May 12, 2012
In a move that is a first in its industry, Domino Pizza launched what they call a gluten-free pizza. Although the crust itself has been tested for less that 20 parts per million, they seem to have forgotten a very important consideration: cross contamination. I have sneaked a peak at my neighborhood’s Domino Pizza store and I can promise you they do not have a separate production room with separate equipment and ovens to handle these highly sensitive products. So, for people highly reactive to gluten like Celiac disease sufferers, it’s an absolute no go.
This leads me to an important question regarding the certification offered by the NFCA (National Foundation for Celiac Awareness). Is it me or it seems that they speak from both sides of their mouth. Is it certified to be gluten-free or is it not? It feels to me that they are happy to collect their certification fee from a huge corporation, but in Domino Pizza’s own disclaimer (see below), they cover their “derriere” by saying that although they are “thrilled” that Domino Pizza have developed a gluten-free pizza but they CANNOT recommend it for customers with Celiac disease. How is that for double-speak? Find the press release here: http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?c=135383&p=irol-newsArticle&ID=1692234&highlight
Although there is no ingredient listing on the gluten-free pizza box, I found this information on their web site:
Gluten Free Crust: Water, Rice Flour, Rice Starch, Potato Starch, Olive Oil, Evaporated Cane Juice, Tapioca Flour, Potato Flour, Fresh Yeast (is this yeast certified gluten-free as well?), Avicel (a microcrystalline cellulose – a fiber additive to prevent flour stickiness), Salt, Calcium Propionate (a preservative used as a mold inhibitor). Please note, the comments are mine.
Although I cannot blame Domino Pizza for trying to get their share of the very fast growing gluten-free market, I do have a problem with NFCA adding their stamp of approval on something they have to know is impossible to keep 100% gluten-free in the best of circumstances. It is a step in the right direction for Domino but a step backward for NFCA. Too bad! Their reputation will suffer from it as Celiac patients will be very cautious about the products they endorse from now on.
My Taste Test
I had the opportunity to taste their pizza a couple of days ago. Although the crust has a nice crunch to it, I found it to be oily to the palate. The rest of the toppings are the same found on any other regular pizza. For my dairy-free friends, this pizza is not dairy-free.
If you must have a pizza and are slightly sensitive but not Celiac, you may want to give a try to this new product but as a nutritionist, I cannot recommend it as a healthy food. It is still junk food no matter whether you are sensitive or not to gluten.
A Votre Sante
Chef Alain Braux
Domino Pizza’s Disclaimer
“Domino’s pizza made with a Gluten Free Crust is prepared in a common kitchen with the risk of gluten exposure. The National Foundation for Celiac Awareness supports the availability of Domino’s Gluten Free Crust, but CANNOT recommend the pizza for customers with celiac disease. Customers with gluten sensitivities should exercise judgment in consuming this pizza”.
Chef Alain Braux