Gluten-free linguistics can get a bit tricky when defining authentic gluten-free status. While food manufacturers must adhere to strict guidelines in labeling products as gluten-free, the “no added gluten” tag is becoming more prevalent in the food service and product manufacturing niches as a protective measure that essentially can mean the same thing as “manufactured in a facility that produces products made with wheat.” The term “no added gluten” can mean that a product is made with gluten-free ingredients and nothing containing gluten has been physically added to the product, but it does not necessarily mean it’s gluten-free because there is the potential of cross-contamination. Putting this tag on the product does not make them liable for a gluten-free claim.
If a product was made in a restaurant or bakery, the “no added gluten” means they can not guarantee that gluten particles in the air from pastry dust, for example, did not come into contact with the gluten-free bread batter. If you see the “no added gluten” term, it’s up to you to make the final decision whether you will partake or not.
For restaurants that would like to create gluten-free menus for their customers but can’t guarantee a 100 percent gluten-free environment, it’s wise for them to add the “no gluten added” phrase to their designated menu items so customers can easily recognize meals without gluten ingredients. As more restaurants jump on the bandwagon and adopt this phrase, it indicates that awareness is improving and the industry is headed in the right direction, an equation that means more gluten-free options for gluten-free diners.