ingredient information
Mono and Diglycerides
Simply put, mono- and diglycerides are fats. They are made from oil,usually soybean, cottonseed, sunflower, or palm oil, act as emulsifiers (provide a consistent texture and prevent separation), and are used in most baked products to keep them from getting stale. In ice cream and other processed foods, including margarine, instant potatoes, and chewing gum, they serve as stabilizers, which give foods body and improve consistency. Mono and diglycerides themselves do not contain gluten, but mono and diglycerides are almost always on lists of questionable foods for celiacs because of the possibility that wheat might be used with them as a carrier. Under FDA regulations, a carrier used with mono and diglycerides in this manner would fall into the incidental additive category. Additives are considered incidental when they are present in insignificant amounts and have no technical or functional effect on the final food product. FDA regulations, which generally require that all ingredients of a food be listed on the label, do allow certain incidental additives to be left off the label. However, recent concern about allergens has led the FDA to warn food manufacturers that it does not consider the eight most common food allergens (eggs, fish, milk, peanuts, shellfish, soy, tree nuts, and wheat) eligible for this labeling exemption. The FDA first clarified the exemption in 1996 in response to a growing number of reports of allergic reactions from foods that according to their label should have been allergen free. Now, the FDA has updated that clarification in a compliance policy guide for the food industry that says incidental additives containing common food allergens have never been considered eligible for the exemption. The Food Allergy Issues Alliance, a group of food trade associations and consumer interest groups, in May issued labeling guidelines that say incidental additives should be on the label. For celiacs this means that if wheat is used as a carrier for mono and diglycerides, it has to be declared on the label. All this would seem to indicate that celiacs can remove mono and diglycerides from any suspicious or questionable food lists and still feel safe. Source: