It seems like gluten-free products are everywhere nowadays. But gluten-free products aren’t just the latest fad — they are a necessity for people who suffer from gluten intolerance or gluten sensitivity.
Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye and barley that is responsible for the elastic nature of dough. For many people this protein is easily digestible and has no effect on their overall health. But for those with any type of gluten intolerance, the ramifications of eating gluten can range from constipation and bloating to diarrhea and malabsorption, which can result in malnutrition. For individuals with gluten intolerance or celiac disease, a gluten-free diet is essential.
To help consumers who are looking for gluten-free products, NSF International has developed a science-based gluten-free certification program.
Gluten-Free Dietary Supplements
NSF International completed a survey of nearly 1,000 American consumers and found 68 percent don’t realize dietary supplements could contain gluten. Wheat is often used as a filler in dietary supplements. This is why it is important to look for “gluten-free certified” products that undergo robust auditing, testing and certification. NSF International has a gluten-free certification program and has tested and certified 73 different dietary supplements – including probiotic products. View NSF International’s list of certified gluten-free dietary supplements.
How Do Products Become Certified?
To earn gluten-free certification under this program, companies must have a gluten-free compliance plan and undergo onsite inspections of their production and handling facilities. During the onsite audit, accredited inspectors collect a random sample of each product for testing to confirm gluten-free integrity of 20 parts per million (ppm) or less. In addition, the inspector verifies that the company is conducting the appropriate raw ingredient testing or that raw ingredients are being sourced from an NSF International certified gluten-free supplier.
The onsite audit requirement also helps verify that product manufacturers and handlers have procedures to prevent contamination and commingling, which is critically important for those with gluten allergies and gluten-intolerance. Like with all NSF International certification programs, monitoring for ongoing compliance with the standard is an essential part of certification and includes annual manufacturing facility inspections and product testing.
If you would like confirmation of a product’s NSF International gluten-free certification, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call +1 734.418.6612.