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Found 5 results

  1. Celiac.com 06/06/2017 - Word from the Great White north is that the Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority (SLGA) is preventing the sale of Estrella Damm Daura, following a warning from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). The SLGA, according to the company's website, is "a Treasury Board Crown Corporation responsible for the distribution, control and regulation of beverage alcohol in Saskatchewan. SLGA operates 75 retail liquor stores and there are approximately 600 private liquor retailers throughout the province." According to statements by SLGA spokesman David Morris, the CFIA advised SLGA and other liquor jurisdictions to "put the product on hold" last month over concerns that Daura Damm was brewed with products that contain gluten. Any decision by the SLGA to discontinue sales of Damm Daura would likely impact large numbers of customers in the region. It may also impact similar products from the EU. Brewed in Spain by S.A. Damm, using traditional barley ingredients, Estrella Damm Daura is filtered to reduce its gluten content to levels well below the 20 ppm required for products labeled gluten-free. S.A. Damm's company website says that "All batches are analyzed and certified by the CSIC before hitting the market," and that the company guarantees Daura Damm's gluten content is three parts per million or fewer. EU gluten-free standards permit any finished product below 20ppm gluten content to be labeled gluten-free. Canadian standards prohibit any product made with gluten-containing source ingredients from being labeled as gluten-free. Therein lies the apparent rub. Under EU standards, Estrella Damm Daura qualifies as a gluten-free beer. Under Canadian standards, it does not. No word yet on whether Canadian trade agreements make exceptions for EU products, such as beer. Meanwhile, potential beneficiaries are Canadian breweries, such as Rebellion Brewing Co., a Regina-based brewery that uses locally grown lentils to make its celiac-friendly Lentil Cream Ale. Rebellion brewmaster Mark Heise says SLGA's decision to cease ordering Estrella Damm Daura could be a "massive" opportunity. "It's huge for us," he says. No word yet on how far the Canadian authorities will go in their efforts to enforce their gluten-free standards against EU products, but they may have just fired the first shot. Stay tuned for more on these and other gluten-free stories as they develop. Read more at TheStarPhoenix.com
  2. Celiac.com 02/06/2012 - Coeliac UK, Britain's leading celiac disease organization has finalized an agreement for all European countries to use a single universal gluten-free symbol on the front of all packaging for gluten-free products. Under the agreement, the Association of European Coeliac Societies will adopt Coeliac UK’s ‘cross-grain’ symbol as the standard for gluten-free labeling across Europe. The agreement simplifies what was a confusing web of individual logos on branded and local bakery food packaging. The overall goal is to establish the logo as the universal quality assurance symbol for gluten-free products. Coeliac UK's chief executive, Sarah Sleet, told British Baker that the “…European-wide agreement to share the symbol and its quality assurance measures…has huge potential as the commonly-used symbol on packs, because all coeliac consumers recognize it." She noted that, in the UK, while her organization has licensed the symbol to grocery chains like Warburtons, many supermarkets have simply created their own symbols. This has left many consumers confused about standards of quality and reliability regarding gluten-free products. Sleet feels that the agreement to establish a standard European labeling symbol for gluten-free products may help to end that confusion. “My colleagues in Europe are getting a lot of interest from big players like Carrefour and the German discounters, who are looking to take up that symbol license," she says. "That may put pressure on supermarkets in the UK to adopt it too.” Michelle Berriedale-Johnson, editor of gluten-free information website Foodmatters, agrees. “I think it would be hugely beneficial for consumers if there could be some agreement about logos," she says. "The current situation is both confusing and potentially dangerous for those with health issues.” Per capita, the UK has the highest percentage of consumers who avoid gluten. According to data from Kantar Worldpanel data (52 w/e 4 September, 2011), the total UK gluten and wheat-free market is now worth £135.9m, with sales soaring 15.5% annually into the foreseeable future. Gluten-free consumers, surveyed by McCallum Layton in 2011, voiced strong support for a universal industry-wide symbol. In that survey, many interviewees complained of varied and confusing symbols, and of product labels that required careful study. A survey of attendees at The Allergy & Gluten-Free Show 2011 revealed that 80% of people found ‘free-from’ symbols to be helpful, while 85% preferred to see specific logos, such as 'gluten-free,' placed on the front of product packages. How will European progress toward uniform labeling symbols for gluten-free products impact us here in America? Could we benefit from standards for 'gluten-free' Source: Bakeryinfo.co.uk
