May 20, 2016
The word “gluten-free” is becoming more prevalent as consumers begin to seek alternative food products. While gluten-free products may be considered as another food trend, it is important to remember that gluten intolerance/celiac disease is also another important factor in influencing a consumer’s purchasing decisions.
The FDA requires that food with a gluten-free label contain less than 20 parts per million (ppm) of gluten. So how can you integrate gluten-free products into your bakery? According to foodmanufacturing.com, there are seven steps that you can follow:
1. Use certified suppliers – Search and purchase supplies from the Gluten-Free Certification Organization. The CFCO set strict standards for suppliers to ensure safe products for consumers.
2. Segregate storage areas – The easiest way for gluten to contaminate supplies is to mix them with old stock. Avoid this by:
3. Dedicate your processing lines – Ensure your staff is familiar with proper allergen handling and have process engineers evaluate and provide solutions to build or remodel an existing gluten-free production line.
4. Manage production schedules – You may also schedule the production of gluten-free products before other productions.
5. Implement proper cleaning techniques – Thoroughly sanitizing existing equipment will help reduce the risk of cross-contamination.
6. Test for the presence of allergens – The Enzyme-Link Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA) test is the most effective way to test for allergens such as gluten.
7. Adapt your processing and distribution to gluten-free specific nuances – Gluten-free products may require different processing methods than traditional ones. Gluten-Free products often have shorter shelf life than its counterpart.
Following these steps and adhering to the FDA’s standards will allow you to create gluten-free products catered to your customer’s needs.