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Topic Reading-Vol.2122-2/1/2018

Dear MEL Topic Readers,
Gluten-free water and other absurd labeling trends
Gluten is a general name for the proteins found in wheat, rye, barley and related species and hybrids. Gluten helps foods maintain their shape, acting as a glue that holds food together. However, it could trigger disorders, such as wheat allergy or celiac disease, an autoimmune disorder that makes the body attack gluten in the digestive system.
If you live in or travel to America, you’ll find quite a few “gluten-free” labels on food products and descriptions on restaurant menus. Such descriptions are also found on a merchandise like water that doesn’t have gluten in the first place or service like car repair that has nothing to do with gluten.
While such food labeling assures food safety for those who need to avoid certain ingredients, it could be used to take advantage of the knowledge gap between the marketers and the customers. For example, labels like organic coffee, farm-raised salmon, or gluten-free burger may appeal higher value than un-labeled compatible products.
Do you pay any premium for such claims?
Enjoy reading and think if such labeling improves transparency and food safety.

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