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  1. The products do not come into contact with any materials or processing agents that contain gluten.

VS.

  1. The products do not come into contact with any material or processing agent that contains gluten.

Which phrase is better? Why? The goal is to state that these products are gluten-free.

My boss actually changed my first sentence into the second one, and I am trying to understand why.

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    Both are correct. Neither is wrong. When you consulted your English language dictionary, what did it tell you about the uncountable noun "material" and the countable noun "material(s)"? – P. E. Dant Jul 12 '17 at 6:26
  • Thank you P.E. Dant. My boss actually changed my first sentence into the second one, and I am trying to understand why. Saw this regarding material: According to Dictionary.com: materials The articles or apparatus needed to make or do something. material A group of ideas, facts, data, etc. that may provide the basis for or be incorporated into some integrated work. – Figgs Jul 12 '17 at 6:37
  • It's important to understand the difference in English between countable nouns like "material(s)" and uncountable nouns like "material". Have you learned the difference between the two? – P. E. Dant Jul 12 '17 at 6:42
  • Personally, I wouldn't trust that statement. I'd rather see "The product contains no gluten and has not come into contact with gluten. " Unless the law requires it, the phrase "materials or processing agents" is simply excess verbiage. – Tᴚoɯɐuo Jul 12 '17 at 11:17
  • Material is countable for this definition. See dictionary. The real question is the grammar of any, which can take either singular or plural nouns after it. – Peter Shor Jul 12 '17 at 11:33
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I think in processes the products did not contact the materials or agent that contain gluten. It may be better to say In our processes the products did not contact the materials or agents that contain gluten. But I need more information.

  • That is a somewhat complex circumlocution that doesn't get the point across. – Chenmunka Jul 12 '17 at 12:43
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    The OP asked which of the two suggested sentences is better, and why. There is no request for other suggestions. If brevity and clarity were the goals, both would be met by: "The products at no time come into contact with gluten." – P. E. Dant Jul 12 '17 at 18:06
  • Probably in their factory or processes the products are not likely to have the risk of contamination of gluten, or their processing agents do not have the risk either. Plural would be better. The original poster says that "these products are gluten-free". Then this is much better if possible. – Seikimatsuhasha Jul 12 '17 at 23:18

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