Food & Nutrition Analysis:

Legislation Allergens

Legislation dictating the ingredients of concern and labelling rules changes incredibly frequently. Commission Directive 2003/89/EC (particularly Annex IIIa) lists the full 14 allergens required to be labelled if present.

Codex Alimentarius Stan 118 – 1979 (Download Codex Standard Gluten PDF) has defined the rules surrounding gluten-free labelling for a number of years. This was elevated to formal legislation by Gluten Regulation EC 41/2009 (Download “Comm Reg EU 41 2009 gluten”). This regulation stipulates the following: Any product pertaining to be ‘gluten-free’ must have less than 20ppm gluten content. Products designed specifically for a gluten intolerant diet and with between 20 and 100ppm gluten content may be labelled ‘very low gluten’. The regulation also refers to the Codex standard which endorses a particular test methodology, the R5 antibody with Mendez Cocktail Extraction. The Mendez Cocktail Extraction is particularly important since this has been proven to dramatically increase the efficiency of the extraction of gluten from the sample. Other methods which use, for example, ethanol extractions, may only recover a third of the gluten and cause underreporting of any presence. SYNLAB’s routine UKAS accredited test (MET021) uses the R5 method.

EU Regulation 1169/2011 in which came into force December 2014 (Download “New Food Legislation 2014”) and followed 3 years of notice during which foodservice and providers of ‘foods sold loose’ were to prepare for considerable change in allergen labelling rules. For the first time, labelling of the 14 allergens listed in Annex IIIa of Commission Directive 2003/89/EC are relevant to the foodservice industry. The regulation is aimed at bringing all food labelling rules into one place including allergen, nutrition and description claims.

At SYNLAB we have a number of services and products which can help foodservice clients as well as manufacturers comply with this legislation and satisfy any external audits. Please contact us for assistance. A number of tools to help you are also available from our Library section.

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