  3. This article comes to us from Frederik Willem Janssen, Zutphen, The Netherlands, e-mail: teizjanz@PI.NET. If you have specific questions about it, please contact him directly. The Codex Alimentarius provides the gluten-free standard for European food manufacturers. This article will deal with foods that are officially labeled as gluten free. In the European Union there is a directive on foods for special dietary uses (89/398/EEG), and this directive is the basis for all national legislation in the countries of the European Union. Though the directive deals with gluten-free foods there is no assigned limiting level of gluten for gluten-free food yet, so it is up to the national regulatory bodies of the member states to set their own level. There is however, an international body handling these matters: Codex Alimentarius. Codex Alimentarius is a Geneva-based International organization jointly run by the World Health Organization and FAO , and its aim is to establish worldwide standards for foods in the broadest sense. Food legislation in many countries is based on Codex Standards, although it is not mandatory to implement them in all cases. There is a Codex committee producing standards on food labeling, on hygiene, on composition etc., etc. There is a committee on Foods for Special Dietary Uses (FSDU) and ... there is a Standard on gluten-free Food! The oldest Standard dates from 1981, and it says that foods may be labeled as gluten-free only if the nitrogen content of the protein derived from wheat is less than 50 mg N/100 gm on dry matter, which may be equivalent to about 20-30 mg gliadin in wheat starch. The calculation is quite complicated by the fact that most of the protein in wheat starch is starch granule protein and not gluten. There is a new Codex Standard in preparation, and a proposal to set the limiting level of gluten to 200-mg gluten/kg (20-mg/100 g) gluten-free food on dry matter. If we assume that half of the gluten is gliadin, this equals 10-mg gliadin/100 g o.d.m., so the level has gone down by a factor two in comparison to the old standard. If accepted, the new standard will be valid for end products and not for raw materials. In my previous posting I already mentioned that there are comments on the proposal from Sweden ( One of the reasons why the level in the Standard has not yet been effected (the proposal has been dealt with already two years ago) is that there is no validated analytical method (ring-tested) available to check compliance to this level. Though it might look rather simple to analyze gluten, it is generally done with an Enzyme Linked Immuno Sorbent Assay - ELISA, it is in fact very tricky, and especially as the term gluten is very imprecise. Gluten is a mixture of gliadin and glutenin - each composed of several sub-fractions - and its composition with respect to sub-fractions is cultivar dependent. There is also an effect on the recovery caused by the heat processing of the food, and although excellent work has been done by Dr Skerrit of CSIRO in Australia to circumvent this problem (he designed a method based on omega gliadin, which is the most heat stable gliadin fraction), there is still a feeling that this method still needs to be improved. Remember that agencies charged with enforcement of food laws must be able to bring suits against producers of non-complying gluten-free foods. So analytical methods need to be robust and accurate. Codex Alimentarius bases its standard on scientific facts, and thats why there is no zero tolerance. There is simply no scientific evidence that this is required (at least there is no concordant view among scientists about the maximum tolerable gluten intake), and it is reasoned that any unduly reduction in the permissive level will reduce the number of gluten-free food available unnecessary. Though Codex Alimentarius has been criticized in the past for being a food-producer driven body it is still the only world-wide forum for food standards, and its role within the framework of the GATT and WTO makes its work of sterling importance in settling trade disputes. In 1993 the National Food Alliance (UK NGO) produced a report titled Cracking the Codex. This report stated that even though the voting in Codex is nationwide, and quite often by consensus, there is a large impact of the producer lobby, especially in the preliminary stages of decision making. Even though there is no implemented standard in national legislation many countries will stick to the Codex Standard. The conclusion is that in many countries food labeled as gluten free will almost definitely contain gluten. As the regulatory agencies of most countries will not press charges against producers of gluten-free foods if the level is below the Codex Standard limit (though, as said, some countries may have lower regulatory levels). Codex Standards still do not have the status of national laws.
