New gluten regulations praised

13th January 2012 - Fine Cut

New EU regulations regarding the labelling of gluten-free products have been praised by the chief executive of Coeliac UK.

Sarah Sleet, who has been working to improve life for coeliacs since 2005, has claimed to be extremely pleased with the roll-out of the new laws, which mean food manufacturers can place phrases such as 'gluten-free' on their labels.

Since January 1st, food labels can only contain this phrase if it contains no more than 20 gluten parts per million (ppm), which is 10 times lower than the previous limits of 200 ppm. Businesses can instead label their products as 'containing very low gluten', but only if it contains no more than 100ppm.  

In an interview with bakeryinfo.co.uk, Sleet said that the regulations represented a positive move for coeliacs across Europe.

She said: "It provides real reassurance to consumers that, when manufacturers put a gluten-free label on their products, it really does mean something, because it is backed up by law."

Webmd.boots.com report that the new rules also mean that the phrase "suitable for coeliacs" cannot be used on labels unless it appears alongside one of the phrases explained above. Walkers was one of the companies guilty of doing this before the laws were enforced.

The laws also apply to supermarket shelves and menus.

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