Food Information

The purpose of labelling is to inform consumers of the presence of a constituent in food. Claims aim to inform consumers about the attributes of a particular food, resulting from either the presence or absence of a specific constituent. Thus claims about gluten aim to inform consumers of the suitability of the food either directly (“suitable for”) or indirectly (“gluten-free”); and therefore suitable. “Gluten-free” refers to a quantitative limit (concentration) rather than an absolute absence of gluten, deemed on the basis of scientific evidence to assure that the food in question can be consumed safely by the vast majority of people with an intolerance to gluten.

While coeliac disease is the primary health concern around wheat and other cereals containing gluten, these cereals can also provoke allergic reactions. However, no generally accepted management threshold has yet been defined for the protein content (both gluten and non-gluten) below which the risk to people with allergy to those cereals is considered tolerable. They must therefore be labelled when used as ingredients, irrespective of the amount present. The same applies to derivatives and products thereof, unless they are exempt in accordance with Annex II of FIC Regulation (EU) No. 1169/2011 (as amended).

Next page: Oats

Last reviewed: 18 Jun 2015