After having analyzed the rules - and reported abuses - on the wording 'gluten free', è Now di consider the theme 'lactose-free'. Indication that the Ministry of Health only admits on dairy products and instead today is also found onadvertisements of panettone (!). THE'ABC of rules.
'Free from', gluten e lactose
The endorsements'free from'- on the label of food products - they express the absence of certain substances (eg. pesticide residues) or ingredients (eg. GM, Palm oil). These are voluntary indications, generally without specific discipline and therefore subject to the general criteria of loyalty and transparency of information to the consumer. (1)
Indications relating to gluten and lactose on the other hand, they follow specific rules, which derive from the previous regulations governing products intended for a particular diet. (2) These rules respond to the need of some vulnerable categories of consumers to receive accurate information, according to homogeneous parameters.
The absence or the reduced content gluten and lactose, consequently, they can be boasted only on some products, in compliance with specific criteria that express precise meanings. (3) Precisely because it is about https://www.greatitalianfoodtrade.it/etichette/controlli-il-ruolo-dellamministrazione-sanitaria/, the content of which cannot be left to the discretion of individual operators.
'Lactose-free''low in lactose'. What rules?
Il Ministry of Health clarified, with special circulars, the conditions for the use of the wording on the label 'lactose-free' is 'low in lactose'. Specifying first of all that such information is reserved for 'milks and dairy products'.
'Given the existing situation, consider aeven the parryand EFSA of 2010 and that of the Single Commission on Dietetics and Nutrition of 12 June 2015, the indication "senza lattosio "può be used for milk and dairy products with a residuor lower lactose to 0,1 g per 100 g or ml, in waiting che la questione venga harmonized a European level.
To use the aforementioned indication, the products in question must carry the information on the label on the specification sresidual lactose in the “less than” type. The threshold indicateda deve turn out anyway lesse a 0,1g per 100g o 100ml.
Only for milks and fermented milks può be used the indication "with reduced Iat contenttosio" sixl residueor disaccharide is lower to 0,5 g per 100 g or ml. On the labels of these products it must be stated that the lactose content is "less than 0,5g per 100g or me".
For foend precise information ai Consumers on the contents of "lactose-free" delactosed products or "a reducedo Iactose content ", must be reported on the label anche an indication such as "iI product contains glucose and galactose as a consequence of the lact breakdowndonkey".(4)
The long aging of the cheeses - eg. Parmigiano Reggiano, Grana Padano, Provolone Valpadana - in turn, it allows for significant reductions in their lactose content. The Ministry of Health has therefore clarified, also in relation to these products, the methods of informing the consumer.
'In dairy products in which the usual production process leads to the elimination or reduction of the lactose content, the following indications can be reported on the label (under the same conditions defined for delactosed products):
1) "Naturmenlactose-free tea "(or equivalent expression) when the thore residualor Iactose, to be reported on the labelIs lesse at 0,1 g / 100 g;
2) "of coursetand reduced lactose content (or equivalent expression) when the thore residualor lactose, to be reported on the label, é "Inferiore at 0,5 g / 100 / g ".
For both categoriesand products must be reported on the label:
- that the absence of lactose or its reduced presence are a "natural" consequence of the typical manufacturing process with which the cheese in question is obtained;
- an indication such as "contains galattosio".
Only in the case of “naturally lactose-free” products, if we believe we can quantify and guarantee una maximum residual threshold of galactose, pA term like “contains galactose in quantity can be used as an alternative to the previous one lessea ... "in order to provide precise information also for an eventualand usor by galactosemics.'(5)
Footnotes to the story
(1) Refers to reg. EU 1169/11 (articles 7 and 36) and the directive on unfair commercial practices (dir. 2002/29 / EC), implemented in Italy through the Consumer Code (Legislative Decree 206/05) and Legislative Decree 145/07. See also the previous article
(2) See Dir. 2009/39 / EC, repealed by reg. EU 609/2013
(3) And it is therefore completely inadmissible, for example, to report the absence of gluten on tea-based drinks. See the article https://www.greatitalianfoodtrade.it/etichette/tè-gluten free
(4) Ministry of Health, DGISAN, Circular 7.7.15 (27673-P)
(5) Ministry of Health, DGISAN, Circular 16.6.16 (24708-P)
Dario Dongo, lawyer and journalist, PhD in international food law, founder of WIISE (FARE - GIFT - Food Times) and Égalité.