Why are gluten-free products more expensive than those containing gluten?
The price of a product depends on its supply and demand. The market for gluten-free diet products, in comparison to “normal” grain products containing gluten which are produced for the wider population, is small. Yet, the higher price for these products primarily comes from the complex form of production. The Codex alimentarius commission set a new threshold value for gluten-free food in 2008. Such products may accordingly contain a maximum of 20 ppm (20 mg/100 g, ppm = parts per million). These statutory gluten threshold values require extremely strict monitoring and special precautionary measures for delivery, production and packaging of the food items. However, only such strict quality assurance systems guarantee high product safety. Raw materials and manufactured products are continuously subject to inspection and are examined with regard to their gluten content and other allergens. The production of qualitatively high-class and reliably gluten-free food is fully automated and uses the most modern technology. Rice and also maize, raw materials that are mainly used in gluten-free food instead of wheat, are in addition more expensive than wheat.