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Frequently Asked Questions

If you have a question regarding licensing your gluten free products, you may find the answer amongst these frequently asked questions. If you cannot find what you are looking for, please contact els@aoecs.org for more information.

How can I obtain a license to use the Crossed Grain symbol on my products?

Our Member societies license the symbol to manufacturers, distributors and retailers to use on their gluten free products and promotional material. For more information on where to obtain a license please contact els@aoecs.org.

What are the benefits of using the Crossed Grain symbol on my products?

In surveys of coeliac consumers, the Crossed Grain Symbol is seen as the most important means of communicating that a product is safe to eat. It is recognised globally as the symbol for gluten free food and therefore adds great visibility to your products.

Which products can't display the Crossed Grain symbol?

The Crossed Grain symbol can be licensed only for multiple ingredient and/or processed products or when there is a high risk of contamination. For example, fresh fruit and vegetables cannot be licensed as they are naturally gluten free; but fruit bars or buckwheat flour can be licensed as they have undergone a process which may hold a risk for gluten contamination. For a full list of products that are not permitted to display the Crossed Grain symbol please see Appendix I of the AOECS Standard.

What does 'gluten free' really mean?

The term 'gluten free' implies no gluten content, but in practice it is not possible to test for a zero level of gluten. Research has shown that people with coeliac disease are able to safely tolerate a very small amount of gluten. As a result low levels of gluten are allowed in products that are labelled gluten free. When you see the term gluten free this means that the food contains no more than 20 parts per million (ppm) gluten and complies with the EU Regulation (EU) 828/2014 for the labelling of gluten-free foods.

How can I get my products tested for gluten?

An accredited laboratory must be used to provide test certificates as part of the license application. To find an accredited laboratory in Europe please visit the website of the European Accreditation organisation.

How can I find a distributor for my gluten free products?

There is an increasing number of international gluten free trade shows being held all over Europe for networking with distributors and purchasers. Some examples:

How can I get my gluten free products listed in food and drink directories?

Many of our Member societies publish such directories. In order to find out what their requirements are, please contact them directly. A full list of our Member societies can be found here.

Can I use oats in my products?

Most people with coeliac disease can eat uncontaminated oats although a small number are sensitive.  However, common oat products are often contaminated during the production process with wheat, barley or rye.  Products which contain oats may still use the Crossed Grain symbol if the oats ingredients are pure uncontaminated oats and the product’s gluten content is below 20 mg/kg (ppm). The presence of oats will need to be indicated alongside the Crossed Grain symbol on packaging.

How can AOECS help to promote my product?

As a not for profit organisation, AOECS does not undertake any commercial activities such as promoting products. However, many of our Member societies collaborate closely with gluten free producers in their countries. In order to find out what their requirements are, please contact them directly. A full list of our Member societies can be found here.