What is gluten?


Gluten is a protein composed of a mixture of “glutelin” and “giadin”. When combined the result is a gluey substance. Foods that contain gluten come from the botanical family, Triticum spp, also known as the wheat family. The wheat family includes: wheat, oats, barley, rye, spelt, kamut, and triticale. Food products containing any of these ingredients may contain gluten.

In 2007, FDA proposed to allow manufacturers to label a food “gluten-free” if the food does not contain any of the following:

  • an ingredient that is any type of wheat, rye, barley, or crossbreeds of these grains
  • an ingredient derived from these grains and that has not been processed to remove gluten
  • an ingredient derived from these grains and that has been processed to remove gluten, if it results in the food containing 20 or more parts per million (ppm) gluten
  • 20 ppm or more gluten
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