From the latin word meaning, “glue,” gluten is a mixture of proteins (prolamins and glutelins) that are in wheat, barley, rye, and other species and hybrids such as spelt, kamut, and einkhorn.
Gluten-free food, diets or lifestyles signify that one avoids all products (including all individual ingredients) that would potentially contain these proteins which can cause auto immune reactions and other symptoms. In the United States alone, 30% of the population currently follow a gluten-free diet.
We rigorously test for gluten in all of our products using the ELISA testing method. The Greater Knead bakery/factory is a gluten-free facility and we certify each of our products to be gluten-free through the GFCO.org. The GFCO gluten threshold is <10 ppm in certified products and their ingredients and we have no concern of cross contamination risk. Our manufacturing facility in Bensalem, PA also remains an entirely gluten-free facility.
There are certain populations that need to follow a gluten-free diet for health reasons. One reason would be that a person has been diagnosed with celiac disease: An autoimmune disease that causes an immune response when gluten is consumed, that causes damage to the small intestine.
A multi-test approach to diagnose is usually performed: First a blood test to see if it suggests celiac disease (you must be consuming gluten at the time of the test), and then a small intestine biopsy to confirm the diagnosis. Another reason would be that if you are not celiac, but experience symptoms of non-celiac gluten sensitivity.
This less severe diagnosis causes symptoms such as headaches, brain fog, digestive discomfort, nausea, fatigue, joint pain, and many other symptoms. The only way to see if you have an issue with gluten is to do an elimination diet.