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So You Want to Start a Gluten-Free Company?


Photo: CC/ Borya

Celiac.com 07/27/2010 - Many businesses contact us here at Celiac.com, wanting to know how to start a gluten-free business. There are many important things to consider before you open your gluten-free business to celiac and gluten intolerant customers. The following information is intended to help those looking to comply with celiac standards of gluten-free food.

Start-Up:
To begin, it is important to take take inventory of celiac contamination requirements. Will your gluten-free business also sell gluten-containing foods? If so, cross contamination will be an issue. If your company will be solely a gluten-free accommodating business, it will make your challenges fewer, but there are other important factors to consider such as contamination, suppliers and certifications. Before you begin your journey into providing gluten-free products, it is important to think like a celiac.

Contamination & Cross-Contamination:
Cross-contamination occurs when a gluten-free product comes into contact with other gluten based products. Cross contamination can occur in a variety of ways, but it usually begins where food is prepared and packaged, such as with the supplier or the manufacturer. However, cross-contamination can occur from other sources as well. If you plan to sell gluten containing pizza and gluten-free pizza, for example, then you will have an entirely new set of concerns. If you make the pizza dough in-house, there is a very good chance that gluten flour will permeate in the air for hours after using, coating your surfaces and creating a health hazard for the gluten-free folks. And if you bake the gluten and non-gluten pizza's in the same oven, then you will also need to take that into consideration, as that is also a source of cross-contamination and can render your gluten-free pizza inedible  for sensitive celiacs. If your gluten-free

food is stored in the same place as the gluten-containing food, you may have also a health hazard on your hands. Basically, it's a good rule of thumb to follow the celiac guidelines set for keeping a gluten-free kitchen. There are many considerations to take into account when supplying gluten-free food and while keeping a pristine business will be your best friend, sometimes even that isn't enough.

Suppliers:
Suppliers are a very important factor when starting a gluten-free business. It is important to research the product sources before using an ingredient source. If an ingredient source is contaminated by gluten, then your products could also be contaminated by gluten. So if you are looking to buy gluten-free rice flour for example, the reliability of your rice flour to be gluten-free will depend greatly on your supplier. It is important to carefully research the product supplier before using them. There is nothing worse than buying large quantities of food labeled “gluten-free” that actually contain gluten. Remember, it is up to a product's manufacturer to guarantee that their products are gluten-free. They must research their ingredient suppliers, and follow-up with them periodically, as sources and ingredients can change at anytime without notice. 

Gluten-Free Certification:
If you plan to operate a gluten-free business then getting your products certified gluten-free is the best way to go. Not all gluten-free certifications are created equal. There are various gluten-free labels ranging from legitimate to not so legitimate, so it is important to research the most reliable, and best gluten-free label for your products. Getting your product 'gluten-free' certified will put your consumers at ease and increase your sales. It will also put you at ease knowing that you are providing the best gluten-free product you possibly can.

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8 Responses:

 
Nora
Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfull Unrated
said this on
04 Nov 2011 11:56:59 AM PST
Very good.

 
andy
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said this on
12 Jul 2012 10:21:36 PM PST
I would like to start my own company. Please send me information.

 
Helen
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said this on
01 Feb 2013 12:23:05 PM PST
This a post based on my experience - I wouldn't recommend it Andy.

 
Gordana
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said this on
04 Feb 2014 8:54:14 PM PST
I am interested in starting a business making fancy European traditional GF cakes. Any advise or information would be great.

 
JoJo Ellis
Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfull Unrated
said this on
18 May 2014 11:11:09 AM PST
I want to start my own business, where do I start ?

 
Cat
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said this on
10 Nov 2014 7:51:16 PM PST
Any advice in dealing with the FDA's new regulation? I've been planning for a long time now to start a gluten-free, vegan bakery and the time is ripe in my city.

 
Samantha
Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfull Unrated
said this on
11 Nov 2014 10:39:08 AM PST
Can I get more info? I'm interested in opening my own GF market.

 
Sonia
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said this on
08 Nov 2015 5:17:21 AM PST
Can I get more info? I'm interested in opening my own GF market.




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