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Found 8 results

  1. Celiac.com 10/03/2017 - As people eat less processed foods, and more people adopt a gluten-free diet, manufacturers are selling less and less refined wheat flour, less bread, rolls, and cereals. Consumption of wheat is plummeting, and that has the people who grow wheat wondering what to do. Well, one thing wheat growers can do is hire researchers to study the problem in such a way that the logical conclusion is that foods made from refined grains, such as breads, rolls, and cereals, aren’t really that bad after all. And that seems to be what happened with a recent study funded by the Grain Foods Foundation, an industry group. Unsurprisingly, perhaps, the study, published last month in the journal Nutrients, calls things like breads, rolls, tortillas, and ready-to-eat cereals "meaningful contributors" of nutrients like thiamin, folate, iron, zinc, and niacin. The study notes that such foods are also low in added sugars and fats, which is not the case with many grain foods like baked goods. Rather than being independent, both authors of the study work for PR companies that help other companies, including major food and beverage companies, communicate the benefits of their products. While it’s true that many refined grain foods provide these nutrients, there are many other sources. For example, foods like white beans, lentils, spinach, dark chocolate, and tofu provide iron, while oysters, beef, baked beans, yogurt, and chickpeas provide zinc. Is bread bad for people? Mostly not. People with celiac disease need to eat gluten-free, and should probably make an extra effort to eat foods that are nutrient dense. For most folks bread is fine, but as with many foods, not all breads are equal. Look for whole-grain breads that are nutrient dense. Watch out for the added sugar, salt, and fat that come with many processed foods. And don’t be swayed by industry-funded studies that tell you to eat more of the product they are peddling. Read more at: Healthline.com
  2. Leszek Jaszczak

    Allergens in Confectionery Products

    Celiac.com 03/23/2017 - Allergens in processed foods can be a significant problem in the confectionery industry. In the European Union, current estimates suggest that 17 million people suffer from food allergies and in recent years, the number of children under five years with significant food allergies has grown. Therefore, it is important to keep track of information and raise awareness among consumers and producers. It should also be noted that all the tragic events and unpleasant incidents related to food and quality level affect the economy of the entire food industry, not just one company. Managing food allergens is a first step in limiting these problems. Since the term allergy is often misused it must be distinguished from food intolerance. The consequences related to these two conditions are very different. Intolerance is rarely life-threatening. People with a food intolerance can usually eat small amounts of problematic foods without adversely affecting their health. Food intolerance can be caused by metabolic disorders such as lactose intolerance. People with food allergies may react strongly even to trace amounts of allergenic ingredients (with respect to foods to which they are allergic) present in food. They cannot tolerate even very small amounts of allergens in their diet, with the risk that allergens can cause serious reactions and even death. Below we present fragment of a list of allergens form REGULATION OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL No. 1169/2011 of 25 October 2011 on the provision of information to consumers about food. For more complete information, please refer to the original text of the regulation. List of allergens under REGULATION OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL (EU) No 1169/2011 of 25 October 2011: Cereals containing gluten, Crustaceans and products thereof, Eggs and products thereof, Fish and products thereof, Groundnuts (peanuts) and derived products, Soybeans and products thereof, Milk and products thereof (including lactose) Nuts, such as almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, cashews, pecans, Brazil nuts, pistachios / pistachios, macadamia nuts and Queensland nuts and derivative products Celery and products thereof, Mustard and products thereof, Sesame seeds and products thereof, Sulphur dioxide and sulphites Lupin and products thereof, Mollusks and products thereof. Confectionery may include many ingredients from this list of allergens. The best way to treat allergies is to avoid the banned products. From the manufacturer's point of view it is important to ensure correct labeling of their own products. It is worth paying attention to this information because allergic customers and their care-givers read this information carefully and require precise administration and declaration of these allergens. Once they trust the brand they are likely to be loyal. Companies should therefore take steps to ensure that the ingredients are carefully and