About the Gluten-Free Manufacturing Program (GFMP)
The Gluten-Free Manufacturing Program (GFMP) is a voluntary program developed by industry experts with standards founded on globally accepted preventative, gluten-free safety approaches for the manufacturing of gluten-free products. Once established, the program will support and enhance the marketing of a manufacturer’s gluten-free production capabilities and offers endorsements from the leading Celiac Association organizations in the United States and Canada.
Brand owners producing gluten-free products directly through a manufacturing facility participating in the GFMP can enter into a licence agreement with GFMP and receive the GFMP Certified Mark of Trust™ displaying products as certified, safe and reliable.
The Program Was Established in 2004
In 2004 the National Celiac Association (NCA) established the Gluten-Free Manufacturing Program (GFMP) and was the first program in North America to recognize manufacturers and brand owners that meet the strictest criteria of “WBRO-Free (free of wheat, barley, rye, and oats – specially processed gluten-free oats accepted) in Product, Processing and Packaging,” while also providing advocacy and education for those people suffering from celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivities.
- Be an established leader and innovator within the gluten-free certification industry driven to support the ever-growing needs of our customers’ gluten-free food safety requirements.
- Create a practical gluten-free standard for all manufacturing sectors that is recognized and supported by leading celiac associations and allergen organizations around the world.
- Provide our customers with gluten-free certification at the most affordable price and delivered with excellent customer service standards.
- Supply value-add services to our customers by promoting them to the celiac community, wider public and grocery retail organizations.
GFMP provides Standards and best practices recognized by the gluten-free community to help our customers address the prevention and control of gluten cross-contamination and help augment existing gluten-free production procedures.
GFMP is the only gluten-free certification company that offers a seamless and practical approach to certification. Certification focuses on a manufacturing facility’s production processes and procedures and management systems to ensure gluten-free products they produce meets the regulatory and gluten-free food safety requirements when making gluten-free claims on product packaging.
We streamline how we get to know your gluten-free business processes and brand standards through a set of evaluation questionnaires. We also take into consideration other recognized food-safety standards and certifications that may already exist within your company’s manufacturing systems that comply with the operational requirements and guidelines recommended by the GFMP.
The GFMP certifies both dedicated and non-dedicated gluten-free production facilities so long as those facilities conform with the requirements as set out in the GFMP Standards and Manual.
Complimentary Marketing and PR Services
- Included with certification, each GFMP certified customer will receive electronic copies of the GFMP Certified Mark of Trust™ logos and messaging for use on your product packaging and in marketing and communications, websites and other social media networks to help clearly promote your products as ‘certified gluten-free’.
- Each customer receives free products listing on our www.gf-finder.com website to promote your products to the celiac community, wider gluten-free consumer audience and grocery retail organizations.
How to Become GF-Certified
- Apply to the program online or directly with a GFMP representative and receive the program technical documents and requirements.
- Sign a GFMP Program Licence Agreement confirming the terms for your participation in the program.
- Schedule your certification review.
- Receive your ‘GFMP Certificate of Recognition’ notifying that your gluten-free products meet the National Celiac Association requirements for certification.
Annual Renewal Review
- Ongoing participation in the GFMP requires an annual certification audit/review.
- Renewals are schedule at least 3 months prior to the expiry date of your current GF-Certified certificate.
A GFMP representatives will work closely with you and provide the neccessary support and guidance throughout the certification process as required.
GFMP Certified Mark of Trust™
Displaying the GFMP Certified Mark of Trust™ on product packaging gives added assurance to consumers looking for safe, reliable gluten-free products they can trust
GFMP Certified Mark of Trust™ is easily identifiable and meets North American and worldwide gluten-free trademark regulations. It shows consumers that the manufacturer and brand owners have approved gluten-free manufacturing standards in place, and verification testing has been performed that meets the highest GFMP standard of 5ppm or less.
GFMP is endorsed by the National Celiac Association. The value of the endorsement provides gluten-free brand owners with the kind of exposure needed to effectively market and communicate with the gluten-free community to help build genuine relationships and maximize long-term customer loyalty.
The Premier Choice for Gluten-Free Certification
GFMP supports businesses of all sizes and sectors through a uniquely tailored approach and at a most affordable cost. Certification costs are generally based on the number of products to be certified in the program and affordable for our high-volume customers.
When you work with GFMP, know that you are working with an organization that is committed to helping our customers remain competitive in the ever-growing gluten-free market and achieve lasting brand loyalty.
Our staff is at your disposal to answer questions and navigate the decisions toward achieving certification for your organization.
Please contact us for more information or to request a quote for certification.
Professional Training for the Gluten-Free Manufacturing Program (GFMP) Standards
The GFMP is in the process of developing and supplying a comprehensive range of training in association with the GFMP training provider.
As we are in the process of finalising these courses please contact GFFP for more information.
GFMP Internal External Auditor Training (coming soon)
The GF-Smart online auditor’s training course will cover the GFMP standards for internal and external auditors. Our standards are a bolt-on to any food safety program and concentrates on the gluten-free aspect of maintaining safe gluten-free food.
