Oct 30, 2009

Recall: Armour Chili

The original Armour Chili with Beans is being recalled due to undeclared wheat. The case of six cans has a plastic over-wrap with the label gluten free. Below is the recall information from the Food and Allergy Anaphylaxis Network.

"Pinnacle Foods Group LLC is recalling “ARMOUR Chili with Beans, Original” due to undeclared wheat. The product was distributed to retail stores in Arkansas, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio, Virginia, and West Virginia.

The 15-oz. cans come in a case of six with a plastic over-wrap that incorrectly states the product is "Gluten Free," while the product actually contains wheat. The label bears an “EST. 2AD” number inside the USDA mark of inspection with dates ranging from August 26, 2009 to October 28, 2009.

Consumers with questions may call (800) 253-5882.

Oct 28, 2009

CBS Video: Celiac Disease on the Early Show

Checkout this great video that aired on CBS this morning on The Early Show. Robert M. Landolphi, author of Gluten-Free Every Day, talked about his wife's symptoms before being diagnosed with celiac disease and then cooked gluten-free onion rings and biscuits. Anchor Dave Price said his mom has celiac disease.

Cross-contamination was addressed and Robert even corrected Dave Price when he called celiac an allergy. Robert said, "It is actually an autoimmune disorder, but we look at it as an allergy because it is just easier in the restaurants to approach it that way." The recipes are available on the CBS website.

Oct 27, 2009

Review: Nature’s Path New Sunrise Cereals

I was so excited when Nature’s Path wanted to send me free boxes of their two new gluten-free cereals: Crunchy Maple Sunrise and Crunchy Vanilla Sunrise. I love cereal. I find cereal is best enjoyed when at least two different kinds are mixed together. One of my favorite combinations is Nature’s Path Crispy Rice and Nature’s Path Whole O’s, which has been my breakfast of choice lately.

Well, Nature’s Path has now mastered the art of cereal mixing with these two new Sunrise cereals. They combined corn puffs that resemble Gorilla Munch, Mesa Sunrise flakes, and Crispy Rice. Then, they added two delicious flavors to produce cereals that are truly unique from other gluten-free cereals.

The cereals are nutritious, low in sugar, and contain “an organic blend of corn, rice, flax, quinoa, buckwheat, and amaranth”. They are both sure to be a hit with consumers, including kids and people who can eat gluten. There is really only one word to best describe Nature’s Path new Sunrise cereals – perfection!

Archie Cartoonist Writes Celiac Disease Comic Book

Joe Staton, the cartoonist behind Scooby-Do, Batman, Archie, and Green Latern, wrote a children’s comic book about celiac disease. He collaborated with his wife, Hilarie Staton, to write Amy Goes Gluten-Free at the request of Children’s Hospital Boston. They previously wrote a successful medical comic about crohn’s disease and colitis for Children’s Hospital Boston. This news video explains more about the comic book and the activities in it.

The comic book is not yet available for purchase. According to a phone representative at the celiac disease center at Children’s Hospital Boston, it will be added to their website in the next few weeks. She has seen proofs of the book, but does not have the final copy yet. She believes it will be inexpensive, less than $10.

Oct 24, 2009

Breyers Recall: Undeclared Wheat in Mint Chocolate Chip

A mistake was made in packaging and some Breyers tubs that say “All Natural Mint Chocolate Chip” on the tub actually contain Breyers Cookies and Cream ice cream. The lid says “All Natural Cookies and Cream”, but the ingredients list is for the All Natural Mint Chocolate Chip and does not declare wheat. Here is the recall information from Unilever.

The mispackaged ice cream product was distributed in Alabama, Arizona, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Tennessee, Trinidad and Virginia through retail stores in these locations and adjoining areas. The affected product is being recalled from consumers and retailer store shelves, back rooms and warehouses.

The affected mispackaged product was distributed in 1.5-quart (1.41L)paperboard tubs marked with UPC # 077567254245 located on the side of the tub and in combination with “Best If Used By” dates of FEB1711GH, FEB1811GH and FEB1911GH located on the bottom of the tub.

The allergy alert and recall relates only to the above mentioned mispackaged Breyers®ice cream. No other Breyers®ice cream products are affected.

No adverse reactions have been reported to date. In addition to working in cooperation with the FDA, the company is also issuing an alert through the Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network.

The recall was initiated after the company received a few consumer complaints about the mispackaged product. It was determined that product containing wheat was distributed in packaging that did not reveal the presence of wheat in the ingredient list on the tub.

Consumers who have purchased the mispackaged Breyers®ice cream with UPC # 077567254245 and in combination with “Best If Used By” dates of FEB1711GH, FEB1811GH and FEB1911GH are urged to discard it immediately and contact the company at 1-877-270-7402for a full refund. For consumers outside the United States, please send an email to
comments.breyers@unilever.com for a full refund.”

Oct 21, 2009

Graduate Students Win Prize for Developing Gluten-Free Flavored Waffle Cones

The challenge was to use at least one major cereal ingredient to develop an original food product. Gluten-free waffle cones were developed in four fun flavors: vanilla, chocolate, cinnamon, and strawberry by two Kansas State University graduate students. It is very likely that the new gluten-free Chex varieties were used. The students won first prize in the competition as explained in this press release.

