FDA Standardizes ‘Gluten-Free’ Food Labels

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It's complicated. Photo: Laurence Mouton/PhotoAlto/Corbis

The Food and Drug Administration today published its final rule regarding the technical definition of what can be called "gluten-free" when it comes to food labels. (For the record, it's anything containing "less than 20 parts per million of gluten.") The standard affects claims made by food companies about their products and may come as a relief to the approximately 3 million Americans with celiac disease as well as others with gluten sensitivities. The Times reports that the value of the "gluten-free" market in the U.S. is around $4 billion, but others estimate the overall related market to be somewhere in the $8 billion range. As such, four-star chefs are creatively working to improve the quality of no-gluten pastas and more on their menus, and meanwhile, on the lower end, Dunkin' Donuts will introduce gluten-free doughnuts and muffins later this year at stores across the country. Any manufacturers whose products don't meet the new FDA requirements have a year to get the gluten out, or simply change their labels. [NYT, FDA, Earlier, Related]