The NSW Food Authority has tested 222 products bearing ‘gluten free’ labelling claims that were purchased from retail outlets across Sydney in 2010, and found 95% compliance with the legislative requirements for making such claims in Australia.
Samples were analysed by the Division of Analytical Laboratories (DAL) using the Biokits Gluten Assay Kit which is an accredited AOAC Official Method with a limit of reporting of 3 ppm. Levels of gluten ranging from 3ppm to 46ppm were detected in 11 products sampled. However, these concentrations are not deemed to present a health and safety issue for people with coeliac disease. The products that did contain gluten included four samples of bread and bread mix, five samples of cereal and cereal products, one biscuit sample and one ready-to-eat mixed meal.
The Authority maintain they have taken regulatory action in keeping with the level of risk presented by the amount of gluten present in the products, which has included a written notification to the manufacturers of those products advising them to take immediate remedial action to ensure their products were compliant. The Authority will conduct follow-up testing on those products in the future to determine whether appropriate action has been taken.
The results from this survey are similar to those from the Authority’s 2008 gluten free labelling survey where 95.3% of samples tested contained no detectable gluten.
The report of the survey ‘Presence of gluten in foods labelled ‘gluten free’ 2010′ is available on the NSW Food Authority website.