The term “gluten” refers technically to a fraction of wheat and wheat-related cereals, which is insoluble in water. It constitutes around 80% of the protein in these cereals. Short peptides in gluten [“toxic” peptides] are responsible for causing the underlying damage in coeliac disease. Additionally other proteins found in gluten-containing cereal grains may trigger allergic responses.

For the purposes of labelling pre-packed foods within the European Union, Annex II of FIC Regulation (EU) No. 1169/2011 (as amended) defines the cereals containing gluten as: wheat (including varieties such as spelt and khorasan wheat), rye, barley, oats or their hybridised strains, and products thereof. Also several specific products exempt from the requirement for labelling are also defined.

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Last reviewed: 18 Jun 2015