Bakers Journal

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Gluten-free research project yields tasty results


January 9, 2009
By SAIT Polytechnic

Jan. 9, 2009, CALGARY – SAIT Polytechnic’s new continuing education courses on gluten-free cooking will be welcome news for those living with celiac disease.

Letting Kids be Kids brings recipes for pizza, hot dogs and cupcakes to kids (and adults!) who can’t tolerate gluten or wheat products. And a course in Gluten-free Italian Cooking means celiac sufferers no longer have to pass on the pasta. It shows how to create tasty pastas, aromatic breads, tiramisu and more gluten-free treats.
 
The courses developed from an applied research project carried out by Kerry Bennett and Sandy Cutts, two recent graduates of SAIT’s Professional Cooking program. The pair received support from SAIT’s Applied Research Fund to develop gluten-free recipes for the School of Hospitality and Tourism. Their goal was to develop products that compare in taste and texture to regular baking, to increase the shelf life of gluten-free products and to produce a commercially viable bun that can be frozen and par-baked.
 
A taste test at SAIT’s Highwood Dining Room in October capped off the research project. Guests including representatives of the Canadian Celiac Association rated the taste, texture and appearance of six breakfast, lunch and dessert products created by Bennett and Cutts.
 
As a result of the project, SAIT will also incorporate gluten-free cooking into the curriculum of the Professional Cooking program.
 
It is estimated that one in 133 Canadians suffers from celiac disease, a digestive disorder that damages the small intestine and interferes with absorption of nutrients from food. People with celiac disease cannot tolerate gluten – a protein in wheat, rye and barley. There is no cure for celiac disease and treatment is strict adherence to a gluten-free diet for life. Studies also indicate that a gluten-free diet could benefit people with autism, colitis, irritable bowel syndrome and arthritis.

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