Recently I had the chance to interview Laura Kalac, Business Development and Marketing Manager for FODMAP Friendly. She had some pretty exciting news to share about low-FODMAP products and also explains the way the FODMAP Friendly certification program works. Read on!
Incorporating the FODMAP Friendly logo, the FODMAP Friendly certification program is the only registered certification trademark worldwide certifying FODMAP levels in food products that have been laboratory tested to be low in FODMAP’s. It is designed to enable consumers with symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) who are following a Low FODMAP diet to easily identify and select suitable packaged food products. This easily recognizable “FODMAP Friendly” logo assists people with such symptoms to shop and eat with confidence.
Colleen Francioli: For your certification program, how long is the average turnaround in getting one product tested and certified?
Laura Kalac: All new manufacturers must first submit a preliminary application form. Our team of experts then screen the products in the office, and arrange for testing via DTS Food Labs – Australia’s largest food testing laboratory. Testing is usually completed with a ten day turnaround, after which time eligible brands are granted a FODMAP Friendly license and Certification for the approved products.
CF: Do you have any advice to lend for someone who is developing a product and wants to get certified?
LK: Creating FODMAP Friendly products is a fantastic initiative to service those 1 in 7 individuals affected by IBS type symptoms, using a diet low in FODMAPs to manage their condition! However, for a manufacturer not as familiar with high and low FODMAP containing ingredients, there may be a little trial and error involved. We work with prospective manufacturers and provide guidance where we can, to assist and support in this process. Ultimately everything has to be independently tested to be verified, but we can definitely help with the initial process. Obviously due to our experience specifically in this area we are very knowledgeable in the process.
CF: What is the main reason why any products fail the first round of testing?
LK: Products which fail to pass FODMAP testing do so for one main reason. The overall ratio of ingredients in a product is too high in total FODMAPs to be deemed eligible for approval. In this instance it is suggested that the ratio of ingredients be adjusted accordingly, or modified in some way.
Knowing the specific FODMAP content of each ingredient is vital when combining them to make the end product.
CF: How many products did you test in 2013? How many in 2015? How many so far in 2016?
LK: Many products have been independently tested to date! We currently have over 400 tested foods, with many more in the works throughout 2016. So far this year we have tested close to 100 products.
CF: How many U.S. brands have utilized your certification program?
LK: There are several brands in the midst of having products tested, and one manufacturer with a range of products is now licensed and their products will be launched in the next few months with quite a large marketing campaign – this is very exciting as it is the first US brand to be Certified as FODMAP Friendly!
Keep up with news from FODMAP Friendly by following them on social and check out their blog! Comment below with the types of products you’d like to see certified low-FODMAP!