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Gluten Free Watchdog - Gluten Free Food Testing
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Gluten Free Watchdog - Gluten Free Food Testing


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  • 1. Introduction to Gluten Free
  • 2. Why GFW Was Started Gluten Free Watchdog, LLC (GFW) was founded by Tricia Thompson, MS, RD, to make state-of-the-art gluten-free food testing data available directly to you, the consumer It is our hope that independently testing labeled gluten-free products and making results publicly available will allow you to feel more confident in the products you buy GFW tests foods that are labeled gluten-free All test results are posted, regardless of findings
  • 3. The GFW Testing Protocol Food products are purchased from store shelves & through mail-order For each specific product tested three samples (eg, 3 packages of noodles, 3 boxes of cereals, 3 bags of chips) are purchased Samples are sent unopened to Bia Diagnostics, an independent food testing laboratory Samples are tested in duplicate using the standard sandwich R5 ELISA (R7001 Ridascreen Gliadin) and extracted with the cocktail solution (Art. No. R7006, official R5- Mendez method)
  • 4. Why Use the R5 ELISA? Presently, the R5 ELISA (R7001 Ridascreen Gliadin) is widely regarded as the best available validated ELISA for assessing final food product for gluten The R5 ELISA is one of only two commercially available ELISAs validated at the levels used for regulatory purposes and official governmental methods (the other is the Morinaga Wheat Protein ELISA) The R5 ELISA is included in the FDA’s proposed gluten-free labeling rule as a possible method for rule enforcement
  • 5. Why Test 3 Samples? Ideally every package, box, or bag of product would be tested before hitting the grocery shelves; however, that’s simply not practical Testing three samples represents a practical compromise that gives us a better "picture" of the gluten content of a product than just one sample Regardless, this is a snapshot of the gluten content of a particular product at one point in time and may not be representative of all samples
  • 6. Why Test in Duplicate? Testing each sample in duplicate does two things: it helps guard against laboratory error and it helps ensure that the sample tested is homogenized Homogenization means that any contaminant (in this case gluten) is well distributed within the sample If the results of the two extractions are fairly similar a reasonable amount of confidence can be placed in the results
  • 7. Summary Test Results As of February 15, 2012 Gluten Free Watchdog has tested 150 packages of labeled gluten-free food (representing 50 different products) Each sample was tested in duplicate for a total of 300 extractions Of the 300 extractions, 268 (89%) tested < 5 ppm gluten 15 extractions (5%) tested between 5 and < 20 ppm gluten (range 6 to 18 ppm) 17 extractions (6%) tested > 20 ppm gluten (range 26 to well over 100 ppm gluten)
  • 8. Foods Testing > 20 ppm Under the FDA’s proposed rule, food labeled gluten-free must contain less than 20 ppm gluten Four foods labeled gluten-free & tested by GFW tested >20 ppm gluten, including foods in the following categories – Tortillas – Cookies – Hot cereals – Breads One food containing >20 ppm carried the Certified Gluten-Free mark on product packaging*Specific test results, including brands, are available to subscribers of GFW only
  • 9. Lessons Learned Vast majority of food has tested < 20 ppm gluten When foods labeled gluten-free either test high for gluten or contain gluten ingredients, manufacturers are contacted by GFW Small but significant number of manufacturers who label food gluten-free – Are unaware that malt ingredients are NOT allowed in food labeled gluten-free under the proposed FDA rule; and/or – Continue to test for gluten using the omega-gliadin (Skerritt) ELISA which does not detect barley; and/or – Are unaware that naturally gluten-free grains, such as millet can be contaminated with gluten; and/or – Use oat ingredients that are not certified gluten-free
  • 10. GFW Needs Your Support! Food testing is an expensive proposition If the service provided by Gluten Free Watchdog is important to you, please consider subscribing or sponsoring the site Visit for more information
  • 11. Thank you!