One of the main myths is that choices for gluten-free dishes are highly small and gluten-free ingredients are difficult to locate. However with careful study, it is possible to deliver a wide variety of delicious gluten-free meals.
When buying products, first look for any gluten-free statements or certification markings on the package. Products that make gluten-free statements must comply with the FDA minimum of less than 20 ppm gluten, and products that bear gluten-free certification logos must comply with additional standards to avoid cross-contamination by personnel training, product monitoring and manufacturing policies and procedures.
Ingredient lists give even more detail. Check the presence of wheat, barley and rye, as well as any ingredients extracted from these grains, when determining the product. Any product that lists malt, beer or beer flavourings is also likely to contain gluten. Soy sauce also usually contains gluten, since most brands contain wheat. There are however, several decent brands of soy sauce on the market that are wheat-free.The bottom line is that if you do your research you will find a lot of quality gluten-free items.
Attending food shows and sample testing can provide a valuable (and tasty) introduction to gluten-free items, but participation requires preparation and resources. A more open alternative is to search the website of your supplier. Some manufacturers provide information on gluten-free offerings in their online FAQs and product details. If you need more clarification, the supplier’s website also provides contact information for anyone in the organisation who can answer your questions.
When approaching manufacturers, inquire about their allergen and gluten avoidance controls. If their plants package gluten-free brands alongside products containing wheat, barley or rye, ask what processes they have in place to avoid cross-contamination. Asking questions about the general food safety programme of the supplier can also give rise to important information.