What is Gluten?
Gluten is a combination of two proteins: glutenin and gliadin. Gluten occurs naturally in wheat, rye and barley. Any product made from these grains will contain gluten.
The presence of gluten containing products does not automatically mean your gluten-free items will be cross-contaminated. By using basic precautions, the risk of gluten particles traveling through the the air and causing the gluten level to rise to a dangerous level in your gluten-free items will be minimal.
The FDA has defined maximum level of gluten for a gluten free item to be 20 parts per million (ppm). This level of contamination is unlikely with imperceptible airborne particles as long as you take proper precautions during storage, mixing, and baking gluten free items.
Ideally, every kitchen will have separate utensils and preparation equipment for gluten free products. However, we know this is not always possible. Luckily, simple cleaning methods using common dish detergent can effectively remove gluten proteins.
If using a sink to clean equipment and utensils use the following method:
- Pre-rinse with hot water to remove all visible food debris.
- Wash thoroughly using hot water, an adequate amount of liquid dish detergent, and a clean cloth or sponge, giving extra attention to corners, crevices and any area that food debris may be trapped.
- Rinse thoroughly with warm water.
- Dry with a clean cloth. Do not allow equipment to air dry unless the area you are working is reserved for gluten-free preparation.
- Finally, be sure to inspect your clean equipment for presence of food debris and re-clean if necessary.
- Store equipment and utensils separate from regular equipment until ready for use.
If using a dishwasher, the standard cycle
should remove all gluten proteins, but be sure to follow up with a visual inspection. If you are unsure of your
dishwasher’s capabilities, use the sink method above.
To verify that your equipment is gluten free, we recommend swabbing the area and testing with a general-protein test. These tests are fast, accurate, affordable and widely available.