HACCP Training Forms and Videos (coming soon)
GFMP recognizes that the core requirements of Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points (HACCP) is a complementary skill set that’s needed to effectively implement the GFMP standards.
If you are in the process of developing a HACCP program, or if any employee is required to upskill their knowledge we would recommend the upcoming course.
GFMP Certification FAQ
Gluten-Free Technical Information
The GFMP Standards are Cross Referenced to the Codex Requirements and FDA Requirements
In July 2008, the Codex Alimentarius Commission revised the Codex Standard for Foods for Special Dietary Use for Persons Intolerant to Gluten, Codex Standard 118-1979. This Standard encompasses foods bearing a “Gluten-Free” claim for international trade for voluntary use in the labeling of foods on August 2, 2013. This rule applies to all FDA regulated foods, including dietary supplements. The rule excludes those foods whose labeling is regulated by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB).
Both FDA and Codex definitions are similar in their requirements for the voluntary labeling of gluten-free foods. After careful study of these definitions, GFMP and the NCA remains committed to a more stringent definition for purposes of the Gluten-Free Manufacturing Program.
The GFMP requires a product to be completely devoid of the toxic amino acid sequences in Wheat, Barley, and Rye (“WBR”) and/or their hybrids and derivatives in product, processing, and packaging in order to display the GFMP Certified Mark of Trust™. Such a definition is meaningful; no WBR based ingredients or additives are incorporated into the product. It is consistent; products must continually conform to the standard. It is verifiable; the testing of ingredients and products using the most sensitive and appropriate cross-reactive measure assures the gluten-free status. Through these stringent requirements, the GFMP definition affords the most protection for the consumer affected by celiac disease.
GFMP Gluten Testing Requirements
Both the Codex and FDA definitions allow ingredients “derived from a prohibited grain that has been processed to remove gluten (e.g. wheat starch)” and use standard ELISA technology to determine gluten content. Such testing methods cannot reliably detect gluten in highly processed grain-derived ingredients and may seriously underestimate the gluten content. Presently, the only reliable method to test such products is the use of mass spectrometry. Therefore, the GFMP requires validation of the absence of the toxic amino acid sequences in ingredients processed to remove gluten through mass spectrometry as the only acceptable assurance the ingredient is a risk-free choice.
Both the Codex and FDA definitions would allow labeling food as ‘gluten-free’ if it contains less than 20 parts per million (ppm) gluten. The intent of the 20ppm level is to allow for the unavoidable presence of gluten in food due to contact with a gluten-containing food. It does NOT allow intentional use of minute amounts of gluten-containing ingredients. However, if a product contains no gluten-containing grains, hybrids or derivatives in any form, and there has been no cross-contact with these grains in processing and packaging, there will be no detectable gluten in the product at any level of testing.
In the GFMP, testing is performed, not to qualify a product as ‘gluten-free’ but to assure that no trace amounts of gluten are present due to cross-contact with ingredients or the finished product. Products must test at or below the level of quantification (BLQ) set by the GFMP and National Celiac Association to qualify for GFMP certification. Products are tested using the most sensitive measure available that is appropriate to the product.
Products certified in the GFMP are to be tested using peer-reviewed published methods (AOAC certified or equivalent) that can reliably detect gluten from rye, barley and wheat and their sub-cultivars at or below a 5 parts-per-million (ppm) threshold. If using an AOAC certified method or equivalent, these methods will not be validated with all possible matrices and their certification has only proven applicability of the method under certain controlled conditions; therefore, it is up to the reference laboratory to perform this function for all new matrices.
Validation should indicate that a spiked sample with a known amount of gluten shows an ideal recovery between 80%-120% compared to the spike alone. Extraction protocols may vary depending on the matrix and the most effective method of extraction should be employed when analyzing any food source (i.e. best % recovery when spiked). Competitive ELISA Peptide Gluten/Gliadin Analysis or equivalent method (i.e. LC-MS/MS) should be employed on matrixes that are subject to enzyme digestion or hydrolyzation. Products with one or more ingredients derived from a gluten-containing grain and that has been processed to remove gluten must show the absence of toxic peptide sequences.
Presently common oats are also eliminated from products qualifying for the GFMP. The Codex definition leaves the allowance of pure, uncontaminated oats to be determined at the national level. The FDA has chosen to allow pure, uncontaminated oats in foods labeled ‘gluten-free’ in the United States. However, there is scientific and anecdotal data to support the assertion that a subgroup of persons with celiac disease is sensitive to the prolamin sequence in some varieties of oats.
Currently, it is impossible to determine which celiacs are potentially oat sensitive. Coupled with the fact that consistently pure oats uncontaminated by wheat, barley, and to a lesser extent rye, are still limited in availability, the GFMP does not consider oats to be a risk-free choice for all celiacs at this time. Some celiacs choose to eat oats as a part of their self-managed celiac diet. For this reason, the GFMP continues to work with producers and companies to provide pure oats uncontaminated with wheat, barley and/or rye, and to develop varieties of oats that are tolerated by all celiacs.