Sensitivity to certain ingredients has become increasingly common in the food community. It’s almost certain that you’ve heard a lot about gluten sensitivity over the last few years or maybe you actually know someone who has some level of intolerance to gluten-based foods. In fact, Celiac disease, an autoimmune disorder that attacks the small intestine when gluten is consumed, affects 1% of Americans today. That means at least 3 million people in our country are living with celiac disease and a great majority of them are undiagnosed. The heightened awareness around gluten sensitivities has many consumers exploring gluten free diets, resulting in a gluten free food market that is set to reach $6.43 billion by 2025.
The growing popularity of gluten free diets and foods has led brands to respond to these demands. They are utilizing labeling claims related to whether the food contains any form of gluten proteins. Unfortunately, a lack of national and international standards exists about how to properly measure and label the term “gluten free.” Some of the claims you see on packages remain unverified today. So how can you trust the gluten free claims on your food packages?
WFCF Gluten Free
The WFCF Gluten Free program includes a combination of quantitative analysis, segregation and traceability to ensure the ingredients and products themselves being marketed are gluten free. Part of this process includes the management of eliminating the introduction of gluten proteins whether that be accidental or otherwise during food production. WFCF ensures that all parts of the process from manufacturing, storage, and packaging is certified under the proper standards, and requires finished products to be tested to ensure the absence of gluten proteins. Testing is done down to the parts-per-million (ppm), and any product that tests above 10ppm for gluten is not eligible for certification.
Why Trust WFCF Gluten Free?
As a consumer you should have confidence in the claims food companies make on their packages. That is why independently verified claims through third-party companies like Where Food Comes From (WFCF) are so important. WFCF understands the importance of being transparent about the claims on the food products you are feeding yourself and your family. Gluten Free certification isn’t a fad, but rather a necessity for those with Celiac Disease and gluten sensitivity. If you’d like to learn more about the WFCF Gluten Free Standard you can find more information on their website here.