May is Celiac Awareness Month around the world and today is National Celiac Disease Awareness Day in Spain. Celiac disease is a genetic autoimmune disorder where the consumption of gluten—a protein commonly found in wheat, rye and barley—can cause damage to the small intestine. If it is left untreated or undiagnosed, it can lead to very serious health problems.
As this disease becomes increasingly visible, businesses are constantly adapting their products to accommodate people with Celiac disease. In Spain, for example, agro companies and restaurants have broadened their offer in recent years to better serve this population and gluten-free eating has become a popular topic at food conferences.
For example, veterinarian Antonio Pérez Moreno developed an innovative gluten-free acorn flour with tremendous culinary possibilities, and Spanish company Casa Amella has created a line of “free-from” (e.g. gluten, dairy, etc.) products which aim to “answer demands from consumers… suffering from Celiac disease” and other ailments. Similarly, the Made in the Pyrenees conference last year included a workshop highlighting dishes suitable for people with Celiac disease and Spanish companies attends, with the suport of Foods & Wines from Spain, Expo West trade fair in Anaheim, California showcasing their gluten-free products.