By Zach

Continuing in the spirit of National Celiac Disease Awareness Month, we’ve got another billion-dollar corporation looking to hop on the bandwagon in support of a gluten-free lifestyle. This week’s multi-national advocate goes by the name of Frito-Lays, which is owned by the global food and beverage tycoon, PepsiCo. The Celiac efforts that Frito-Lays (North American branch) is putting forth, as of last week, is “an initiative to validate and label products as gluten-free.”

Due to a majority of Frito-Lays products already being naturally made without gluten ingredients, this initiative by the PepsiCo. branch is not a process to extract gluten from their products, but rather a process to identify and label all of their products which can be ratified as gluten-free by the standard set by the FDA’s 2007 Proposed Rule For Gluten-Free Labeling.

Many Frito-Lay snack and munchies originally don’t have gluten in them and are generally considered safe. This initiative to label their products as gluten-free will satisfy the below 20 parts per million principle – making them gluten-free worthy by FDA standards.

Kari Hecker Ryan, PhD, RD, works for Frito-Lay North America as a group manager of nutrition science and regulatory affairs. She went on the record stating, “We understand that living with gluten sensitivities can present some challenges, and when you or a loved one is diagnosed it can be overwhelming and confusing. We are doing our due diligence to ensure that our validated products comply with the proposed standards by testing ingredients and finished products, so the shopper can trust our gluten free claim.”

Another nutritional representative of the Frito-Lay North America, Danielle Dalheim, elaborated on Frito-Lay’s partnerships during this process by saying, “We are also proud to be partnering with Celiac Disease Foundation and the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness, as the work they do is so important to those with celiac disease and gluten sensitivities as well as their support systems.”

This announcement from Frito-Lays seems to be another push in the right direction for the gluten-free community. The fact that they’ve launched a validation process and are actively testing their products is great news. They’re also promoting Celiac awareness by labeling their products, and they’re abiding by gluten-free guidelines – a combination that is sure to bring convenience to many gluten-intolerant consumers.