thoroughly listed. A risk factor which is worth noting is unintentional cross-contamination where a minimum amount of an allergen can be transferred during the process of manufacturing a product that is otherwise completely free of allergens. Producers should do everything possible to keep allergenic products and ingredients out of those products for which they are not intended. Cross contamination or inadvertent introduction of allergens into the product is generally the result of exposure of the product during processing or handling. Cross contamination is when there are many kinds of products produced on the same production line, re-processing, or due to ineffective cleaning or preparations containing dust from allergens. Although some phenomena cannot always be prevented, by developing and implementing controls to reduce contact between allergens and other products, consumer safety and trust can be enhanced. One of the tools to help in the control of allergens is an integrated quality management system which includes an inspection for all allergens. An allergen Management Plan is a key element of efforts to ensure a safe product. This plan is a written document that lists the storage, handling, processing, packaging, and identification of allergenic foods and ingredients. But this is not a one-time effort. An allergen control plan must be implemented, enforced and audited and constantly updated. Every time you make a change in the manufacturing process or a product, you must evaluate your plan and, where necessary, update it. Of course every employee is an important part of the plan, and everyone must understand their role and the responsibilities they bear. Raising awareness among the employees in this area, through training, should also be documented. The plan must also take into account the cooperation with suppliers of raw materials. Not all of the recommendations of the quality control system may be used in any food processing plant. Despite this, consider any threat and determine the extent to which it may affect a business and its suppliers. And have procedures in place for allergen control. The risk assessment should be conducted in order to develop a plan for the control of allergens. The assessment should start with raw materials, their storage, each stage of production, packaging and labeling of the finished product. It should define the critical points where allergens may be introduced into the product and establish a system for monitoring these points to avoid unintentional cross contamination. This plan is part of health care, the acquisition and maintenance of consumer confidence, and also provides financial protection and preserves the manufacturer's reputation. Product labeling should assist consumers who have allergies or intolerances by providing them with more comprehensive information on the composition of the food they buy. Caution in the labeling of allergens is a voluntary warning to consumers added to the list of ingredients (eg. it may contain milk). When should we use labels informing about the possibility of allergens? In order to warn consumers about trace amounts of allergens we should use them only when it has been found that occasional contamination of the product cannot be avoided. This decision should be based on a thorough evaluation process and allergen control plan, if it is determined that unintentional cross-contamination cannot be eliminated by careful labeling of allergens. Caution in the labeling of products that may contain allergens can never be used as a substitute for good manufacturing practices or an allergen control plan.
  3. Celiac.com 02/02/2017 - Scientists have devised a universal gluten cross-contamination checklist they hope will help to reduce gluten contamination in the food services industries. The newly created food services checklist was compiled after an extensive literature review, input from 11 different experts with PhDs and experience with food services and/or gluten and celiac issues, along with documents from various organizations such as the Gluten-Free Certification Program from the Canadian Celiac Association. The final checklist consists of 88 items divided into 12 sections, which cover everything from building and facilities maintenance, cleaning and ventilation, to employee clothing and hygiene, to food production and transport. The checklist also includes a robust section on planning and communication with an eye toward maintaining a gluten-free facility and supporting gluten-free customers. The tool is notable in that it is the first comprehensive checklist designed to promote a proper understanding of the issues across all manufacturing and food production processes. All of which make it, "an interesting tool since it helps to assure proper understanding of the items, which is crucial for the correct evaluation of conformities/non-conformities situations in loco and ultimately might impact the safety of the food produced in certain establishments," according to the authors. Such an understanding is crucial for making correct on-site assessments of conformities/non-conformities. Properly employed, the checklist might impact, and ultimately improve the safety of gluten-free food across the entire industry. Read more at: mdpi.com and cantechletter.com
