Food Innovation Center Tour

On Saturday, May 6, 2017, the Lincoln Celiac Support Group met at Innovation Campus, home to the Food Innovation Center. Dr. Steven Taylor, Head of the Department of Food Science and Technology and Director of the Food Processing Center, led us on a tour of the facility which included the Food Sensor Facility, Food Chemistry Lab, Microbiology Lab, Product Development Kitchen, Brewery System, and Processing Center with a Smoke house, Food seasoning tumbler, freeze drier and more. His staff performs gluten analysis on established and developing gluten free products for the marketplace. There was more than 54,000 products tested last year. Most of the established GF products do test well below the FDA regulation, 20 ppm, but some of the new products require several analysis before GF ingredients can be sourced correctly to manufacture a gluten-free product. He discussed the ways wheat and soy can cross contact with gluten-free foods and ways to avoid the problems. We learned about co-packing which means another facility maybe used to produce a product, making it difficult to know preparation and packing methods and risks for cross contact.  Always look for gluten-free labeling on packages and ask how questionable products are produced.  Bean products and malt products could be sources of gluten.

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