Concerns about gluten migration from food packagingConcerns about gluten migration from food packaging

Recent concerns have emerged regarding gluten migration from Food Contact Materials into gluten-free food. Three independent studies conducted by the Dutch, Spanish, and Italian Coeliac Societies demonstrate that gluten can migrate from biodegradable containers into packaged or loose food.

Food Contact Materials (FCM) encompass various items such as packaging materials (e.g., wraps, containers), utensils (e.g., straws, spoons, knives), and processing equipment (e.g., tanks, conveyor belts), which come into contact with food during production, storage, or consumption. With no existing regulations mandating the labeling of allergens on FCMs in Europe, consumers, particularly those with coeliac disease, face challenges in identifying potentially harmful materials.

In the most recent Italian study, gluten levels exceeding 80 mg/kg were found in previously gluten-free lasagna after heating the packaged food in an oven. This surpasses the legislated limit for gluten-free food in Europe, currently set at 20 mg/kg. Gluten migration concerns have highlighted the potential risks associated with FCMs and underscored the need for stricter regulations to safeguard consumer health.

European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, Ms. Stella Kyriakides, has acknowledged these concerns. She highlighted the Commission's commitment to revising FCM rules to address these issues effectively.

In a press release issued on April, 2024, it is stated that the European Commission is taking proactive steps to revise European FCM regulations, aiming to bolster consumer safety and information.

Full press release: