Baking & Snack contributing editor Joe Stout really understands the importance of gluten-free foods. Both of his daughters have celiac disease. They were diagnosed in 2001 when finding gluten-free foods was rare. Mr. Stout noted the only guidance that packaged foods put on labels at that time was confusing, and the best option was using fresh, unprocessed foods.

“When my daughters were originally diagnosed, we were amazed how limiting a celiac-friendly diet is,” he explained. “At that time, being a celiac patient was very difficult. Think of it: no bread, pizza, licorice, oats and beer or many other alcohols. However, since then, more gluten-free foods have become available in grocery stores and restaurants.”

On a personal note, Mr. Stout would like to thank the many companies and associations in the food industry for working together to accommodate gluten-free diets.

“Speaking for my family, we appreciate your R.&D. work, analytical methods and food safety programs that paved the way for many of these products,” he said. “Fortunately, due to demand from celiac patients and others who choose to avoid gluten, gluten-free-labeled products are readily available today.”

For more on safely producing gluten-free foods, check out Mr. Stout’s column in the upcoming October issue of Baking & Snack magazine.