How do large GF companies source flour?

Excerpt from the National Newsletter – Read the full article by becoming a member of the CCA!

We asked two of the largest entirely gluten-free manufacturers in Canada.

El PetoEl Peto Products purchases rice flour from a mill in southwest Ontario that grinds and packages only gluten-free grains. They also have a small on-site mill that they use to grind some lower volume ingredients with an in-house ELISA test kit and third-party lab testing.

Any products that fail testing are segregated from the gluten-free manufacturer.

Recently, El Peto purchased furniture and equipment to install a full testing lab in their facility so that they can generate a full report for any product. The new lab, testing materials, warehousing software, tracking equipment like barcode scanners, extra administrative and warehousing work are all expensive, but they recognize that this effort is essential to make sure the gluten-free ingredients and products they supply are truly gluten free.

They are also looking for a way to standardize inspection for trucks that carry product from their factory to retail outlets to minimize cross contamination.

Kinnikinnick Foods requires all of its suppliers to provide allergen statements including gluten. They have an in-house testing facility that tests all lots of all of their major ingredients and they use a 3rd party lab to spot check the results. All of their minor ingredients are tested on a schedule based on risk and are also subject to spot checks. Any products that fail the tests are rejected and returned to the manufacturer. Maintaining the schedule of testing is their version of reading every label, every time.

Because of the work they do with suppliers, Kinnikinnick rarely sees positive tests. About a year ago, they began to see positive test on certain spice ingredients, perhaps because the spice manufacturer changed sources or changed the products they package. They found new suppliers for almost all of the spices; two products are still temporarily discontinued until a new supplier is found for all the spices.

Many of our members purchase gluten-free products from Bob’s Red Mill.  Although this company produces both gluten-containing and gluten-free products, they produce gluten-free products in a dedicated facility free from wheat and other gluten-containing grains.

They test products in an on-site quality control laboratory before milling and after packaging. 

Bob’s gluten-free facility is also dairy and casein free.

(Thank you to Elisabeth Riesen and Jay Bigam for help with this article.)