Gluten-free pasta, MiSE provides clarity


Following misunderstandings by ICQRF, Mi.S.E. (Ministry of Economic Development) provides clarity on gluten-free pasta.

Pasta or no pasta? ICQRF’s dilemma

The ICQRF Northeast (Udine Office), insensitive to the memoirs of the writer, had insisted on challenging Coop Italia for using the food name ‘pasta’ on a package of ‘penne rigate mais e riso‘. (1)

According to the Friulian inspectors’ theorem, the name of the foodstuff ‘pasta’ would be reserved exclusively for products made from durum wheat semolina, which meet the characteristics set forth in Presidential Decree 187/2001. (2)

The interpretation theorized by the Inspectorate would effectively exclude the possibility of designating by its name any pasta made from raw materials other than durum wheat. Examples are numerous, including:

-maize, rice and sorghum (gluten-free),

-spelt, buckwheat (used in pizzoccheri from Valtellina.

, khorasan wheat (Kamut TM),



-legumes (chickpeas, lentils, peas, broad beans).

In the name of pasta, MiSE provides clarity

The Ministry of Economic Development, in its note 13.11.18, clarified that Presidential Decree 187/2001 – in regulating, in Art. 6, the legal designation of “durum wheat semolina pasta,” “durum wheat semolina pasta,” and “whole wheat semolina pasta”- ‘does not exclude the possibility of using the generic term “pasta” for various products such as, in this case, corn and rice pasta.‘ (3)

The generic term “pasta” is not exclusively reserved under Presidential Decree 187/2001 but can be used to designate products made with the use of other raw materials and other processing methods as long as these differences are brought to the attention of the consumer (e.g., almond paste, anchovy paste, puff pastry, etc., but also e.g., whole wheat pasta).‘ (Mi.S.E., note 13.11.18)

In support of this interpretation, it is pointed out that ”the Ministry of Health in updating, with the Ministerial Decree of August 10, 2018, Article 2, the dispensable categories of gluten-free foods specifically formulated for celiacs has provided in paragraph 1, letter b) the foods “pasta and related; pizza and related; ready meals based on pasta”; legitimizing the use of the term “pasta” to indicate substitutes for that of durum wheat semolina‘.

With specific reference to gluten-free products, we finally recall the circular 22.7.16 of MiSE, Ministry of Health and Mipaaf. Where – in providing clarification on the application of Regulation (EU) No. 828/2014 on requirements regarding consumer information on the absence of gluten or its presence to a reduced extent in food – it is confirmed that

it is possible to produce and call “bread” or “pasta” by spending the voluntary wording “gluten-free” accompanied by the words “specifically formulated for people intolerant to gluten” (or alternatively “specifically formulated for celiacs”) foods intended to replace bread or pasta prepared with deglutenized raw materials and/or with flours, including their derivatives, other than wheat‘.

Fiat Pasta! (4)

Dario Dongo


(1) On the name of the food and the applicable rules, see Art.

(2) See Presidential Decree March 5, 2013, no. 41, Regulations on amendments to Presidential Decree Feb. 9, 2001, no. 187, concerning the revision of the regulations on the production and marketing of flour and pasta products. At

(3) Cf. Mi.S.E., Directorate General for Industrial Policy, Competitiveness and Small and Medium Enterprises, Division VII (Food, Made in Italy and Creative Industries), document mise.AOO_PIT.REGISTRO UFFICIALE.U.0389240.13-11-18

(4) Rather, the ICQRF should, in the writer’s humble opinion, deal with cases where the food name refers to only one ingredient (of higher value and value) and instead also contains other ingredients (of lower value and production cost). See, in this regard, the example given in