I am very excited to share today’s product review with you! While we were perusing the vendor fair at the GFAF Expo in Chicago, my friend Wendy of Celiacs in the House and I stopped by the GlutenTox Home booth and had a great conversation with Catherine Torgler, PhD of Biomedal Diagnostics, the developer of the new gluten home test kit.
The GlutenTox Home Test Kit is a rapid and user-friendly test for the detection of gluten in food (with the exception of chocolate) and drinks which has an extremely harmful effect on people who suffer from celiac disease and non-celiac gluten-sensitivity. Catherine went on to explain the new G12 antibody:
“The G12 antibody can specifically recognize a fragment in the 33-mer peptide of gliadin (part of the gluten complex). This 33-mer fragment is resistant to enzymatic digestion and is responsible for the onset of celiac disease. This same antibody is also capable to recognize varieties of oat that can trigger a reaction in celiac patients, the kit is therefore also a good tool to ensure the oat a celiac is about to consume is harmless.” Click here to learn more.
Because the FDA has yet to finalize the proposed standard for gluten-free labeling (currently less than 20 ppm of gluten), we, in the gluten-free community are left on our own to determine if 1) a product contains gluten in one of its many hidden forms and 2) if the product has been exposed to gluten via cross-contamination.
For people who experience swift and obvious reactions to gluten exposure, they have the (albeit back-handed) benefit of knowing which products to stay away from, but experiencing that kind of pain is no doubt something one would rather not endure. For people like myself, an atypical celiac who does not experience any obvious physical symptoms from accidental glutenings, it’s a dangerous game of Russian Roulette not knowing exactly what is in your food…100% of the time. I do get routine annual blood tests to monitor my compliance with the gluten-free diet, but a year of unknowingly consuming gluten, even trace amounts, can have devastating consequences. Trust me when I say that zero symptoms does not mean the same thing as zero damage (I unfortunately have the blood tests to prove it). Personally, I’m a big advocate of the 3-tier system that Rodney Ford, MD, MB, BS, FRACP proposes, but I digress. 😀
Remember, whether a product contains 1 ppm of gluten or 20 ppm of gluten, it still contains gluten. We are all different and therefore it is difficult to know what is the absolute upper threshold of daily gluten intake that is safe for everyone with gluten intolerance. For me and mine though, I’m a zero gluten gal (at least I try to be) and that is why I’ve been moving my family more towards a whole foods diet, with only the very rare, occasional use of prepackaged gluten-free products (versus the other way around, which is the way it used to be for us). For a good article on how much gluten is considered “safe,” Nancy Lapid wrote an article about it here on About.com.
So, until there are there are some clear and strict federal guidelines in place for products labeled “gluten-free,” the GlutenTox Home Test Kit is a great resource to help identify gluten-free products which are truly safe.
The following is information from the GlutenTox Home website:
Aligning with Codex Alimentarius Commission, GlutenTox Home can detect gluten in food at 20 parts per million (ppm). Additionally it can detect gluten in food at 5ppm for those who need a stricter gluten-free diet.
GlutenTox Home contains a new antibody called G12. It was developed to specifically recognize the toxic fraction of gluten present in wheat, barley, rye and oat that triggers the auto-immune response in celiac patients. The specificity of this technique prevents accidental ingestion of food that contains these cereals.
GlutenTox Home and Oat
The new technology used in GlutenTox Home can be used to differentiate between beneficial oat varieties that are safe for celiacs. Read journal on oat study here: (link to journal)
Up until recently, GlutenTox Home has only been available in Spain and other parts of Europe. Emily Kaufman has brought GlutenTox Home to the United States via her company, Emport, LLC. In addition to selling the kit online, Emport, LLC is working with retailers to place GlutenTox Home on store shelves nationwide.
GlutenTox Home is available for purchase online at: www.glutentox.com
More information about GlutenTox Home is available at: www.glutentoxhome.com
Emily kindly gave Wendy and I each a complimentary GlutenTox Home test kit so we could do this fun experiment for you. Last week, I asked my readers on Facebook which products they would most like for us to test and those products were: Post’s Fruity Pebbles cereal (which is now labeled gluten-free), General Mills Chex cereal, Crunchmaster crackers and Annie’s Gluten-Free Bunny Cookies.
