FSSAI to bring in new labelling norms for gluten-free products

Meenakshi Verma Ambwani New Delhi | Updated on June 17, 2019 Published on June 17, 2019

The regulator to address cross-contamination issues and remove ‘low gluten’ provision

The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) plans to introduce new labelling norms for gluten-free claims on products as well as address the issue of cross-contamination of such products with gluten- containing products during manufacturing.

In a guidance note for manufacturers and consumers on gluten-free foods, FSSAI said that it is in the process of adding labelling provisions for addressing the issues of cross contamination.

Advisory on declaration

Advising food manufacturers to avoid such cross contamination, it said that when a gluten-free product is manufactured in a plant where gluten-containing products are also manufactured, it should be declared on the label. It should read, “Processed in a plant where gluten containing products are manufactured”.

The regulator reiterated that only foods that contain 20 mg gluten/kg or less can be labelled as gluten-free, as per its current standards.

“FSSAI is also in the process of removing the provisions relating to the standard of “Food specially processed to reduce gluten content to a level 20-100 mg/kg”…. and ‘Low Gluten and warning for low gluten’ from its regulations,” it added.

The regulator has said that packaged food manufacturers should establish separate storage and preparation areas for gluten-free and gluten-containing ingredients. It said that they “should have separate production areas and equipment with controlled air-low between the two production areas,” to reduce the potential for air-borne flour dust contamination.

The regulators said that hotels and restaurants are advised to keep gluten-free options at their outlets.

The FSSAI said that consumers should be aware when seeking gluten-free options that “wheat-free” foods may contain grain such as rye and barley.

It has advised consumers to check the label when buying gluten-free products and look for certification mark, ingredients , allergen warning among others.

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Published on June 17, 2019
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