Gluten the protein found in foods processed from wheat or its related grain species. Gluten is a combintation of gliadin and glutenin conjoined by starch found in the endosperm of these grain species. Gluten the item that gives elasticity to pizza and bread doughs. Which ever definition of gluten you it is currently a leading cause of food modifications.
Gluten allergies, Gluten Sensitivities, Gluten Free diets, and Celiacs disease all different names but all equal the same things when a restaurant is concerned. They are guests who are not interested in consuming anything that contains or has been contaminated with gluten due to its effect on their health. This number of guests is growing to be as high as 15% of the population.
To be accommodating restaurants have started to offer gluten free menus. These menus allow the gluten free guest to feel comfortable and the restaurant to keep their long time guests.
With the trend rising and menus popping up on every street corner it raises the question: Is it Really Gluten Free?
Ingredients like malt, malt vinegar, barley, rye, caramel color, soy sauce, sometimes contain trace amounts of wheat products or gluten but are not labeled as such. If a label does not read an easily read contains gluten or wheat the kitchen preparing a gluten free menu may not know.
Gluten Free Menus are only as Free as the education of the kitchen staff……….
The FDA recently formed a new definition and standard of Identity for what a package labeled “gluten Free” or ” no Gluten”, “Free of Gluten” and ” with out gluten” is allowed to contain. These packaged items will only be allowed to be labeled as so if they contain fewer than 20 parts per million of gluten.
This marketing identification will help chef’s and cooks produce a menu that utilizes ingredients that do not contain gluten however, they must still consider the risk of cross contamination. Gluten is a very small speck of grain and can travel easily a kitchen staff will truly have to commit to a gluten free menu and by utilizing proper training and implementation of processes they will be able to have a true gluten free menu without cross contamination. However, if a kitchen was to commit they as well as their guests would really benefit.
To learn more about gluten free menu development or Allergy awareness training Contact Chef Services Group