  4. Celiac.com 07/09/2013 - In Australia, and New Zealand, people with celiac disease currently benefit from regulations that require food sold as "gluten-free" to contain no detectable levels of gluten. However, that may be set to change, as Australian food manufacturers and retailers push the government agency that regulates gluten-free food to allow gluten to be included in foods labeled ''gluten-free.'' That agency, called Food Standards Australia New Zealand, is facing pressure by the Australian Food and Grocery Council (AFGC), which wants foods sold as "gluten-free" to be able to contain up to 20 milligrams of gluten per kilogram, thus bringing Australia in line with British and European standards. The push by AFGC for a new gluten limit has drawn little praise from dietitians, who say Australians with celiac disease and an associated condition, dermatitis herpetiformis, rely on gluten-free foods. Now, while the Australian standard of "no detectable gluten" in foods sold as "gluten-free" may sound great in theory, it is not without problems. The standard of "no detectable gluten" means that acceptable gluten-levels will be pushed ever lower as newer, more sensitive tests become available. And such tests are now becoming more sensitive all the time. Dr Sue Shepherd, a dietitian specializing in food intolerance and gastrointestinal nutrition, says that Australia must rethink its current rule precisely because tests are growing so sensitive that foods currently meeting the ''undetectable gluten'' standard might soon fail to meet standards. Under the Australian/New Zealand standard, many foods from EU and the United States are currently not permitted, and any that might meet current standards face the same problem: future standards may disqualify currently acceptable products. Also, having changing standards and changing products that meet that standard is confusing for shoppers and grocery retailers. Others worry that changing the current rule will allow unfair competition from imported products. Many of those imported "gluten-free" products are cheaper, in part because lower standards mean higher acceptable gluten levels and lower cost. Michael Bracka, chief executive of Freedom Foods and former boss of Kellogg Australia, opposes weakening gluten content standards for gluten-free foods. Bracka fears that weakening standards could result in cheap imports flood Australian shelves and damaging what is currently a very successful local industry. Moreover, he adds, the changes proposed by AFGC are "misleading to consumers." A spokeswoman for Food Standards said that the agency is working with AFGC on its application and that it intends to consult all stakeholders. What do you think? Should the standard for gluten-free foods be "no detectable gluten?" What does that mean for food producers? For consumers? For prices? Share your comments below. Source: SMH.com
  5. Celiac.com 11/27/2014 - A growing desire to avoid gluten is changing the food industry in myriad ways, so says an article in the Oct 25th 2014 edition of the Economist. The article points to a fast rising consumer demand for gluten-free products that began with sufferers of celiac disease, but has quickly grown to include large numbers of health conscious eaters, and which shows no sign of slowing down. They cite a recent survey by market research firm Mintel, which says sales of gluten-free food and drink in the U.S. have surged from $5.4 billion to $8.8 billion since 2012, and are set to grow a further 20% by 2015. They note that Mintel forecasts a 61% growth in gluten-free food sales in America by 2017, with similar increases expected in other rich countries, and they also point to double-digit sales growth of gluten-free products in most European countries--with Britain leading the way. Basically, gluten-free food is a strong enough influence on businesses that it is changing the offerings at food markets and eating establishments across the board. Grocers are giving precious shelf space, and restaurants are shifting their menus to incorporate gluten-free offerings. It was recently reported that more than half of restaurants in the U.S. will include gluten-free items on this menus by the end of 2014. And, as the Economist notes, Europe is following suit. “Even small convenience stores in remote parts of rural Ireland and Italy now stock ranges of gluten-free bread and cakes,” the magazine points out. The big losers here, in terms of market share are other specialty products, such as vegetarian and meat replacement products, whose sales have fallen flat. Interestingly, the trend is being ruled not by fad dieters, but largely by people worried about their health. The Economist points to a survey by the research firm Kantar, which found that only about 1 in 5 people who buy gluten-free food say they buy it for non-medical reasons. Read the complete article in The Economist.
