What are the benefits of being Monash certified?
The Monash University low FODMAP certification program provides an opportunity to certify products or recipes as “Low FODMAP” and carry the Monash stamp of approval. It means your products have been properly tested or recipes thoroughly assessed by the founders and experts of the low FODMAP diet and meets the low FODMAP criteria established by our researchers.
Benefits of being Monash certified include:
- For products, carrying the Monash certified endorsement on packaging
- For recipes, carrying the Monash certified endorsement in cookbooks, menus or anywhere recipes are promoted or published
- Using the Monash certified endorsement online and in promotions (digital or print)
- Be listed in the top ranking FODMAP and medical app, the Monash University FODMAP Diet app, which has been download in over 130 countries and translated into several languages (French, German and Spanish)
- Be listed and linked on our website, the essential FODMAP resource for consumers, healthcare professionals and industry
- Receive regular promotions on our highly popular social media platforms (Facebook and Instagram)
Make shopping and cooking easy and convenient for your customers by certifying your products and recipes with the Monash FODMAP team.
What is the difference between the product and recipe certification programs?
The product certification program certifies retail products that are available for purchase by the general consumer. It also certifies raw ingredients from ingredient suppliers and manufacturers.
The recipe certification program is aimed at restaurants, cafes and meal delivery services that create fresh and frozen meals, and for chefs, authors, bloggers or anyone with written recipes.
Is there a minimum number or products or recipes that need to apply for Monash certification?
There is no minimum number of products required to apply for our product certification program.
A minimum of 10 recipes is required to apply for recipe certification.
Are there any ingredients which will automatically exclude my product or recipe from joining the program?
Products or recipes containing the following ingredients will be ineligible to apply for our certification programs:
- garlic, onion, or their derivatives; or
- added FODMAPs, including fructo-oligosaccharides, inulin and polyols (other than sorbitol and mannitol), maltitol, xylitol, erythritol, lactitol and isomalt.
My product or recipe contains high FODMAP ingredients. Can they still join the program?
Products or recipes containing high FODMAP ingredients can apply to join the program. We are unable to guarantee if a product will meet the low FODMAP criteria unless samples are laboratory tested.
For recipes, the assessment will consider the quantity of the high FODMAP ingredient used and the other recipe ingredients (and their amounts), in addition to other foods or beverages which may be consumed in the same sitting, to determine if it will meet the low FODMAP criteria.
Please note there are certain ingredients that will automatically exclude products or recipes from applying for certification. Refer to the above question.
Where can I use the Monash certified trademarks?
The Monash certified trademarks are can be applied in many different ways.
Here are some examples of where you may apply the Monash certified trademarks for approved products:
- on packaging
- the product webpage
- when promoting approved products on social media
- magazine and newspaper ads
- in store advertising and printed materials (e.g., flyers, brochures, banners)
- specification sheets
- commercials (visual and audio)
For recipes, the Monash certified trademarks can be used:
- on your website and social media
- recipe cookbooks (printed or e-book format)
- on menus
- signs in cafes or restaurants to indicate a Monash certified meal
- on recipe cards provided with delivered meal boxes
Are there any rules for using the Monash certified trademarks?
Yes, there are specific style rules that need to be adhered to when applying the Monash certified artwork to packaging and all other materials. The rules are covered by our style guide which will be provided once your product or recipes are confirmed to meet the low FODMAP criteria.
Can you provide examples of which brands and products are Monash certified?
Please visit the Who Is Certified? section of our website for a complete list of brands with Monash certified products.
The Monash University FODMAP Diet App provides a complete list of Monash certified products and brands.
Why haven’t you certified a specific product or brand as being low in FODMAPs?
Our certification program is voluntary and relies on brands approaching the Monash FODMAP team to certify their own products. A third party cannot apply to certify a product on behalf of a brand.
Is the Monash University low FODMAP certification program affiliated with any other programs?
No, we are an independent certification program with no affiliation with any other programs or entities.
What is the process for certifying a product?
The product certification process is completed on our monashfodmap.com platform.
The first step is to create a member account to our website and request access to the certification section of the platform. Once access is granted, you may start entering applying for the program when you are ready.
For the complete certification process, please visit this page.
What are the fees involved with certifying products?
The following fees apply to certify a product:
- Pre-assessment fee
- Laboratory testing fee
- Annual licence fee
The pre-assessment fee is a flat rate of $20 AUD ex GST / $16 USD per product to submit a pre-assessment application.
The laboratory and annual licence fees will depend on the number of products. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org with your details and to request a quote.
How long does it take to complete the product certification process?
This will depend on how many and the type of products that are applying for certification.
As a general guide, it will take approximately 6 to 8 weeks to complete the certification process for one product. Note that this timeframe is an estimate only and relies on each step of the certification process being fulfilled in a timely manner.
