Gluten cross-contact from common food practices and preparations

Published:November 02, 2020DOI:


      Patients with celiac disease continue to be exposed to gluten despite efforts to maintain a gluten-free diet (GFD). Gluten exposure in those with celiac disease leads to pathological changes in the small intestine that may or may not be associated with gastrointestinal distress. While several studies have investigated a GFD, little is known about sources of gluten contamination that prevent proper maintenance of such a diet by celiac patients. In this study, we investigate common food practices that could lead to gluten cross-contact. Three different practices were examined for gluten cross-contact: gluten-free foods fried in a fryer also used for gluten containing foods, gluten-free bread toasted in a toaster also used for gluten-containing bread, and popular sandwich spreads applied with a knife used on gluten-containing bread (mayonnaise, jam, and peanut butter). We used the ALLER-TEK™ Gluten ELISA test kit and the sandwich ELISA RIDASCREEN Gliadin test kit, which is endorsed for determination of gluten content and used for the evaluation of food cross-contact. Using both kits gave the advantage of using the 401.2 antibody as well as the better established R5 antibody, providing increased confidence in our results. We found these practices resulted in small amounts of gluten cross-contact, although the majority of the results (93.6%) showed no significant cross-contact. Mayonnaise and peanut butter samples were contaminated with gluten above the limit designated by the FDA as gluten-free <20 kg/mg (ppm).


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