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Gluten Free Homemade Newsletter, Issue #014 -- Gluten Free Candy List
October 12, 2017
Gluten Free Candy List
With more and more food manufacturers jumping on board the growing trend in "gluten-free" marketing, there are more "gluten-free" foods on the grocery store shelves than ever before.
At first glance, this seems wonderful, especially when it comes to treats, like candy.
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However well-meaning these food manufacturers may be by labeling their products as "gluten-free", the dangers of hidden gluten contamination are greater than ever for those of us with Celiac Disease, Gluten Intolerance, Gluten Sensitivity and other food allergens.
Reading food product labels is all the more imperative to protecting our health and that of our loved ones as well.
Thus, it is important we are armed with knowledgeable about safe and unsafe ingredients, their terms and what their definitions really mean.
In the United States of America (U.S.), food labeling is governed by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Meat Inspection Act, Poultry Products Inspection Act, and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
In my out of print copy of the, "Handbook of Food Preparation" (most current edition, "Food: A Handbook of Terminology, Purchasing and Preparation [12th Edition]), published by the American Home Economics Association in 1980 (now known as the American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences ), "Ingredient Labeling" is explained on pages 12 to 13:
"Ingredient lists or total disclosure on food labels are required by FDA regulations to be in descending order of predominance by weight (e.g., canned peas: peas, water, sugar, salt). The law requires, with few exceptions (e.g., spices, flavors, colors), a label declarations of all ingredients in foods that are not standardized. Labels for all meat and poultry products, whether standardized or not, must list ingredients. Also, most ingredients must be listed on the label by the specific name of the ingredient. However, there are exceptions to this rule. Under the law, spices, flavorings, and colors may be declared in the ingredient statement without naming the specific ingredient used. Furthermore, generic or collective names can sometimes be used instead of specific name . . . .
. . . . Government regulations, called standards of identity, define the composition of many foods, state which optional ingredients may be used, and specify those ingredients which must be declared on the label. Examples of standardized foods are: most canned fruits and vegetables; milk; cheese; ice cream; most breads; some food dressings; margarine; and certain seafoods. Required or mandatory ingredients in such standardized foods are exempt by law from label declaration."
For food products in the U.S., the actual "food" ingredients labeled are straight forward, for example, "wheat" and "corn" must be labeled as the ingredients they truly are.
When "collective" or "generic" names are used for spices, flavorings, colors, and other food additives, by law it must be disclosed if it is made from wheat; "wheat" will appear on the food label.
For more information about food labeling and food additives, the FDA maintains a public list of food additives "generally recognized as safe", otherwise known as the GRAS list .
In addition, the FDA has established guidelines for food manufacturers, Guidance for Industry: Gluten-Free Labeling of Foods; Small Entity Compliance Guide ".
In today's global economy many food ingredients and food additives are imported from other countries whose food regulations, if any, differ from those in the U.S.
Then, there is the issue of cross contamination of ingredients from field to food manufacturing and re-packaging.
In the U.S. there are myriads of so-called gluten-free candies, which are safe enough for some Gluten Intolerant and Gluten Sensitive people, but can cause health issues for those with Celiac Disease.
For these reasons, it is the conclusion from our in-depth research that leads us to recommend only the purchase of processed foods of any kind, including candy, from food manufacturers with dedicated gluten-free facilities and/or whose products are certified gluten-free.
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