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Learn About Gluten Free Labeling

Learn About Gluten Free Labeling

There is growing interest in better understanding gluten free labeling in addition to an expansion of product offerings in stores and in restaurants. My Food and Family and Kraft Heinz recognizes that consumers are looking for gluten-free products for medical reasons or personal preference, and we are doing our part to accurately label our products and recipes to help interested individuals make informed choices.

Gluten

Gluten is a group of proteins found in certain grains. It is comprised of proteins including gliadin and glutenin and is present in wheat, barley and rye, as well as triticale, spelt, kamut, mir, farina, and farro. Products and ingredients made from these grains, such as flours and starches, also contain gluten. Oats often come into contact with gluten-containing grains during agricultural growing and transportation. Therefore, if avoiding gluten, only purchase oats that are labeled “gluten free.” Common foods that typically contain gluten are pasta, couscous, bread, flour tortillas, cookies, cakes, muffins, pastries, cereal, crackers, oats, gravy, dressings, sauces and beer.

Gluten Intolerance

Certain people cannot properly digest and metabolize gluten due to a genetic condition called celiac disease. The gliadin component of gluten is problematic for these individuals. In the United States, an estimated 3 million people (about 0.8% of the population) are affected. It is generally recommended that individuals who are diagnosed with celiac disease follow a diet free from gluten.

FDA Definition of “Gluten Free” for Labeling

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), a government agency that sets food labeling regulations, established the definition for “gluten free” on foods and beverages in August 2013. To qualify for a gluten free claim, a food must contain less than 20 parts per million (ppm). Similar terms such as “free of gluten,” “no gluten” and “without gluten” are viewed as synonyms and must meet this same standard. Gluten free is a voluntary claim that manufacturers may use. The FDA’s regulation applies to all foods and beverages (including packaged foods, dietary supplements, fruits and vegetables, shell eggs, and fish) except for:

  • Meat, poultry, and certain egg products: regulated by United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Note: The USDA has not yet engaged in rulemaking on “gluten free” claims but is likely to consider the FDA’s definition.

  • Most alcoholic beverages (all distilled spirits, wines with 7 percent or more alcohol by volume, and beverages made with malted barley and hops): regulated by Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB).

My Food and Family and Kraft Heinz’s Commitment to Gluten Free Food Labels and Recipes

We understand how important it is for people who have been medically diagnosed with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity to have accurate and specific information about foods to help them make informed choices and plan their meals and snacks. Our policy for all Kraft Heinz products is to list gluten-containing ingredients in the ingredient statement on the package label. For labeling purposes, Kraft Heinz products made with:

  • A gluten-containing grain as a direct ingredient will list the specific grain using commonly known terms such as “wheat, barley, rye and/or oats.” For example: “wheat flour.”
  • A source of gluten as a component of another ingredient, such as flavors or modified food starch, will list the grain in parentheses after the ingredient in the ingredient line. For example, “natural flavor (contains rye).” Only certain Kraft Heinz products are labeled with a gluten free claim on the front of the package. These products have been analytically tested and validated to contain less than 20 ppm in accordance with the FDA gluten free definition. You might notice that some Kraft Heinz’s products have ingredient statements that do not list a source of gluten, but unless the product follows the strict procedures to validate the absence of gluten, we do not label the finished product as gluten free.
  • My Food and Family has a section titled ‘Gluten-Aware’ where recipes contain no labeled gluten ingredients. However, if personal dietary needs are to strictly avoid gluten, one must be vigilant and read ingredient labels for the most current and accurate information on each ingredient.

Label Reading for Gluten Information

Tips about Common Ingredients in Kraft Heinz’s products:

  • Food starch and modified food starch listed in the ingredient statements of Kraft Heinz’s products often refer to corn starch. If a Kraft Heinz’s product uses food starches from a gluten-containing source, such as wheat starch, the source is always identified in the ingredient statement.
  • If hydrolyzed vegetable protein (HVP) is used as an ingredient in a Kraft Heinz product, the source is always identified in the ingredient list.
  • The ingredients mustard and mustard flour do not contain gluten.
  • Vinegar listed in the ingredient statement of Kraft Heinz’s products means distilled vinegar is used. Our ingredient suppliers assure the distilled vinegar we use does not contain gluten.

Tips for Making Gluten Free Food Choices

  • Always read labels. Carefully read the ingredient statements on all food labels each time you make food selections. Gluten free labeling should appear clearly on the item.
  • Choose gluten free grains such as rice or corn. Other acceptable starches include potato, arrowroot, tapioca, soy and legumes.
  • Include foods that are naturally gluten free such as eggs, fish, fruits and vegetables, and some dairy products. Round out your diet and make sure you’re not missing important food groups or key nutrients.
  • Seek specialty information from credible sources. Gluten free cookbooks, newsletters, websites and support groups can provide assistance and additional resources.
  • Follow the advice of a registered dietitian nutritionist or certified health professional to meet your individualized diet and health goals.

Recommended Gluten Free Recipes

There are plenty of ways to create delicious gluten free recipes at home. For a full list of recommendations related to gluten aware recipes, check out My Food and Family’s collection page. Try our delicious Rock Road Parfaits or make our Skillet Ratatouille for mealtime.

Examples of Ingredient Statements

These gluten free labeling practices and tips are based on the Kraft Heinz’s approach to manufacturing and labeling products. Practices used by other manufacturers may differ. Note: Gluten-containing ingredients are highlighted in these examples for educational purposes (but not on the actual product label).

Gluten Free Products:

Oscar Mayer Selects Gluten Free Product

For more Healthy Living information and additional resources regarding gluten free labels and education on Celiac disease, be sure to check out the resources below:

Gluten Containing Products:

Jell-O No bake Gluten Containing Product Maxwell House International Gluten Containing Product

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
120 S. Riverside Plaza, Suite 2000
Chicago, IL 60606-6995
www.eatright.org

Celiac Disease Foundation
20350 Ventura Blvd., Suite 240
Woodland Hills, CA 91364
www.celiac.org

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