Dairy refers to milk and any part of milk that comes from cows and other mammals. Thus, to be dairy-free, a product must have no milk and no ingredients that are part of milk. Dairy-free products do not contain casein and whey.
Gluten is found in grains, such as wheat, barley, rye, and a cross between wheat and rye called triticale. To follow a gluten-free diet, you must avoid wheat and some other grains while choosing substitutes that provide nutrients for a healthy diet.
A genetically modified organism (commonly known as a GMO) is a plant, animal, microorganism or other organism whose genetic makeup has been modified in a laboratory using genetic engineering. A product that is labeled as non-GMO is not derived from any GMO sources.
Shellfish encompass marine animals with shells such as shrimp, lobster and crab, as well as mollusks like scallops and squid. Some people are allergic to all shellfish, but others are only allergic to certain species.
Soybeans are a legume and are a staple in Asian countries. The soy-free diet is a modification of the normal diet with the elimination of soybeans and all foods containing by-products of soybeans.
Sugar-free means that a product contains, per serving, less than 0.5 g of sugar and less than five calories. This includes sugars from added sugars, like honey or maple syrup, as well as those naturally occurring in foods.
USDA organic products have strict production and labeling requirements, and made from plants grown without the use of pesticides or synthetic fertilizers, genetically modified organisms or ionizing radiation.
A product that is vegan does not contain any animal ingredients or animal-derived ingredients. This includes, but is not limited to, honey, beeswax, lanolin, collagen, albumen, carmine, cholesterol, gelatin, and many others.
Vegetarian products are not produced using meat, including beef, chicken, pork, or fish but may be produced using eggs, dairy, gelatin, or honey.