Gluten-Free Diet Answer Key

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  1. What does the term gluten-free mean?

It means the product is less than 20-parts per million of gluten.

  1. When the U.S. Food and Drug Administration surveyed food products labeled “gluten free,” what percentage met that definition?

Almost 99% of the products on the market indeed fell below 20-parts per million of gluten.

  1. What do additional specific certifications ensure?

Not much.  Currently, research has found no significant difference in the gluten-free nature of products, whether they were just labeled gluten-free or they had a specific certification.  If you are looking for less than 20-parts per million – such as less than 5-parts per million – then special certification might be useful.

  1. Generally speaking, which of the following foods are safe for celiac disease patients?

Malt: No

Yeast extract: Yes

Distilled vinegar: Yes

Maltose: Yes

Malt extract: No

Alcohol – Distilled liquor and wine: yes; beer or cider only if these contain gluten-free ingredients; alcoholic beverages that say processed to remove gluten: No

Maltodextrin: Yes

Caramel colors: Yes

Malt syrup: No

Natural flavors: Yes

Dextrin: Yes

Malt flavor: No

  1. When a label warns that a product was made in a facility that also processes gluten, what does this mean?

Not much. This is a voluntarily label – the presence of such a statement does not mean it contains allergen, and the absence of a statement does not mean it is in a dedicated facility. The FDA found that products that contain oats, and some other products such as cereals, were actually more likely to be contaminated if they had this warning.

  1. About how much gluten does it take to damage the villi of most people with celiac disease?

About an eighth of a teaspoon of wheat flour contains enough gluten to damage the villi of most people with celiac disease. There are a portion of people with celiac who cannot even tolerate this much, but the vast majority that can tolerate this amount is how the 20-parts per million was determined.

  1. What is one question you can ask at a restaurant that will provide you with a lot of great information?

How do you prevent cross-contact with your gluten-containing menu items?

  1. Can you absorb gluten through your skin?

No, you cannot absorb it through your skin.