Ambler, Pennsylvania ( February 1st, 2009) - The National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA) will make its case for increasing the availability and accessibility of gluten-free foods at the 2009 Research Chefs Association (RCA) Culinology® Expo, to be held in Dallas, Texas. NFCA aims to make a lasting impact on over 200 culinary industry organizations represented at the Expo as they present, ‘Rolling out a Gluten-Free Menu or Product’ on Saturday, March 7th at 3PM.
Through their presence at the 2009 Culinology® Expo; NFCA representatives and industry partners hope to not only increase awareness and educate conference attendees on the special dietary requirements of those with celiac disease and gluten intolerances, but generate interest and participation in NFCA’s Gluten-Free Resource Education Awareness Training (GREAT) Program as well.
“Rolling out a Gluten-free Menu or Product” is one of 20 presentations scheduled for the three day expo. The 2008 Culinology® expo drew a record attendance of over 1600 attendees, attracting the top research and development professionals in the industry. The annual Expo has become the premiere venue to launch new and innovative products, gain insight on growing industry trends, and establish networking opportunities.
NFCA has partnered with Across the Board Resource Inc., a multi-unit restaurant chain account resource, for its Culinology® Expo presentation. The presentation panel includes: NFCA director of Education and Gluten- Free Education Awareness Training (GREAT) program founder Nancy Baker, Across the Board Resource Inc. president Sharon Fratilla, corporate executive chef of Biaggi’s Ristorante Italiano Peter Schonman, Tricia Hamilton of Godfather’s Pizza, and senior culinary director of Maggiano’s Little Italy Keith Burnell.
The NFCA aims to highlight the growing U.S gluten-free food product market, which reports expect to reach $1.7 billion by 2010. Their presentation will also capitalize the increasing popularity of the gluten-free diet; as the National Restaurant Association named ‘gluten-free’ one of the top trends for 2009. NFCA representatives and presenters will also stress that this steadily growing market presence is not a fad but rather one of permanent loyal consumer. The current gluten-free market includes millions Americans who suffer from celiac disease and gluten intolerances, as well as those with wheat and other food allergies.
Created by the NFCA, the Gluten- Free Resource Education Awareness Training (GREAT) program is a multimedia, comprehensive educational tool that seeks to inform and educate the entire food industry on celiac disease, the gluten-free diet, as well as gluten-free cooking and product protocols. In 2008, the GREAT program was purchased and implemented in 131 establishments, more than any other gluten-free restaurant certification and training program.
The GREAT Association, an extension of NFCA and the GREAT program; is a national nonprofit trade association of gluten-free businesses and other interested parties. GREAT works to enhance and improve the gluten-free business climate in the nation by promoting quality, tested gluten-free products to the general public; protecting the rights of gluten-free businesses, and assisting businesses to improve their sales and profits. The GREAT Association aims to standardize and equip the entire spectrum of the food industry including: manufacturers, vendors, retailers, and both individual and multi-unit chain foodservice establishments.
Across the Board Resource, Inc lends their nineteen years experience in the culinary industry to NFCA in helping to develop the “Rolling out a Gluten-free Menu or Product” presentation. Across the Board Resource, Inc. is a chain account resource specializing in concept development, production, packaging; ingredient sourcing and menu roll out. Over the past few years, they have been particularly involved in gluten-free products and menus, assisting clients with: assembling gluten-free manufactures, developing requested products and sourcing safe ingredients, as well as cultivating additional gluten-free manufactures across the country.
Celiac disease is an autoimmune digestive disease that damages the small intestine and interferes with absorption of nutrients from food. It is triggered by consumption of the protein called gluten, which is found in wheat, barley and rye. Left untreated, people with celiac disease can develop further complications such as other autoimmune diseases, osteoporosis, thyroid disease, and some cancers. The National Institute of Health estimates that 1 in 133 people in the United States have celiac disease, but an astounding 95% live undiagnosed. The only known treatment for celiac disease is a lifelong adherence to a gluten- free diet.
NFCA is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to raising awareness and funding for celiac disease that will advance research, education and screening amongst medical professionals, children and adults. Visit www.beyondceliac.org , or call 215-325-1306 ext. 103 for further information.
Founded in 1996, the RCA has rapidly grown to over 2,200 members, including chefs, food scientists, technologists, writers, nutritionists, academicians, researchers, consultants, sales and marketing professionals, suppliers, co-packers, distributors, and students. RCA is the premier source of culinary and technical information for the food industry and is committed to the advancement of Culinology®. The Culiology® Expo has become the premiere venue to launch new and innovative products, gain insight on growing industry trends, and establish networking opportunities. RCA’s event is the only annual food expo to focus on Culinology®, the blending of culinary arts, food science, and technology. To learn more about the RCA and 2009 Culinology® Expo, visit www.culinology.org