ANN ARBOR, MICH. — Domino’s Pizza has introduced a pizza crust appropriate for people with mild gluten sensitivity. The National Foundation for Celiac Awareness supports the availability of the new Domino’s crust, but the N.F.C.A. cannot recommend the pizza for customers with celiac disease because it is prepared in a common kitchen with the risk of gluten exposure.
“Many of our customers have asked for a gluten-free crust, and Domino’s is excited to offer a product to customers with mild gluten sensitivity, as well as partner with the N.F.C.A., which has been instrumental to our learning more about how to take this step,” said J. Patrick Doyle, president and chief executive officer of Domino’s Pizza. “The prevalence of gluten sensitivity has become a real issue with significant impact on consumer choice, and we want to be part of the solution. Now, the whole group can enjoy Domino’s with the addition of our new gluten-free crust.”
Domino’s Pizza consulted with the N.F.C.A. to ensure Domino’s products and team member training meet the standards of the foundation’s Great Kitchens Amber Designation. Great Kitchens is a credentialing program that has expanded to include restaurants offering gluten-free products with varying kitchen practices, therefore suitable for those with gluten sensitivity under the Amber Designation. The gluten level in the new Domino’s pizza crust is under 20 parts per million (p.p.m.).
Pizza with the new crust is available in a 10-inch size in all of Domino’s nearly 5,000 U.S. stores. Prices vary by store. The crust has no ingredients with gluten. Instead, it includes water, rice flour, rice starch, potato starch, olive oil, evaporated cane juice, tapioca flour, potato flour, fresh yeast, avidel, salt and calcium propionate.
“The N.F.C.A. is thrilled that Domino’s Pizza has developed a product that will improve the quality of life for many of the estimated 18 million Americans who are gluten-sensitive,” said Alice Bast, founder and president of the N.F.C.A., Ambler, Pa. “Not only is Domino’s gluten-free pizza crust a huge win for much of the gluten-free community who can now get pizza delivered to their door, it’s also delicious.
“Customers aren’t going to believe they’re eating a pizza made on a gluten-free crust when they try it. And the variety of fresh toppings that are available is a giant leap ahead.”
While an estimated 18 million Americans have non-celiac gluten sensitivity, another estimated 3 million Americans have celiac disease, an autoimmune disorder, according to the N.F.C.A. Consuming gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley and rye, triggers celiac disease.
Domino’s Pizza has disclaimers on its web site and a YouTube video that say the N.F.C.A. cannot recommend the pizza for customers with celiac disease.
“There is no misleading advertising here,” said Tim McIntyre, vice-president of communications for Domino’s Pizza. “We have no concerns from a legal standpoint.”
Domino’s Pizza will store the crust designed for gluten-sensitive people in a separate area of the walk-in cooler until it is ordered. Pizza with the new crust will be made on the same pizza screen as all other pizzas and will use the same makeline, certain ingredients and utensils as all other pizzas. Employees will use the same pizza peel and pizza cutter on pizzas with the new crust as well as all other pizzas.
Domino’s ingredients that contain gluten and should not be added to the crust for gluten-sensitive people include Philly meat, Alfredo sauce and cheddar sauces. Other Domino’s products that contain gluten include hand-tossed dough, thin crust, deep dish, Brooklyn crust, sandwich bread, pasta and boneless chicken.