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Label Reading for Gluten Information

Label Reading for Gluten Information

There is growing interest in glutenfree and an expansion of product offerings in stores and in restaurants. Kraft Foods 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 to help interested individuals make informed choices.

Gluten

Gluten is part of the protein found in certain grains. It is comprised of gliadin and glutenin and is present in wheat, barley and rye, as well as triticale, spelt, kamut, mir, farina (also known as far or 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 which 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 recommended that those individuals who are diagnosed with celiac disease follow a gluten-free diet for life.

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 rule-making 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).

Kraft Foods Commitment to Gluten Labeling

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 products is to list gluten-containing ingredients in the ingredient statement on the package label. For labeling purposes, Kraft 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 products are labeled with a gluten free claim on the front of 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 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.

Tips about Common Ingredients in Kraft products:

  • Food starch and modified food starch listed in the ingredient statements of Kraft products often refer to corn starch. If a Kraft 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 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 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.

  • 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.

Examples of Ingredient Statements

These labeling practices and tips are based on the Kraft Foods 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 Product:

OSCAR MAYER Selects Appplewood Smoked Turkey Breast

OSCAR MAYER Selects Appplewood Smoked Turkey Breast

INGREDIENTS: TURKEY BREAST, WATER, CULTURED DEXTROSE*, CONTAINS LESS THAN 2% OF SEA SALT, POTATO STARCH, TURKEY BROTH POWDER, CULTURED CELERY JUICE*, VINEGAR*, CHERRY POWDER, NATURAL FLAVOR. *INGREDIENT TO PRESERVE QUALITY.

JELL-O No Bake Cherry Cheesecake Dessert

JELL-O No Bake Cherry Cheesecake Dessert

INGREDIENTS: TOPPING: CHERRIES, CORN SYRUP, SUGAR, WATER, MODIFIED CORNSTARCH, CONTAINS LESS THAN 2% OF, NATURAL FLAVOR ( CONTAINS BARLEY), SODIUM BENZOATE (PRESERVATIVE), CITRIC ACID, RED 40.

FILLING MIX: SUGAR, DEXTROSE, MODIFIED FOOD STARCH, BAKER’S CHEESE (SKIM MILK, LACTIC ACID, CULTURE, BHA [PRESERVATIVE]), CORN SYRUP SOLIDS, HYDROGENATED COCONUT OIL, CONTAINS LESS THAN 2% OF NATURAL AND ARTIFICIAL FLAVOR, PARTIALLY HYDROGENATED PALM KERNEL OIL, SODIUM CASEINATE, CALCIUM SULFATE, TETRASODIUM PYROPHOSPHATE, DISODIUM PHOSPHATE, LACTIC ACID, CALCIUM LACTATE, DIPOTASSIUM PHOSPHATE, SALT, MONO- AND DIGLYCERIDES, PROPYLENE GLYCOL MONOSTEARATE, MODIFIED CELLULOSE, CALCIUM PHOSPHATE, ACETYLATED MONOGLYCERIDES, CELLULOSE GEL, HYDROXYLATED SOY LECITHIN, YELLOW 5, YELLOW 6. CONTAINS: MILK, SOY.

CRUST MIX: ENRICHED WHEAT FLOUR (WHEAT FLOUR, NIACIN, REDUCED IRON, THIAMIN MONONITRATE [VITAMIN B1], RIBOFLAVIN [VITAMIN B2], FOLIC ACID), GRAHAM FLOUR, SUGAR, SOYBEAN OIL, CONTAINS LESS THAN 2% OF HONEY, SALT, BAKING SODA, CALCIUM PHOSPHATE, ARTIFICIAL FLAVOR.

CONTAINS: WHEAT.

MAXWELL HOUSE INTERNATIONAL Irish Crème Cappuccino

MAXWELL HOUSE INTERNATIONAL Irish Crème Cappuccino

INGREDIENTS: SUGAR, NONDAIRY CREAMER [CORN SYRUP SOLIDS, HYDROGENATED COCONUT OIL, SODIUM CASEINATE (FROM MILK), DIPOTASSIUM PHOSPHATE, MONO- AND DIGLYCERIDES, ARTIFICIAL FLAVOR], MALTODEXTRIN, INSTANT COFFEE, CONTAINS LESS THAN 2% OF MALTED BARLEY SYRUP, COCOA (PROCESSED WITH ALKALI), NATURAL AND ARTIFICIAL FLAVOR, CELLULOSE GUM, SODIUM CITRATE, SILICON DIOXIDE.

CONTAINS: MILK.

Additional Resources

  • 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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