How to Get Gluten-Free Certified
Get Gluten-Free Certification
How to Get Certified Gluten-Free for a Food or Beverage Product
It is no longer enough to claim that a product is gluten-free; it must follow the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) directive on labeling. According to this rule, manufacturers that want to label their products “gluten-free” must comply with the FDA’s new definition of the term.
To comply with this definition, the product in question must contain less than 20 parts per million gluten.
There is no compulsion to carry the gluten-free label, and there is no restriction on which foods can carry the label. Accordingly, manufacturers that label their foods as free of gluten are responsible for using the claim in an accurate and not misleading manner and for complying with the requirements established by the regulation and enforced by the FDA.
To get certified gluten-free, here are some things you need to do:
Get A Third-Party Certifier To Verify If Your Product Is Indeed Gluten-Free
This is in line with the FDA guideline that for a manufacturer to claim to have a gluten-free product, it must be certified by a third-party. There are many third-party companies that would do the verification for you.
However, All third-party certifications cost money, anywhere from $500 – $5 000, depending on your gross income. These costs cover the application and certification fee, any inspection, testing, and staff training.
Be Sure You Need It
Some foods and beverages, such as bottled spring water, fruits, vegetables, and eggs, are naturally gluten-free. However, because a “gluten-free” claim isn’t required to be on a food package, it may not appear even if the food is, in fact, gluten-free.
Because the process to get a gluten-free certification can be arduous, you need to know if it is important to have this.
Certifications are a large time investment. The audit process can take 2-6 months and require you to gather documentation from your suppliers, test your product multiple times during the production process, and pass an on-site interview and facility inspection.
Be Sure To Renew It Annually
Gluten-free certification is done annually. The procedure may be lighter on the subsequent verification, but this is not assured. However, because you are familiar with the process, you can comb through less stress and effort.
Know If Your Product Is Covered
The gluten-free regulation applies to all food products (including packaged foods, dietary supplements, fruits and vegetables, shell eggs, and fish) except those in two classes:
- Meat, poultry, and certain egg products, which are regulated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and,
- Most alcoholic beverages (all distilled spirits, wines with 7 percent or more alcohol by volume, and beverages made with malted barley and hops), which are regulated by the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB), U.S. Department of the Treasury.
It is not compulsory to label your product gluten-free. However, if you’re in a market where you need to, follow the FDA’s regulation as to labeling.