Food labels. On “gluten-free” new rules from July 2016


As of July 20, 2016, gluten-free foods-hitherto classified as dietetic foods-merge into the category of common foods, as stipulated in EU Regulation 609/2013, which repealed Directive 2009/39/EC on ADAPs (Dietary foods and foods for particular nutritional uses).

Registration lapsed

As a result of the new legislation, the requirement to register and notify the Ministry of Health for foods labeled as “gluten-free,” that is, with a maximum gluten residue of less than 20 mg/kg, made from naturally gluten-free raw materials or subjected to a deglutinization process, is no longer required.

The new label claims

The new terms allowed to qualify gluten-free or gluten-reduced foods are already usable, as clarified by the note issued on July 7, 2015, by the Ministry of Health.

And they are:

1 – “gluten-free”. This indication may be followed by the words

  • “suitable for people intolerant to gluten” or
  • “suitable for celiacs,” if the food is naturally gluten-free (thus not specifically formulated for celiacs).

2 – “with very low gluten content.” This claim can be used only for foods containing deglutinized ingredients in the composition.

Foods specially formulated for people with celiac disease

However, a further differentiation is provided in Article 3 of Regulation 828/2014, which allows for two additional wordings:

1 – “specifically formulated for people intolerant to gluten”

2 – “specifically formulated for celiac disease.”

Such mentions are allowed if the food is produced, prepared and/or processed for the purpose of:

(a) reduce the gluten content of one or more gluten-containing ingredients; or

(b) Replace gluten-containing ingredients with other ingredients that are naturally gluten-free.

The two statements follow either “gluten-free” or “very low gluten content.”