View Full Version : Gluten-Free Labeling of Freeze Dried Backpacking Foods & FDA Rule

08-14-2014, 19:16
On August 2, 2013, FDA issued a final rule defining “gluten-free” for food labeling, which will help consumers, especially those living with celiac disease, be confident that items labeled “gluten-free” meet a defined standard for gluten content. The final rule provides a uniform standard definition to help consumers with celiac disease manage a gluten-free diet. Gluten-free foods must contain less than 20 parts per million (ppm) gluten. Foods may be labeled “gluten-free” if they are inherently gluten free; or do not contain an ingredient that is: 1) a gluten-containing grain (e.g., spelt wheat); 2) derived from a gluten-containing grain that has not been processed to remove gluten (e.g., wheat flour); or 3) derived from a gluten-containing grain that has been processed to remove gluten (e.g., wheat starch), if the use of that ingredient results in the presence of 20 ppm or more gluten in the food.

I contacted three major manufacturers of freeze dried foods this week to ask if their products identified on their websites as "gluten-free" or "no gluten" meet the new FDA standard. I figured I'd share their responses for fellow celiacs or others on a GF diet:

Backpacker's Pantry: "Thanks for taking the time to contact us! We recommend that individuals with Celiac disease avoid consuming our products. While we do offer several no gluten options, all of our products are manufactured in a facility that also processes gluten. For this reason, none of our products currently meet the FDA requirements for gluten-free."

Mountain House: "Yes these items meet FDA requirements."

Alpine Aire: " Although our Gluten Free AlpineAire Foods are packaged in our facility that handles wheat products, our dedicated Allergen Program ensures no cross contamination. Allergen Program operating procedures include, identifying raw materials that contain allergens then color coding and storing allergens separately into a color coded designated allergen area. Productions runs are dedicated to gluten free production first. All equipment is thoroughly washed and sanitized. We utilize a dust collection system to minimize airborne contaminates throughout our facility. Our gluten free product recipes have been tested at third party labs to ensure integrity. All test results have shown less than 5ppm well under industry standards. We have been producing and marketing Gluten Free products for 10 years; in that time not one negative reaction has ever been reported to us. We believe strongly that our Gluten Free products provide a safe solution for many."

08-14-2014, 20:56
Funny how all three responses are correct, it pays to be your own advocate these days.