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Free of gluten, but with arsenic, mold toxins and glyphosate

More and more people suffer from celiac disease, also called gluten intolerance, and therefore have to avoid many foods in their daily lives. Gluten is a protein that is present in various cereals: wheat, rye, spelt, barley, etc. People with an intolerance to gluten get symptoms such as abdominal pain, diarrhea and headaches from consuming it.

Nowadays, there are many gluten-free products for carefree consumption of bread and pasta. For a product to be declared “gluten-free,” it may not contain more than 20 mg/kg of gluten. These products are often based on rice, corn, chickpeas or millet.

In a recent test, various gluten-free pastas and breads were reviewed.


Rice noodles with arsenic


It was found inorganic arsenic in rice-based noodles, which is classified as carcinogenic. Arsenic is part of the earth’s crust and can enter soils or water through various processes and thus be absorbed by rice plants. There are currently no limits for the concentration of inorganic arsenic in rice noodles, but according to the BfR, “food should contain as little as reasonably achievable”. To be able to guarantee this, regular analyses of products containing rice are of high importance.


Fumonisins in corn pasta


Fumonisins, i.e. mold toxins or mycotoxins, were found in pasta based on corn and chickpeas, which most likely enter the products via the corn. Mold toxins are metabolites of certain molds that can be carcinogenic. According to the European Union’s Scientific Committee on Food (SCF), the daily intake level for fumonisins B1, B2 and B3 should not exceed 2 μg/kg body weight/day individually or in total.


Breads contaminated with glyphosate


The pesticide glyphosate was detected in three of the 10 breads tested. This pesticide agent is used in agriculture to control weeds and is approved in the EU until 2022. According to the World Health Organization’s cancer agency, glyphosate is “probably carcinogenic” to humans. The BfR, however, rates glyphosate as non-carcinogenic when used correctly.


As a manufacturer of gluten-free foods, how can you ensure safe products?


bilacon examines your gluten-free products


bilacon is your reliable partner for all tests on gluten-free breads and pastas. In addition to testing for inorganic arsenic, mold toxins and pesticides, we support you with correct labelling, nutritional value analyses, testing for mineral oil components, and microbiological analyses.

If you have any questions about our services, please feel free to contact us. Our expert will be happy to help you.


Nicole Schröer

+49 30 206 038 133

Source: Ökotest



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