Grocery Health Packaged Food Sweets

Gluten-Free OREOs Are Officially Launching In 2021

Photo courtesy of OREO

For those with Celiac disease or gluten intolerance issues, finding snacks that cater to those diets on the shelves is difficult, and may even come at a slightly steeper price. Studies have shown that gluten-free snacks can often cost significantly more than their counterparts.

Such snacks are about to get a lot more accessible though, as OREO, one of the largest cookie brands globally, is releasing their own line of gluten-free treats.

Available in standard and Double STUF variety, both sets of cookies will come certified by the Gluten-Free Certification Organization (GFCO), one of the most trusted and widely accepted standards worldwide. While they have no regulatory or enforcement authority, the set of audits companies have to go through to receive this certification are stricter than the rules set for “gluten-free” definitions by the FDA, the EU, and other governing bodies.

This ensures that for those who have gluten intolerance or Celiac disease, these cookies should provide minimal risk. It also gives OREO a whole new market of customers to purchase their cookies.

Gluten-free OREOs will arrive in markets starting in January 2021.

Health News Science

New Study Suggests That Non-Celiac ‘Gluten Sensitivity’ Is Caused By Another Molecule

While only a small percentage of people suffer from Celiac Disease (aka a gluten allergy), many more claim to have “gluten sensitivity.” Typical reported symptoms include bloating and uncomfortable stomach feelings after eating wheat products, and staying away from those usually results in people feeling better.

Because of gluten’s reputation these days, it’s easy to point the finger at this protein network as the responsible culprit. However, new research suggests that a different molecule in wheat may be responsible for the reactions people are having.

gluten sensitivity

The study, which was published in the journal Gastroenterology, postulates that fructan, a carbohydrate found in wheat and other items, is actually responsible for the self-reported bloating. Other foods that contain fructan include onions and chickpeas.

To back up their claim, researchers put 59 self-diagnosed “gluten-sensitive” participants through a rotating panel of muesli bars, with the treatment switching every 2 weeks. The bars either were a placebo (no gluten or fructan), had added gluten, or had added fructan.

Surprisingly, fructan actually had the highest reported scores for both bloating and symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, a common symptom of self-reported gluten sensitivity. When it came to the number of participants, the greatest number reported their highest scores when eating the fructan bars, at 24 compared to gluten’s 13. Interestingly, 22 reported the placebo as having the most bloating/irritable bowel symptoms, however.

Nonetheless, fructan seems like it’s more significantly responsible for the bloating that gluten-sensitive people often have when they diagnose themselves. More research needs to be done to confirm exactly what fructan does to the body, but it now seems that for non-celiacs, gluten isn’t as bad as people think it is.

Health News Science

Celiac Disease May Be Treatable Thanks To This New Research

celiac disease

Celiac disease is one of the worst autoimmune disorders to live with on the planet. Anytime you eat something with gluten, you risk potential intestine damage, which can lead to nervous system disorders and other diseases. The only current way to “treat” this condition is to avoid eating gluten completely. Considering that it shows up in everything from bread to soy sauce, it’s difficult to not consume. However, a breakthrough in research may lead to a new treatment that could help those with celiac disease tolerate gluten.

This breakthrough is a new enzyme, KumaMax, that can break down gluten. While other enzymes do exist and have gone through tests, they have failed at the clinical trial level. KumaMax, however, differs from these proteins in that it came to life through synthetic bio-engineering. Using a “video game” that creates synthetic DNA to code for proteins, undergraduates at the University of Washington (UW) conceived an enzyme that can survive stomach acid and tear through gluten.

The engineered DNA is then inserted into bacteria that make the KumaMax protein for larger-scale production. Currently, university spinoff business PvP Biologics is attempting to gain FDA approval for this new synthetic enzyme. PvP is licensing the enzyme from the University of Washington to make production possible. UC Davis professor Justin Siegel, who previously researched at UW, and UW professor Ingrid Swanson Pultz, are co-founders of this new company.

