Monash University Low FODMAP Certification Program - What is it and how does it benefit me?

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Monash FODMAP Certified, 08 December 2022

If you’re a long time Monash FODMAP App user or follow us on social media, you’ve likely come across “Monash Certified” products and recipes. However, do you know much about why we started our low FODMAP certification programs, how products and recipes gain our approval, or how Monash certified offerings benefit you? Read on to find out more.

What is the Monash University Low FODMAP Certification Program for Products and Recipes?

Established in 2014 , the Monash University Low FODMAP Certification Programs certify everyday supermarket products, raw manufacturer ingredients, delivered meals and written recipes as being low in FODMAPs. Our main goals are to support consumers with medically diagnosed Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) by clearly identifying low FODMAP products, prepared meals and recipes, and to assist food companies select the right ingredients to develop low FODMAP products. 

We achieve these aims by working  closely with the food industry, including product manufacturers, meal delivery companies, and recipe producers, to test their products or assess their recipes. The programs are voluntary and open to brands and businesses of any size from around the world. Since we started, many well-known brands from across the globe have joined the certification program, including from the US, Canada, Europe, Australia and Asia.

Why were the certification programs started? 

The certification programs were developed out of consumer demand for a simple way to identify if a product or recipe is low in FODMAP. Reading the ingredients list or fine print on labels can be time consuming and difficult. Having products tested or recipes carefully reviewed by the experts removes guesswork and uncertainty, and provides you with the confidence that Monash certified products and recipes are safely low in FODMAP. 

What are the differences between the products and recipes certification programs? 

We developed two certification programs tailored to assessing and certifying commercial foods or for delivered meals and recipes for the home cook. Each program follows a different approval process. 

The product certification program tests and certifies store bought foods and packaged products. This can be anything from breads and cereals, to condiments like sauces, soup bases, oils, and spreads, snack foods such as muesli bars and biscuits, and even supplements. The program also certifies raw ingredients supplied in bulk from business to business, such as raw flours, protein and fibre ingredients. To gain approval, samples of the product or raw ingredient must be laboratory tested to determine FODMAP content. The results from the analyses are used to assess whether or not it meets the low FODMAP criteria.

The recipe certification program assesses recipes that have been developed for the food service and catering industry, such as restaurants, cafes, and meal delivery services, and for chefs, authors or bloggers with a desire to publish low FODMAP recipes. Written recipes are assessed by an experienced dietitian who uses our proprietary FODMAP database to calculate the overall FODMAP content likely to be present in a serve based on the ingredients and amounts used. Our FODMAP database has been developed over many years of research and regular food testing by our team, and keeps up to date with new food testing.

How does the certification program benefit me? 

As a consumer, it can be overwhelming to navigate what is low FODMAP and therefore what is suitable to eat when following the low FODMAP diet. Some foods or recipes which may appear to be low at first glance may in fact turn out not to be low FODMAP. Our Monash Certified logo helps you easily identify which foods and recipes are low in FODMAP, so you can feel confident to enjoy the foods you eat and meals that you prepare. Brands with Monash approved products or recipes are listed in our Monash FODMAP app and website - check out the Certified tab or section for the latest list of approved products, prepared meals or brands with certified recipes.

How do I recognise whether a product or recipe has been Monash certified?

Products, prepared meals and recipes carry the Monash University Low FODMAP Certified trademarks to proudly show their Monash endorsement. This logo can appear anywhere, from the product or meal label, to the brand’s website and social media, e-newsletters, in store displays and in cookbooks. To keep up to date on newly certified products, meals and recipes, follow us on social media or check the New Foods or Certified sections in our Monash FODMAP App.  

Do you support any health or nutritional claims made by certified products or recipes ? 

No, we do not test or endorse any health or nutritional claims made by certified products or recipes. We also don’t assess the suitability of products or supplements as a therapeutic good. We certify products and recipes as being low in FODMAPs only.

What should I do if there is a specific product that I would like to be Monash certified?

The best way to encourage brands to certify their products is to reach out to them yourself! As a consumer, you have the loudest voice and your feedback is appreciated the most. The more demand they have from their customers, the more interested they will be in following up. Link them to our Monash Certification page or social media where some of their competitors may already be listed and to find out more about FODMAPs and the program.

Now that you know how our certification program makes navigating the low FODMAP diet a little easier, keep following us on social media or using our Monash FODMAP App to see if your favourite brand or product has joined the certification program, or make a new favourite low FODMAP discovery!

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