Do I need to provide any proprietary information about my products?
The initial pre-assessment step requires submitting general information that can be found on product packaging, such as ingredients (ranked from highest to lowest quantity), serve size and nutrition information.
Any information that you provide will be treated as confidential. Read more on how we treat confidential information at our terms and conditions page.
I am an ingredient supplier for food manufacturers. Do you certify ingredients?
Yes, we certify raw ingredients supplied by ingredient suppliers and manufacturers under our product certification program.
Do you certify fresh produce?
Yes, we certify fresh fruit or vegetables for produce suppliers under our product certification program.
Do you certify supplements (such as nutritional foods or drinks or capsules) or medical grade food?
Yes, we do. However please note that we only test and confirm whether a supplement or medical grade food meets the low FODMAP criteria. We do not conduct any clinical trials or provide endorsements to support any claims made by a product other than it meets the low FODMAP criteria at the recommended serve size.
Medical grade foods (or foods that are accessible via healthcare practitioners only) cannot be listed in the Monash FODMAP app or on our social media pages which are reserved for non-medical grade foods and ingredients only. However these products can still carry the Monash certified trademarks on labels, online and in materials (e.g. informational sheets for health professionals).
Are there additional requirements for certifying nutritional products or supplements?
Nutritional products and supplements must carry an advisory statement on labels and in promotions to indicate that they have been tested for their FODMAP content only. The required advisory statements will be outlined in the style guide and confirmed at the time of notifying that the product has met the low FODMAP criteria.
What happens if formulation changes for a certified product?
Certified brands are responsible for notifying the Monash team of any changes made to an approved formula with the next steps to be considered on a case by case basis. For example, low risk or minimal changes can be approved in writing (e.g. supplier or manufacturer change for a low FODMAP ingredient). High risk or substantial changes may require laboratory testing to ensure that the product will continue to meet the low FODMAP criteria (e.g. removing and adding different ingredients, increasing the amount of a moderate or high FODMAP ingredient).
My product requires consumers to add their own ingredients (such as eggs, lactose-free milk, butter, oil, meat, or water) and bake or cook according to an on-pack recipe prior to consumption (see below examples). Can my product apply for certification and how will it be tested?
- Flour mixes for breads, cakes, muffins, and pancakes
- Dehydrated / pre-packaged meals, such as instant noodles (that comes with its own noodles and seasoning) and instant vegetarian paella (that comes with its own rice, dehydrated vegetables, and seasoning)
- Recipe bases or store-bought meal kits, such as a beef casserole that requires consumers to add their own beef and vegetables
Yes, these types of products are welcome to apply for product certification. On the pre-assessment form, you must provide the full recipe (including the ingredients to be added and which are not supplied, plus the methodology) in the Food Preparation section. Note that the ingredients that you are required to individually list in this form should only include those ingredients found within your packaged product without the additional ingredients consumers are required to add (i.e., the ingredients as listed on the product label).
All products are tested in their "as consumed" state. This means that products that need to be prepared in order to be eaten will need to be prepared for the purposes of lab analysis. Depending on the complexity of the recipe and type of product, you may be required to prepare your product prior to sending samples for analysis. Please contact us at email@example.com if you would like to find out the specific sample requirements for your product.
If you offer multiple recipes for your product, please get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org so we may provide further guidance on your application and testing requirements.
Do certified products get audited once approved? / Is there an audit process for certified products?
An audit of certified products will be conducted with products to be selected on a random basis. An audit will not occur during the first year of joining the program. Audit fees will apply.
My retail product includes a Monash certified ingredient. Can my retail product claim to be Monash certified?
No, only products that have that have gone through all the certification steps, including laboratory testing, can claim to be Monash certified.
Please note that using a Monash certified ingredient in a formulation will not automatically guarantee that the end product will meet the low FODMAP criteria. There are many other factors that can impact on the FODMAP content, including the combination and types of other ingredients used and manufacturing procedures (e.g., heating, boiling and cooling). This is why laboratory testing forms a critical part in determining whether a product does or does not meet the low FODMAP criteria.
How much sample do you require to perform the laboratory FODMAP testing on products?
The sample amount required depends on whether it is an existing product or is new to the market:
- For existing products: 3 samples from 3 different batches per product is required.
- For new products (i.e., not on the market): 2 samples of at least 50-100 g/mL each (or 100-200 g/mL) from the same batch per product is required. Ideally the samples should be split in two samples of 50-100 gram/mL each, however we can accept the sample combined into a single vessel.
What and how do you assess whether products will meet the low FODMAP criteria?
Product samples must undergo thorough laboratory analysis to quantity its FODMAP content and determine if it meets the low FODMAP criteria established by the Monash research team.