While some people may be concerned over the fact that this treatment involves consuming a biosynthetic enzyme, PvP CEO and president Adam Simpson assures Foodbeast that this protein will be perfectly fine to ingest. “Enzymes are proteins, and proteins make up about 40% of the diet for a human. The human body is well adapted to breakdown and excrete ingested proteins,” Simpson states, meaning that our body will treat this enzyme just like any other protein.

PvP is currently conducting safety testing of KumaMax, and hopes to begin clinical trials as early as next year. If those prove to be successful, KumaMax could be the first-ever treatment for celiac disease. However, Simpson says that it’s too early right now to give a timeline as to when that would be available. Additionally, you still shouldn’t be consuming gluten with aplomb while being treated with KumaMax. According to Simpson, the enzyme is meant to reduce symptoms and intestinal damage when the protein network is accidentally consumed. Thus, it’s not particularly designed to handle consumption of something like a massive hunk of bread. Still, the fact that gluten could be broken down by medicine is ground-breaking.

We’ll definitely be keeping an eye on this research to see where it heads from here. Hopefully, it leads to a treatment – and maybe even a cure – for those who suffer from celiac disease.

Fast Food Health

Pizza Hut Coddles New Gluten-Free Pizza, Domino’s Gluten-y Hands Still Molesting Ingredients


Pizza Hut announced a new gluten-free pizza today (National Gluten-Free Day), two whole years after Domino’s entered the gluten-free market. Unlike Domino’s, Pizza Hut is actually doing everything within their power to keep these specialty pizzas away from gluten.

Apparently, Domino’s does not care that much about the 18 million Americans with gluten sensitivities. Their compassion starts and ends with a gluten-free crust which is not effectively protected from gluten exposure in the kitchen, particularly as toppings are added.

Following in the footsteps of pizza brands like California Pizza Kitchen, Pizza Hut is outfitting about 38 percent of their US stores with “Gluten-Free Kits” complete with special gloves, utensils, and dedicated ingredients (marinara sauce, cheese, and pepperoni). They also place the pies on parchment paper in the oven for additional protection. Depending on your gluten sensitivity, you can simply use the crust as a base for a more complex pizza.

Both companies do not advise patrons suffering from celiac disease to try their gluten-free options, but at least Pizza Hut is trying to rise to the occasion. It’s like Domino’s realized they would never be able to make a 100 percent gluten-free pizza, so they just threw in the towel after they made the crust.


You can order a 10-inch gluten-free pizza from Pizza Hut beginning January 26.


Scientists are Working on a Pill for Celiac Disease


Researchers believe that they have found a way to help those with celiac disease.

A study conducted in the Gastroenterology journal found that the gluten-specific enzyme ALV003 reduced a patient’s exposure to gluten better than a placebo.

While most people don’t seem to know what gluten really is , you’ve probably seen it linked to Celiac Disease, a digestive disease that damages the intestine when consuming gluten.

Researchers hope the ALV003 enzyme can lead to a pill that aids gluten-intolerant folks. Even with a gluten-free diet, there is still potential harm being done to the intestines through accidental gluten consumption. Theoretically, the pill would reduce the harm done by the sneaky protein composite.

In the study, researchers randomly selected 41 people in Finland diagnosed with celiac disease to take either ALV003 or a placebo pill every day. They then asked them to eat 2 grams of gluten daily for 6 weeks and took samples of the small intestine to analyze. Daniel Adelman, the lead researcher found that the those who took the placebo pill had a notably higher amount of intestinal injuries and inflammation than those who took the ALV003 pill. There a was no visible change in the intestines of the subjects who took ALV003, suggesting the pill protected them from  harm.

However, this doesn’t mean celiacs should head to the pastry aisle just yet. “This drug is not intended to allow you to go have a pizza or French bread,” Adelman told HuffPo. “It’s not intended to replace the gluten-free diet — just allow it to be more effective, we hope.”