K-State's Angela Dodd, a master's student in food science, Carrington, N.D., and Melissa Daniel, doctoral student in animal sciences, Cypress Inn, Tenn., took first place at the recent International American Association of Cereal Chemists' Product Development Competition. The K-State duo earned a cash prize of $2,550 for their creation of the Gluten-free Fun Flavored Waffle Cone.

It is the second year in a row that a K-State student team has won the competition. This year's event was Sept. 13-16 in Baltimore, Md

The students are hoping to sell their products in a gluten-free specialty store.

Oct 20, 2009

A New Name for Perky’s Nutty Cereals: Enjoy Life Crunchy

Enjoy Life Foods announced today that the gluten and nut free Perky’s Nutty Flax and Perky’s Nutty Rice cereals are now part of the Enjoy Life brand. The product ingredients are the same, but the cereals have been renamed Enjoy Life Crunchy Flax and Enjoy Life Crunchy Rice. The entire announcement and a picture of the new boxes can be viewed on the Enjoy Life website.

Oct 15, 2009

Review: Gluten-free Fruit Roll-ups and Fruit Shapes

After trying several fruit roll-ups and fruit shapes, my favorite brand is FruitaBu. Since the many varieties of Betty Crocker fruit snacks are now labeled gluten-free, my daughter and I decided to buy some. First, we tried the Create-A-Dino fruit shapes. They are various colors, which don’t correspond to the assorted flavors, so we found that confusing and they ended up stuck in our teeth. Neither of us could figure out how to create the dinosaur without looking at the box.

Next, we tried another Betty Crocker product, Fruit by the Foot. We purchased the strawberry flavor, which tasted artificial. My daughter liked it, but was very surprised when I told her that there are no strawberries in it. In fact, the only fruit in it is pears from concentrate.

Florida’s Natural Au’some Fruit Nuggets are labeled gluten-free and contain 66% real juices and fruit. Well, to put it simply, these nuggets are hard wax pellets, which I quickly threw away. Next up was strawberry fruit roll-ups called Simply Fruit made by General Mills. The box says “more than 90% fruit juice and real fruit”. They look and taste similar to the fruit roll-ups I remember eating as a kid. We liked the taste, but they were too thin. They only flavor is strawberry, and the only store near me that carries them is Target.

Finally, we tried FruitaBu organic smooshed fruit and our search was over. According to their website, all of their products are gluten-free. FruitaBu products have “over 90 percent real fruit and juice”, and no artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives. While boxes of FruitaBu fruit rolls (also called twirls) are $4.99 at Whole Foods, the strawberry variety is sold at Target for only $2.99! There is one serving of organic fruit in each and the taste, texture, and thickness is perfect. While my daughter likes the strawberry variety we purchased, she said the Betty Crocker Fruit by the Foot is her favorite. However, I will not be buying the Betty Crocker fruit snacks again because of the artificial ingredients.

FruitaBu also makes fruit flats, which are made from a few simple ingredients and each small flat has ½ serving of fruit. My favorite flavor is apple and the ingredients are “organic apple puree concentrate, natural apple flavor, and organic lemon juice concentrate”. They are the perfect thing to satisfy a sweet craving. The fruit flats can be purchased individually at Whole Foods for 69 cents. FruitaBu is made by the Stretch Island Fruit Company.

Oct 8, 2009

Research News: Osteoporosis and Celiac Disease

The results of this new study from the University of Edinburgh were published in the New England Journal of Medicine and explained in Science Daily. In addition to osteoporosis being "a known complication of celiac disease" because of vitamins and minerals not being properly absorbed, the study found a new reason for osteoporosis in patients with celiac disease.

"It is the first time an autoimmune response – a condition whereby the body can attack itself – has been shown to cause damage to bones directly.

Researchers from the University of Edinburgh studied a protein called osteoprotegerin (OPG) in people with celiac disease – a digestive condition that affects 1 in 100 people.

In healthy people, OPG plays a crucial role in maintaining bone health by controlling the rate at which bone tissue is removed.

The latest research shows that 20 per cent of celiac patients produce antibodies that attack the OPG protein and stop it working properly. This results in rapid bone destruction and severe osteoporosis."

One of the most interesting findings is that this new type of osteoporosis cannot be treated with calcium and vitamin D supplements. Drugs to prevent bone loss, like bisphosphonates, are necessary to treat it. This raises a crucial question that requires more research. Are osteoporosis medicines approved for use in premenopausal women? Currently, the answer is no, but perhaps in light of this new research, there will be a different recommendation.

The Science Daily article concludes with an important statement about testing.

"Testing for these antibodies could make a real and important difference to the lives of people with celiac disease by alerting us to the risk of osteoporosis and helping us find the correct treatment for them."

This raises an additional question. Does production of these antibodies stop when the patient adheres to a gluten free diet?

Oct 6, 2009

Gluten-Free Dining at College: Syracuse University and University of Maryland

This recent article explains the struggle with gluten-free and casein-free dining at the University of Maryland at College Park. The student featured in the article is also a vegetarian, which further reduces her food options.

On a more positive note, this video from Citrus TV at Syracuse University shows many gluten-free options and mentions that a celiac support group will be forming on campus.

For more information about gluten-free dining at college:
Book review: GLEE! An Easy Guide to Gluten-Free Independence
In August, five Pennsylvania colleges completed NFCA's GREAT program.