This means samples will be tested for the individual FODMAPs (glucose and fructose to calculate excess fructose, the polyols sorbitol and mannitol, total fructans, the galacto-oligosaccharides raffinose and stachyose, and lactose) using high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC – the gold standard for carbohydrates testing) and an enzymatic assay.
Do you have any testing facilities outside of Australia?
Yes, we have partnered with an established and reliable commercial laboratory in the United States to test products applying for Monash certification from the US and Canada, making it simple, quick and cost effective to send samples for analysis from these countries.
Where do I send samples for FODMAP analysis?
This will depend on your location. For US and Canadian brands, samples can be sent to our US lab partner. All other brands will send samples to Victoria, Australia for FODMAPs analysis. We will provide shipping instructions once you have reached the testing stage of the process.
What is the process for certifying recipes?
The recipe certification process is handled directly by our dedicated team following these steps:
1. Contact Us
Email the certification team at email@example.com to express an interest in applying for the recipe certification program. Please provide general information about your business and yourself, and how your recipes will be used (e.g. restaurant meals, meal delivery service, cookbook, website/blog). You will receive an application form and checklist to complete before proceeding with the next step. Note: A minimum of 10 recipes is required to apply for our program.
2. Recipe Assessment
Submit recipes for assessment. A consultancy agreement covering the assessment terms and the assessment fee will apply. A report will be provided confirming if the recipes meet the low FODMAP criteria or require modifications.
3. Certified Materials
Following our style guide, apply the Monash certified logo artwork on marketing materials and submit for review and approval. Images of your brand logo and meals, plus information on your business, will be required for promotions and Monash FODMAP app listing.
4. Join the Program
Sign a licence agreement and pay the annual licence fee to join the program.
You are ready to launch your brand and recipes as being Monash certified. We will work closely with you to align the launch promotion with your marketing goals and plan.
What are the fees involved with certifying recipes?
The following fees apply to certify a recipe:
- Assessment fee
- Annual licence fee
An assessment fee covers the review and confirmation on whether recipes meet the low FODMAP criteria. An annual licence fee will apply to join the program and claim recipes as being Monash certified.
Both the assessment and annual licence fees applicable will depend on the number of recipes (note: a minimum of 10 recipes is required). Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org with your details and to request a quote.
How long does it take to complete the recipe certification process?
This will depend on how many recipes are applying for certification and their complexity. A minimum of 10 recipes is required to apply for our program.
As a general guide, for 10 recipes, it can take approximately 5 to 7 weeks to complete the certification process. Note that these figures are an estimate only and rely on each step of the certification process being fulfilled in a timely manner.
What do I need to submit in order to have my recipes assessed?
For each recipe, you will need to provide the full list of ingredients and their amounts (in grams or ounces), recipe serve size, preparation and cooking instructions, plus any tips or ingredient variations that may be provided or used. Clarification on whether the recipe is to be consumed as its own meal or combined with other foods or recipes will also be required.
Recipes can be submitted in Word, Excel or PDF format.
What ingredients can I use if I want to have my recipes Monash certified?
In order to properly assess your recipes, you must only use ingredients that have been tested by the Monash team and which are listed in the Monash FODMAP App.
My recipe requires complex processing or preparation methods. Will my recipe be able to be assessed to confirm low FODMAP compliance?
If your recipe requires additional or specific steps in order to reduce the FODMAP content, we will be unable to complete a recipe assessment. This is because these steps will impact on the FODMAP content of the final cooked food the recipe is creating. The only way the FODMAP content can be confirmed for these types of recipes is to laboratory test samples (see product certification).
Examples of additional processing include: proofing/proving, fermenting or pickling, sprouting, etc.
If you are unsure whether your recipe can be submitted for assessment, please contact us at email@example.com for assistance.
Do you certify meals that are delivered directly to customers?
Yes, home delivered fresh or frozen meals, or ingredient boxes that are made up according to a recipe, can be certified under our recipe certification program. An experienced dietitian will assess the meals based on the written recipes using our in-house FODMAP calculator which has been developed over many years of research and food testing.
What if my recipes or delivered meals have variable ingredients based on seasonal availability?
We understand that some ingredients may not be readily available due to seasonal availability, supplier issues and so on. We therefore can assess and approve variable versions of a recipe. Please provide your variations with the standard or base recipe when submitting recipes for assessment.
Depending on the complexity and extent of the variation, a recipe variation may be considered its own recipe and the standard assessment fee may apply.
What happens if I need to change my certified recipe?
If you need to modify a recipe that has already been approved, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with the changes for assessment (note an assessment fee may apply).
I am using a Monash certified product in a recipe. Can this recipe claim to be Monash certified?
No, only recipes that have been submitted and approved under our recipe certification program can claim to be Monash certified and use the Monash trademarks.