Product Research & New Products
For about 1 in 133 people avoiding gluten is critical to their health. Folks diagnosed with celiac disease have an inherited autoimmune disease that causes damage to the small intestine when gluten is ingested. The symptoms of celiac disease include abdominal pain, diarrhea, gas, fatigue and weight loss, and for many the diagnosis of celiac disease is the first step towards regaining health. For those with celiac disease, following a gluten-free diet can help manage and reduce these symptoms. Another 1 in 250 people have a diagnosed allergy to wheat. Wheat allergy symptoms include swelling, itching and irritation of the mouth or throat, hives and other skin issues, congestion, headache, difficulty breathing, cramps, nausea and/or vomiting and in some cases anaphylaxis. Wheat allergy is sometimes confused with celiac disease, but these conditions are different. Wheat allergy occurs when your body produces antibodies to proteins found in wheat. In celiac disease, a specific protein in wheat — gluten — causes a different kind of abnormal immune system reaction. About 1 in 22 people may have non-celiac gluten sensitivity. The symptoms of gluten sensitivity are similar to those with celiac disease yet lack the same antibodies and intestinal damage seen in celiac disease. There are no recommended methods for testing for non-celiac gluten sensitivity so it’s a diagnosis of exclusion. Often folks that test negative for both celiac disease and a wheat allergy report feeling much better on a gluten free diet.The FDA allows food companies to label their products as “gluten-free” if their products are inherently gluten free, as fruit is, and if their products do not contain or are derived from a gluten-containing grain. While all of the ingredients we use in our products seem to meet the definition of “inherently gluten free” we decided to go the extra step and have our products tested for gluten. The results are in and every product we make has no detectable gluten. We had our dried elderflowers tested too, and surprisingly, our dried elderflowers tested positive for 25 parts per million gluten, which is 5 parts above the 20 ppm threshold for claiming gluten free. The fact that we would never have expected dried elderflowers to contain gluten is a good testament to the importance of testing! Just to be sure, we plan to have the dried elderflowers tested again by a different lab to see if they get the same results. If you need to eat a gluten free diet, all 9 of our bottled and jarred products are safe for you, but until multiple testing reveals otherwise, our dried elderflowers are not.