  6. Celiac.com 10/01/2012 - As the gluten-free market is exploding, food manufacturers are taking note. More and more food companies are recognizing the need to inform and serve the segment of the market that needs or wants gluten-free products. From gluten-free flours to gluten-free restaurant menus, the prevalence of these products is only expanding—and that means good things for the gluten-free community. The Rise of Gluten-Free Merchandising In the United States alone, sales of gluten-free food and beverages hit $2.64 billion in 2010, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 30% over the 2006-2010 period, according to Packaged Facts. A report by the Frost & Sullivan consulting firm estimates retail sales of packaged foods free of the protein are approaching $2 billion a year in the U.S. What's more, sales are expected to continue growing—even exceeding $5 billion by the year 2015. The growth of gluten-free parallels the growth of celiac disease, a gluten intolerance that has doubled in case numbers every 15 years since 1974, according to University of Maryland study. With an increasing number of Americans diagnosed with Celiac, not to mention many more non-diagnosed individuals finding health benefits from avoiding gluten, the market has a ready audience. Brands Already Active in the Gluten-Free Market Because gluten-free products require specialty flours and premium ingredients that command higher prices, they're typically more expensive than their traditional counterparts. Yet despite that fact, they're selling fast, which is exactly why so many companies and brands are jumping in. Gluten-free sales are soaring at Cub Foods grocery stores, according to a report from Minnesota Public Radio. The chain has a website that helps shoppers create shopping lists of items that don't contain gluten, and almost every Cub now has a section dedicated to the category. Food-manufacturing giant General Mills, the company behind Cheerios and Betty Crocker, now offers hundreds of products with the gluten-free label. Kellogg has gluten-free Rice Krispies. Beer manufacturer Anheuser-Busch sells Redbridge, a gluten-free beer. There's a long list of gluten-free menu options at P.F. Chang's, a wide variety of gluten-free options at specialty grocers like Whole Foods Market (a grocery that has more than doubled its gluten-free products in the last five years) and designated sections of gluten-free products at most major supermarkets, including Kroger, Publix and Wal-Mart. The Problem for the Celiac Community Given that there's money to be made in the gluten-free marketplace as the idea grows in popularity among celebrities, athletes, etc., it's no surprise to see so many different brands jumping on board. The problem, however, is not that companies are offering gluten-free products—it's that the products labeled "gluten-free," are often cross-contaminated in production, making them still seriously unsafe for celiac patients. For patients diagnosed with celiac disease, going gluten-free is more than a trend—it's a necessity. One example of this struggle is Domino's gluten-free pizza crust, launched earlier this year, which the company itself admits it "cannot guarantee … will be completely free from gluten." For someone jumping on the gluten-free fad diet, the pizza is perfect; for someone with celiac, it's a reminder of how hard eating out can be. The same goes for Starbucks, which cannot guarantee a gluten-free environment, as well as many other retailers. What All This Means for Gluten-Free Customers There is good news on the horizon for the gluten-free community. What's so significant about the upswing in gluten-free merchandise is that the more gluten-free expands, the more variety there will be and the more that prices are likely to go down. It's the basic law of supply and demand. Whereas in 2007, low availability of gluten-free goods raised prices, soon it could be the opposite that is true. As more companies seek to gain a piece of the gluten-free pie, there will be greater options, more competition and lower price tags. "The more you produce of something, the less it costs in general in an industrial society, if you're talking about processed products," a University of Minnesota professor, Benajmin Senauer, said in an interview with Minnesota Public Radio. "And there's going to be increased competition [in the gluten-free market]."
