The legal status of gluten-free beer

Joy Dubost (1); (1) Beer Institute,

IBD Symposium
Tuesday, August 16  •  8:15–11:30 a.m.
Tower Building, Second Level, Grand Ballroom

The "gluten-free" market is big and rapidly growing. According to market analysis by Packaged Facts, sales of "gluten-free" products were $973 million in 2014 and are expected to reach a whopping $2.34 billion by 2019. Gluten is a set of protein fractions found in wheat, rye, barley, and crossbreeds of these grains. In order for a food manufacturer to label their products as "gluten-free," the product must contain less than 20 parts per million of gluten. In late 2015, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a proposed rule to establish requirements for "gluten-free" labeling for foods that are fermented or contain fermented ingredients, including beer. The FDA is attempting to ensure that individuals seeking these products are not misled and receive truthful and accurate information with respect to fermented foods or beverages that are labeled as "gluten-free." Within the proposed rule, the FDA details what is necessary to provide adequate assurance that the beer is "gluten-free" and in compliance with the upcoming release of the final rule. This session will cover what FDA has proposed, as well as some of the challenges in making a "gluten-free" claim on beer.

Joy Dubost serves as the senior director of science and external affairs at the Beer Institute. In this position, she leads the development, evaluation, and advocacy of their scientific regulatory policies and positions. She frequently interacts with key officials on pertinent issues—including menu labeling, Dietary Guidelines, and voluntary labeling—with the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA), Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB), and other key federal agencies. In addition, she educates public health professionals on moderate consumption of alcohol and its impact on health outcomes. Joy is a frequent public speaker and has authored research articles for scientific journals and publications. She served as a national media spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. She is frequently quoted in local and national publications, including USA Today, Chicago Tribune, and NY Times, and has made numerous radio and television appearances with NPR, CNN, ABC News, CBS News, and FOX News. She earned an undergraduate degree in nutrition and chemistry from Hood College, a master’s degree in food science from the University of Georgia, and a doctorate in food science from Pennsylvania State University. She completed her dietetic internship at the University of Michigan Hospitals. Joy is an MBAA beer steward, completed brewing coursework at UC Davis Extension, and is an avid home brewer.