  4. Celiac.com 06/19/08 - Today in most modern countries, children are being raised in bacteria-free environments, yet studies are seeing a rising incidence of autoimmune disease and allergies. Previous studies have found that Finnish children are six times more likely to have type 1 diabetes and a five times higher rate of celiac disease than Russian children despite equal genetic susceptibility. Over-cleanliness and life-style may be promoting the higher prevalence of these disorders. The Diabimmune study, backed by the EU with EUR 6 million in financing, is asking whether by removing all bacteria, we are not actually weakening our children's immune systems. Led by the University of Helsinki, researchers from 5 European countries will collaborate on Diabimmune, a study involving some 7000 children which will last from 2008-2013. The study will focus on the development of the intestinal bacterial flora after birth, the effect that the living environment has on the composition of the bacterial flora, the effect infections have on the maturation of the human immune system, and the operation of the white blood cells that regulate immune responses. In addition, the researchers will examine whether the protection conferred by infections against autoimmune and allergic responses is associated with the overall infection load or due to specific microbes. It is expected that the results will provide much needed insight into celiac disease, other autoimmune disorders, and allergies. For the first time, researchers will comprehensively monitor the composition of microbes populating the intestines of developing infants and study how the microbes may influence the development of allergies and autoimmune disease, including celiac disease. Finally, conclusive evidence may be found which may answer the question of whether gut bacteria is involved the pathogenesis of celiac disease. Are immune systems becoming lazy? European Research Headlines 18 June 2008 http://ec.europa.eu/research/headlines/news/article_08_06_18_en.html Researchers from five countries to test hygiene hypothesis with EU funding University of Helsinki 29 May 2008 http://www.med.helsinki.fi/english/news/20080529_DIABIMMUNE.htm
  5. This article comes to us from Frederik Willem Janssen, Zutphen, The Netherlands, e-mail: teizjanz@PI.NET. If you have specific questions about it, please contact him directly. The Codex Alimentarius provides the gluten-free standard for European food manufacturers. This article will deal with foods that are officially labeled as "gluten free." In the European Union there is a directive on foods for special dietary uses (89/398/EEG), and this directive is the basis for all national legislation in the countries of the European Union. Though the directive deals with gluten-free foods there is no assigned limiting level of gluten for gluten-free food yet, so it is up to the national regulatory bodies of the member states to set their own level. There is however, an international body handling these matters: Codex Alimentarius. Codex Alimentarius is a Geneva based International organization jointly run by the WHO and the FAO, and its aim is to establish worldwide standards for foods in the broadest sense. Food legislation in many countries is based on Codex Standards, although it is not mandatory to implement them in all cases. There is a Codex committee producing standards on food labeling, on hygiene, on composition etc., etc. There is a committee on Foods for Special Dietary Uses (FSDU) and ... there is a Standard on gluten-free Food! The oldest Standard dates from 1981, and it says that foods may be labeled as "gluten-free" only if the nitrogen content of the protein derived from wheat is less than 50 mg N/100 gm on dry matter, which may be equivalent to about 20-30 mg gliadin in wheat starch. The calculation is quite complicated by the fact that most of the protein in wheat starch is "starch granule protein" and not gluten. There is a new Codex Standard in preparation, and a proposal to set the limiting level of gluten to 200-mg gluten/kg (20-mg/100 g) gluten-free food on dry matter. If we assume that half of the gluten is gliadin, this equals 10-mg gliadin/100 g o.d.m., so the level has gone down by a factor two in comparison to the "old" standard. If accepted, the new standard will be valid for end products and not for raw materials. In my previous posting I already mentioned that there are comments on the proposal from Sweden ( One of the reasons why the level in the Standard has not yet been effected (the proposal has been dealt with already two years ago) is that there is no validated analytical method (ring-tested) available to check compliance to this level. Though it might look rather simple to analyze gluten, it is generally done with an Enzyme Linked Immuno Sorbent Assay - ELISA, it is in fact very tricky, and especially as the term gluten is very imprecise. Gluten is a mixture of gliadin and glutenin - each composed of several sub-fractions - and its composition with respect to sub-fractions is cultivar dependent. There is also an effect on the recovery caused by the heat processing of the food, and although excellent work has been done by Dr Skerrit of CSIRO in Australia to circumvent this problem (he designed a method based on omega gliadin, which is the most heat stable gliadin fraction), there is still a feeling that this method still needs to be improved. Remember that agencies charged with enforcement of food laws must be able to bring suits against producers of non-complying gluten-free foods. So analytical methods need to be robust and accurate. Codex Alimentarius bases its standard on scientific facts, and thats why there is no zero tolerance. There is simply no scientific evidence that this is required (at least there is no concordant view among scientists about the maximum tolerable gluten intake), and it is reasoned that any unduly reduction in the permissive level will reduce the number of gluten-free food available unnecessary. Though Codex Alimentarius has been criticized in the past for being a food-producer driven body it is still the only world-wide forum for food standards, and its role within the framework of the GATT and WTO makes its work of sterling importance in settling trade disputes. In 1993 the National Food Alliance (UK NGO) produced a report titled "Cracking the Codex." This report stated that even though the voting in Codex is nationwide, and quite often by consensus, there is a large impact of the producer lobby, especially in the preliminary stages of decision making. Even though there is no implemented standard in national legislation many countries will stick to the Codex Standard. The conclusion is that in many countries food labeled as "gluten free" will almost definitely contain gluten. As the regulatory agencies of most countries will not press charges against producers of gluten-free foods if the level is below the Codex Standard limit (though, as said, some countries may have lower regulatory levels). Codex Standards still do not have the status of national laws.
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