Even small amounts of gluten in food are problematic for people with celiac disease, and restaurants are the heaviest places to avoid protein, found in a study conducted by Dr. Med. medicine and epidemiology at Columbia Mailman School. More than half of gluten-free pizza and pasta dishes in restaurants have been positively rated for the presence of gluten; Approximately one-third of the gluten-free diet had gluten that can be detected. The results are published in American Journal of Gastroenterology.
"Patients have long suspected that contamination of gluten in restaurant meals is common, and the results support it," Lebwohl said. "Our findings suggest that pizza, pasta and food served at dinner probably had a problem."
Lebwohl used data transmitted by users of the Nima Gluten Sensor portable device used by restaurant users to test food. The manufacturer has delivered 5.624 food tests to 804 users over 18 months. The study showed that 32 percent of the tests revealed that gluten could be detected in pots that were supposed to be gluten-free.
Gluten-free pasta samples were positive in 51% of the tests; Gluten-free pasta contains gluten for 53 percent. Gluten was discovered in 27% breakfast, 29% for lunches and 34% for dinners.
There are limitations in the data, notes Lebwohl. "Users may have passed the results that surprise them most." Also, the device is very sensitive. To be labeled gluten-free in the United States, the product must contain less than 20 parts per million. "The device can detect low levels of 5 to 10 ppm, most not considered to be clinically significant, so the result of" found gluten "does not necessarily mean" unsteady for celiac disease. "The device also does not disclose certain forms of gluten such as fermented gluten will and false positive and false negative influence on this assessment.
Lebwohl suspects that gluten-free foods are inadvertently contaminated and "the solution may be better education for food processors."