You asked and we obliged!
Here are the logistics:
- I tested the Post Fruity Pebbles cereal using the 20 ppm protocol and I tested General Mills Honey Nut Chex using the 5 ppm protocol.
- Wendy’s and her daughter, Shelby, tested both the Crunchmaster crackers and Annie’s Gluten-Free Bunny Cookies using the 5 ppm protocol.
The following is a little photo tutorial:
Smash up your sample with a clean crushing device (I used my sauerkraut pounder), my first sample was the newly gluten-free Fruity Pebbles Cereal (above photos).
After vigorously shaking the sample in the Extraction Solution for 2 minutes (it is important to have a stop watch handy…yes, there’s an app for that!), allow the solution to rest for 5 minutes, until the sample has settled to the bottom of the container (above photos).
To test your sample to 20 ppm, use a pipette to place 2 drops of the Extraction Solution (bottle with the yellow cap) into the Dilution Solution (bottle with the blue cap). To test to 5 ppm, you would add 8 drops instead of 2. Shake gently for 15 seconds then open the package containing the test…it looks like a pregnancy test (above photos).
Using a new pipette, place 5-6 drops of the Dilution Solution onto the test strip, then set the stop watch for 10 minutes and wait.
This would be a good time to catch up on your favorite magazine that has been collecting dust for a while. Or,
call your mom to say hello, nevermind, save that call for when you have at least 30 minutes to spare. 😉
Had there been gluten present, the sticks would have had a pink line show up next to the blue control line. Neither test had a pink line so…
My box* of Post Fruity Pebbles passed the “20 ppm (or under) of gluten” test!
My box* of General Mills Honey Nut Chex passed the “5 ppm (or under) of gluten” test!
*It is important to note that there’s always the chance of variation from lot to lot with any given product, and so the test results really can’t count as any sort of official certification (or condemnation) of a product.
The following are Wendy and Shelby’s test results:
Shelby and I decided to test Annie’s Gluten-Free Bunny Cookies because I used them to decorate Easter cupcakes and someone on the Celiac List-Serv had asked about cross-contamination issues. Holidays seem to be the times I get caught with a new item that I haven’t properly researched. The bunnies tested negative with the 5 ppm test.
I also chose the Crunchmaster Crackers because I felt I was reacting to something in my diet and with so few processed foods and not eating out, the crackers were on the very short list of possible suspects. Crunchmaster tested negative at 5ppm also.
This points out that what is making a lot of us react and then wonder about gluten, is not really gluten, but other things that we are sensitive to. Looking at the lists of ingredients in both these products I see corn, soy, sesame, oils, tapioca, gums, and starches and other gluten-free whole grains. It seems like the longer we are gluten-free, the more things we find are causing reactions. The GlutenTox test helped me to rule out gluten as the issue and to look deeper into the ingredient list to start to find other foods and ingredients to avoid.
Heidi here, Emily informed me that the GlutenTox Home test kits are a qualified medical expense for anyone with a health savings account, so long as the patient is using it to mitigate symptoms of a diagnosed illness and can provide proof of diagnosis if asked. For more information, contact Emily Kaufman at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you order a GlutenTox Home Test Kit during the month of May, you can get a 10% discount using the code GFMAY upon checkout.
Emily has kindly offered to give one of my readers a FREE GlutenTox Home Test kit!
To enter for a chance to win, simply leave a comment!
*Entries limited to residents of the United States and Canada.
Bonus Entry Opportunities (these are strictly optional, but should you decide to do any of them, please leave a separate comment for each task you complete as this is how I keep track of entries, thank you).
- ‘Like’ GlutenTox Home – North America on Facebook
- ‘Like’ Celiacs in the House on Facebook
- ‘Like’ Adventures of a Gluten Free Mom on Facebook
- ‘Follow’ GlutenTox on Twitter
- ‘Follow’ Celiacs in the House on Twitter
- ‘Follow’ Adventures of a Gluten Free Mom on Twitter
- Share the link to this giveaway on your Facebook Page
- Tweet about this giveaway on Twitter (be sure to include @adventuresgfmom in your tweet so I know you did this)
I will announce the winner on Friday, May 13, 2011, Good Luck! 😀
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