Food First Blog | Is it Gluten-Free? The Rise of Clean Labels in

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Is it Gluten-Free? The Rise of Clean Labels in Food Production
Is it Gluten-Free? The Rise of Clean Labels in Food Production

“How do you make it taste so good?”  

“What’s your secret ingredient?”

“Can you share that recipe?”

Such familiar comments and compliments may be shared after enjoying an especially tasty food. These days, we’re also apt to hear another question added to the mix:

“Is it gluten-free?”

This rise in conscious consumerism has led to a growing trend in food production – clean label, or food products labeled and marketed as containing natural or alternative ingredients. These could include pea flour, cassava, amaranth, rice flour, buckwheat, flaxseed meal and salba seed. These ingredients may be fitting substitutions for those who choose a gluten-free diet. They can also be used as ingredients for consumers who are avoiding certain ingredients due to allergies, other food restrictions, or as part of any number of popular diets, including keto, paleo, low-carb and others.

Of course, there may be nothing unhealthy with any of the “traditional” ingredients, whether it be gluten or another commonly used ingredient. However, it is becoming increasingly important to provide consumers who choose a specialized diet with safe, trusted options that support their preferred lifestyle.

Elaine Meloan, manager of food labeling at AIB International, says organic, gluten-free, natural and other specialty food products and claims must adhere to strict guidelines to both comply with FDA regulations and not mislead consumers.

These guidelines can vary greatly for each product claim. For example, Meloan says different regulations are in place for products that are marketed as 100 percent organic and 95-100 percent organic ingredients, and more still for 70-95 percent organic. Similarly, FDA and USDA definitions vary – or do not even exist – for what constitutes a “natural” product.

Before labeling or marketing your product as “clean label,” it is important to have a clear understanding of what that means and the regulations involved. Be sure you and your staff stay updated on the latest government clean label regulations and consult with our labeling experts before adding any such claims to your products.

For more information about clean labels and gluten-free certification please send us an email.

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