  7. Celiac.com 02/03/2011 - Okay, so Canadians take their beer seriously. Beer being one of the few things that might stoke the passions of some Canadians almost as much as, say, hockey. So, proposed health regulations that would require beer labels to include a warning that beer is made with barley or wheat have the Canadian beer industry in a froth. Major players in the Canadian brewing industry are gearing up opposition over the proposed health regulations that would require just such labels, warning consumers that beer contains barley or wheat; something Canadian brewers liken to warning that ketchup contains tomatoes. The proposed rules are part of a larger set of regulatory changes Health Canada is seeking to make it easier for people with allergies to identify potential allergens in food ingredients. Health Canada statistics indicate that up to six per cent of children and up to four per cent of adults in Canada are believed to be affected by food allergies. People with serious allergies can go into shock or even die if they consume certain ingredients. Beer-label warnings are aimed especially at people with celiac disease. The proposed rules would require beer labels to "clearly and prominently" display a warning that says, "Allergy and intolerance information: Contains wheat." Barley-based beer labels would be required to include a warning that says, "Allergy and intolerance information: Contains barley." Canadian beer companies say the measure is not necessary, pointing out that people with celiac disease represent only about one per cent of the Canadian population, and tend to be well informed about the foods they should avoid. "These people are very well educated," said Andre Fortin, a spokesman for the Brewers Association of Canada, whose members produce 97 per cent of the beer brewed in Canada. "If a Canadian doctor diagnoses you with celiac disease, you're going to know that beer is not ideal for your system." The companies also point out small breweries might be hit especially hard by the labeling regulations. A number of breweries such as Steam Whistle Brewery and Mill St. Brewery sell their beer in vintage-style glass bottles with ceramic paint, which beer stores return to the companies, to clean and refill for reuse. Such companies might have to order new bottles to accommodate such regulations. The move could cost them millions of dollars, they say. However, for people who support allergy labeling requirements, the matter is serious. "This isn't just a bunch of fusspots," said Gwen Smith, editor of Allergic Living, a magazine and website that has long lobbied for the regulations. "This is about, 'How do I feed my children at dinner safely?' 'How do I feed myself?'" In addition to beer, new rules will apply to allergens derived from a wide range of foods, including almonds, cashews, hazelnuts, pecans, pistachios, sesame seeds, eggs, milk, soybeans, crustaceans, shellfish and fish. A review conducted nearly a decade ago for Health Canada estimated that implementing the proposed regulations would cost the Canadian food industry $102 million over two years, with annual costs of $13 million. The department expects the changes will cost the Canadian Food Inspection Agency $3 million annually, and Health Canada about $1 million per year. Health officials say that the cost of the implementing the proposed rules could be offset by some cost savings for the health-care system, since people with allergies would require less treatment. The department says the regulations are similar to those already in place in the United States, Europe, Australia and New Zealand. A spokesman said that after publication of the final version of the regulations, the food industry will have 18 months to comply. "The new labeling regulations are designed to ensure that consumers have the information they need to make appropriate choices and that this information is provided in a clear and consistent manner," the department said in a statement. Read more: Canada.com
  8. Celiac.com 07/24/2001 - In an effort to make food ingredient labels easier for everyone to understand, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is currently revising its food labeling laws. If Congress passes the current proposed legislation it will make life much easier for those with food allergies and intolerance. The Food Allergy Anaphylaxis Network (FAAN) spearheaded the yearlong label revision project and worked with 18 food companies to create voluntary guidelines for food labels that will help consumers avoid foods that could trigger an allergic reaction. The current recommended FAAN guidelines will identify the top eight allergens that cause 90 percent of food allergies, and will also avoid the use of technical food language in favor of easier to understand terms. For example, instead of using simply natural flavors on labels, the new labels would include the source of the ingredient: natural peanut or milk flavor. According to the guidelines common allergens such as peanuts, tree nuts like walnuts and pecans, fish, shellfish, eggs, milk, soy, and wheat should be clearly identified on all labels. On a positive note, the new FAAN guidelines have been voluntarily adopted by certain companies within the food industry for the benefit of the allergic consumer. Numerous consumer complaints and calls from the 6-7 million people in the USA with food allergies, not to mention the fear of lawsuits from the 150-200 people that die each year from them, were certainly motivating factors for them taking this important step. In any case, any change in food labeling practice would have to be an improvement over the present situation. The new FAAN guidelines, however, amount to only recommendations at this point, although Kelloggs and General Mills and several other companies have already adopted them. Legislation incorporating the FAAN guidelines has been proposed by representative Nita M. Lowey (D-NY) , which, if passed, would make them federal law in the USA. To encourage a stronger version of the proposed new labeling laws, contact your representatives now about this important issue!
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