Canadian Pizza Magazine

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Gluten-free research project yields tasty results




Jan. 8, 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 were 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.

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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.