Celiac Student Helps Invent New Gluten-Free Chip

July 14, 2011

Celiac Student Helps Invent New Gluten-Free Chip

University of Alberta team hopes to put healthy and celiac-friendly chickpea snack on store shelves.

The Toronto Sun paid tribute to a group of University of Alberta agricultural, food and nutritional science students – including one with celiac disease – who has developed a new gluten-free chip. Chickitos are made from chickpeas and contain 4 grams of protein, 3 grams of fiber and only 55 mg of sodium per serving. The chips are also cholesterol-free, making them a healthy snack option, the article noted.

Team member Kate Alexander was an eager participant, having dealt with the challenges of a gluten-free diet since being diagnosed with celiac at age 15. “It’s still tough trying to find something healthy to eat when you’re out and about,” she told the Toronto Sun, especially when teenage favorites like pizza and fast food are off limits.

The students spent 150 hours of trial and error and tested every form of chickpea – dried, canned, flour – before they achieved the right flavor and texture. “Some of them were a disaster,” Kate admitted. “We had chunks of chickpeas everywhere in our product, which was definitely not good.”

The effort paid off, as the team won a provincial championship for their invention and went on to the national Pulse Canada competition. They ultimately hope to see Chickitos on store shelves, and that goal doesn’t seem too far to reach.

To read the full story, visit the Toronto Sun.