To eat or not to eat wheat starch-containing gluten-free DiGiorno pizza – Gluten Free Watchdog

The controversy over the use of wheat starch in gluten-free foods is back on the front burner due to the newfangled DiGiorno gluten-free pizza. The pizza are made using wheat starch that has been processed to remove gluten .
Before we go any far, please remember that under the FDA ’ randomness 2013 gluten-free pronounce rule, pale yellow starch is an allow ingredient in foods labeled gluten-free american samoa long as its use does not result in the final examination food product containing 20 parts per million or more of gluten. Please avoid wheat starch containing foods NOT labeled gluten-free.
Bottom line
If you would like to eat a wheat starch-containing food labeled gluten-free food, it is prudent to make surely at least one of the following is true :

  • It is confirmed by the manufacturer that 1. Hydrolytic enzymes are not used in the production process of water washed wheat starch, and 2. Wheat starch is tested with a sandwich ELISA.


  • It is confirmed by the manufacturer that both the sandwich and competitive R5 ELISAs are used to assess the wheat starch for gluten.

To learn the why for the above recommendation, please read on…
Gluten Free Watchdog testing
GFWD tested four DiGiorno gluten-free pizzas—two pepperoni pizza and two cheese pizzas. Extractions from both the whole pizza ( crust and toppings ) and the crust only were tested .
Summary of what we found
Sandwich R5 ELISA ( quantifies intact gluten ) : All 16 extractions from samples of both the unharmed pizza and the crust only contained a level of gluten below the lower limit of quantification of 5 parts per million .
competitive R5 ELISA ( detects gluten protein fragments ) : All 16 extractions from samples of both the whole pizza and the crust only contained a level of gluten below the lower limit of quantification of 10 parts per million .
Are DiGiorno gluten-free pizza appropriate for folks with coeliac disease ?
possibly. The gluten contented of pale yellow starch can vary and GFWD would feel a lot more comfortable providing an assessment on guard if we knew :
1. The assays used by DiGiorno and their supplier to test wheat starch for gluten .
2. The process used by their supplier in the output of pale yellow starch ( for example, are hydrolytic enzymes used ) .
Why the cautionary note ? Because of what assay manufacturer R-Biopharm has to say about testing wheat starch for gluten…
From R-Biopharm
Under sealed circumstances, R-Biopharm, the manufacturer of the sandwich and competitive R5 ELISAs recommends the practice of the competitive R5 ELISA when assessing wheat starch for gluten .
GFWD question to R-Biopharm : Do you distillery recommend using the competitive R5 ELISA when assessing starch for gluten ? If yes, does this include body of water washed wheat starch ?

answer from R-Biopharm : thank you for asking. The answer unfortunately is “ it depends ” … If hydrolytic enzymes were used in the output summons of ( water washed ) starch the use of R7021 ( competitive ELISA ) is the better choice. If hydrolysis can be excluded R7001 works ticket .
information from DiGiorno
DiGiorno states on their web site that they use pale yellow starch that undergoes a rinse process, “ We extract the starch from the wheat and then rinse the starch to remove the gluten. ” They do not submit whether or not the procedure involves hydrolytic enzymes .
significant retainer
It is likely adjacent to impossible for consumers to find out if a supplier uses hydrolytic enzymes during the product serve of water washed pale yellow starch. A less frustrating approach may be to ask the manufacturer if they or their supplier test wheat starch using the competitive R5 ELISA. however, this question may be met with secrecy a well .
Gluten Free Watchdog reached out to DiGiorno, Schar, and Caputo to ask about the testing and origin processes for the pale yellow starch used in their products .
DiGiorno: Has not yet responded.
Schar: Hydrolytic enzymes are NOT used in the production process of water washed wheat starch AND both a sandwich and competitive ELISA are used to assess wheat starch for gluten.
Caputo: Has not yet responded.
If a wheat starch-containing merchandise is certified by GFCO
GFCO stated in electronic mail symmetry that they certify very few products with wheat starch, but that with an increase in interest they are updating their policies to clarify that wheat starch must be water washed only (without the use of hydrolytic enzymes), and that the starch must test below the lower specify of quantification ( no more than 5 ppm of gluten ) using a sandwich ELISA .
DiGiorno states on their web site that their pizzas are not presently certified but they are in the march of obtaining documentation. They do not name the authentication organization .
What to do if you believe a pale yellow starch-containing food made you vomit

Contact an FDA Consumer Complaint Coordinator in your state/region and file a report. See hypertext transfer protocol : // .
For more data on wheat starch, see hypertext transfer protocol : //