Year In Review: 2020 Food, Beverage & Supplement Litigation Round-Up

FDA Issues Finalized Rule on How Gluten-Free Fermented and Hydrolyzed Foods are Labeled -

On August 12, 2020, the FDA issued a final rule, known as “Gluten-Free Labeling of Fermented or Hydrolyzed Foods,” which established compliance requirements for fermented and hydrolyzed foods, or foods that contain fermented or hydrolyzed ingredients claiming to be “gluten-free.” Some of the foods included in the rule are pickles, cheese, green olives, yogurt, sauerkraut, FDA-regulated beers and wines, and hydrolyzed plant proteins used to improve texture or flavor in processed foods.

The rule points to an inability to sufficiently detect and quantify through testing, gluten proteins in hydrolyzed and fermented foods no longer being intact. Therefore, the FDA will utilize records kept by the manufacturer demonstrating their foods to be gluten-free before fermentation or hydrolysis to determine compliance. The rule also includes a discussion of compliance for distilled foods.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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