August 12, 2013

Kosher Manufacturers Say Gluten Free Self-Policed

NEW YORK — Kosher manufacturers do not expect any change in their growing gluten-free business as a result of new regulations by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The manufacturers say that they were not looking to cut corners and particularly want to be careful with people suffering from celiac disease. According to the new FDA regulations, products labeled ‘‘gluten free’’ still won’t have to be technically free of wheat, rye and barley and their derivatives. The designation ‘‘gluten-free’’ products will have to contain less than 20 parts per million of gluten. That amount is generally recognized by the medical community to be low enough so that most people who have celiac disease won’t get sick if they eat it.

The rule would also ensure that foods with the labels ‘‘no gluten,’’ ‘'free of gluten,’’ and ‘‘without gluten’’ meet the definition. Manufacturers will have a year to comply. Americans spent more than $4 billion on gluten-free foods last year, according to the American Celiac Disease Alliance. The number of kosher gluten-free products has soared in recent years, as was evidence at the 2012 edition of Kosherfest.