Canadian Celiac Association

Celiac News

July 2001

Good News About Enriching Gluten-Free Foods in Canada

Background 

Most gluten-free flours, breads, pasta products, breakfast cereals and baked goods available on the Canadian market are much lower in vitamins, mineral nutrients and fibre than the gluten-containing products they replace. As a result, people with celiac disease, who must consume a strict gluten-free diet for life, may not be receiving optimum nutrition from their diets.

The Good News

Canada’s Food and Drug Regulations allow the enrichment of gluten-free foods sold in Canada.  The Regulation [D.03.003] states that in order to qualify for enrichment, all three of the following conditions must be met:

  • The food must be a gluten-free food.
    Canada’s Food and Drug Regulations  [B.24.018] describe a gluten-free food as follows: “No person shall label, package, sell or advertise a food in a manner likely to create an impression that it is a gluten-free food unless the food does not contain wheat, including spelt and kamut, or oats, barley, rye or triticale or any part thereof.

  • No standard is prescribed in these Regulations for the food.
    Gluten-free foods do not have prescribed standards in the Food and Drug Regulations, so this is not a problem.

  • The food is not advertised to the general public.

For the purpose of these Regulations, individuals with celiac disease are not regarded as the “general public”. Therefore, gluten-free foods may be advertised in magazines, newsletters, etc., that is targeted to individuals with celiac disease or others requiring a gluten-free diet.

Enrichment Levels

Health Canada recommends that if cereal-based gluten-free foods are enriched, they should be enriched to the same levels as similar non-gluten-free products, e.g., gluten-free flours be enriched to the same levels as enriched flour; gluten-free breads to the same levels as enriched bread, etc. Bakery products and snack foods should have levels of enrichment corresponding to the amount of flour replaced. Enrichment levels for standardized wheat flour, bread, alimentary pastes (such as macaroni, spaghetti, noodles, etc.), and breakfast cereals are attached as an appendix.

Labelling Requirements

Gluten-free products that have been enriched must be labelled “gluten-free”. This statement must appear on the principal display panel in close proximity to the common name of the food, e.g., “enriched rice bread”, "gluten-free”, or as part of the common name, e.g., “gluten-free enriched rice bread”. If rice flour were fortified “gluten-free enriched rice flour” would be an acceptable common name.

All vitamin and mineral nutrient preparations added to a gluten-free products must be identified by their correct common names in the ingredient list, and all of the nutrients must be declared in the nutrition panel as a percentage of the Recommended Daily Intake. Information on acceptable sources of fibre and the claims that can be made for them may be obtained from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency web site at:

http://www.inspection.gc.ca/english/bureau/labeti/guide/6e.pfd

Healthy Tips for Food Manufacturers

The Canadian Celiac Association encourages manufacturers producing gluten-free foods for the Canadian market to take their customers’ health to heart, and make gluten-free flours, baked goods, pasta products and breakfast cereals more nourishing. Food manufacturers must ensure that all of the vitamin and mineral preparations and fibre sources they add to their gluten-free products are completely free of gluten. It is also essential that dedicated production lines be used in the manufacture of gluten-free foods, to prevent contamination with gluten-containing flours.

For more information on enrichment, labelling and compliance of gluten-free foods in Canada,  please contact the office of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency nearest you or use the CFIA Food Labelling Service at::

http://www.inspection.gc.ca/english/bureau/labeti/guide/1-0-1e.shtml#offbur

Appendix

Enrichment Levels of Enriched White Flour in Canada

 [Food and Drug Regulation: B.13.001(d) and (e)]

Enriched white flour shall contain, in 100 grams of flour:
    0.64 milligram of thiamine,
    0.40 milligram of riboflavin,
    5.30 milligrams of niacin or niacinamide,
    0.15 milligram of folic acid, and
    4.4 milligrams of iron.

Enriched white flour may contain, in 100 grams of flour:
    0.31 milligram of vitamin B6,
    1.3 milligrams of d-pantothenic acid,
    190 milligrams of magnesium, and
    140 milligrams of calcium from calcium carbonate, edible bone meal, chalk (B.P.), ground limestone or calcium sulphate.

Enrichment Levels of Enriched White Bread in Canada

[Food and Drug Regulation: B.13.022 (b) and (c)]

Enriched white bread shall contain:

   i) for each 100 parts of flour used, not less than
      - two parts by weight of skim milk solids, or
      - four parts by weight of dried whey powder, or
      - protein from peas (Pisum sativum) or soybeans (Glycine max) which will provide 0.5 parts by weight of protein

  ii) in 100 grams of bread,
      - 0.40 milligram of thiamine
      - 0.24 milligram of riboflavin
      - 3.3 milligrams of niacin or niacinamide
      - 0.10 milligram of folic acid, and
      - 2.76 milligrams of iron.

Enriched white bread may contain, in 100 grams of bread:
     0.14 milligram of vitamin B6
     0.6 milligrams of d-pantothenic acid,
     90 milligrams of magnesium, and
     66 milligrams of calcium.

Enrichment Levels for Alimentary Paste in Canada

[Food and Drug Regulation: B.13.052(2)]

No person shall represent an alimentary paste as “enriched” unless the alimentary paste (e.g., macaroni, spaghetti, noodles, etc.) contains added thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, folic acid and iron, in accordance with the following table.

Item Column I
Added Vitamin or Mineral Nutrient
Column II
Minimum Amount per 100 g of Alimentary Paste
Column III
Maximum Amount per 100 g of Alimentary Paste
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
Thiamine
Riboflavin
Niacin
Folic Acid
Pantothenic Acid
Vitamin B6
Iron
Magnesium   
   0.63  mg
   0.11  mg
   5.90  mg
   0.20  mg
   1.00  mg
   0.40  mg
   2.90  mg
150.00 mg
   1.50  mg
   0.60  mg
   7.50  mg
   0.27  mg
   2.00  mg
   0.80  mg
   4.30  mg
300.00 mg

 

Enrichment Levels for Breakfast Cereals in Canada

[Food and Drug Regulation: B.13.060]

No person shall sell a breakfast cereal to which a vitamin or mineral nutrient set out in column I of the following table has been added, either singly or in any combination, unless each 100 g of the breakfast cereal contains the added vitamin or mineral nutrient in the amount set in column II of that item.

Item Column I
Vitamin or Mineral Nutrient 
Column II
Amount per 100 g of Breakfast Cereal
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
Thiamine
Niacin
Vitamin B6
Folic Acid
Pantothenic Acid
Magnesium
Iron
Zinc 
 2.0    mg
 4.8    mg
 0.6    mg
 0.06  mg
 1.6    mg
 160.0  mg
 13.3  mg
  3.5    mg

 

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