling regulations came into full force on August 4, 2012. The long-awaited guidance document to industry outlines the requirements for the “gluten-free claim”. For interested marketers, the Canadian Celiac Association (CCA) now provides a Gluten-Free Certification Program which includes the use of the CCA’s gluten-free logo.

Health Canada’s report on “gluten-free” claim criteria states that products that do not exceed 20 ppm, and are manufactured under “Good Manufacturing Practices” meet the intent of regulations for “gluten-free” claim. It’s up to the manufacturers to ensure that they meet the established criteria before using the “gluten-free” claim. Read the full report.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) provides compliance and enforcement of Gluten-Free Claims. As a service to manufacturers involved with marketing gluten-free products, the Canadian Celiac Association (CCA) developed a Gluten-Free Certification Program. It is a voluntary program with a fee structure and license agreement that involves an audit for good manufacturing practices and defines the terms of use for the gluten free mark. To see if the CCA’s service is a good fit for your business check out their Gluten-Free Certification Program Self Evaluation Checklist.

Implications to your business:

Gluten-free claims target an increasing number of consumers who are seeking to limit gluten in their diet. According to the Canadian Celiac Association, it’s estimated that 2,300,000 people require gluten-free products – 300,000 Canadians who have celiac disease and another 2 million who have non-celiac disease gluten sensitivity. It’s not surprising that the market for gluten-free products is expected to grow. Consider learning more about the health and nutrition needs of consumers to help your business. The gluten-free claim is regulated and may be used by manufacturers whose products meet the criteria. The Canadian Celiac Association’s voluntary program may also be of interest to marketers of gluten-free foods.

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