More than 2 million people in the United States with a digestive disorder known as celiac disease cannot tolerate a common grain protein known as gluten and are unable to enjoy traditional pizza, birthday cake or cookies without pain and bloating. Thanks to a new 15,000-square-foot Bloomfield Farms plant in Bloomfield, Ky., specializing in manufacturing gluten-free baking mixes, celiac disease sufferers and their families now have more baking options.
“We’ve opened a gluten-free plant in Kentucky, which is one of few in the country,” said Sue Sutherland, Bloomfield Farms president. “We make sure our products are not contaminated with gluten-containing wheat, barley, rye or oats. Instead, we use rice flour, corn meal, potato starch and other gluten-free ingredients as grain bases.”
Located about 40 miles southeast of Louisville and 50 miles southwest of Lexington, Bloomfield Farms sells nine mixes for all-purpose baking; brownies; cakes; cornbread; cookies; loaf bread; muffins; pizza dough; and pancakes and waffles. It offers consumer-sized boxes online (<http://www.thebloomfieldfarms.com> ) ranging in size from 15 ounces to 32 ounces and priced from $3 to $4. The company also takes orders for batters, breadings and coatings from commercial customers including grocery stores, restaurants and manufacturers for the seafood, beef and poultry industries. Bloomfield Farms can be reached by phone at 502-348-1333.
Commercial customers include grocery stores, restaurants and cookie manufacturers. Package sizes range from less than one pound to 2,000-pound totes, which are large sacks.
“We’ve been operating a traditional wheat-based dry-food blending and packaging business for years,” said Sue Sutherland, who with her husband, Dan Sutherland, owns and operates Blend Pak, located 10 miles from the Bloomfield Farms plant. “We began hearing about the lack of options and high prices for gluten-free products, and we saw an opportunity to better serve that market. Plus, with our experience in food industry, we already knew how to make a product that looks appetizing and tastes wonderful.”
According to the fact sheet Celiac Disease, published by the National Institutes of Health, about one in 133 people in the United States has celiac disease. When individuals with celiac disease eat foods or use products containing gluten, their immune systems respond by damaging or destroying villi—the tiny, fingerlike protrusions lining the small intestines, the fact sheet explains. Celiac disease is both a disease of malabsorption—meaning nutrients are not absorbed properly—and an abnormal immune reaction to gluten.
“We’re pleased Bloomfield Farms is offering so many gluten-free products to people who need them,” said Mary Schluckebier, executive director of the Celiac Sprue Association (CSA), a non-profit organization dedicated to helping individuals with celiac disease. “The plant has met all the requirements for our recognition seal program, so buyers can be confident in their purchases.”
The seal signifies a company bearing it has passed a rigorous CSA review comprising four key elements:
1.Review of ingredients and their sources, to track and eliminate potential
2. Review of the manufacturing facility to assure allergen control, sanitation
plans and best practices.
3. Inspection of packaging materials to eliminate contamination by allergens,
including after products leave the production facility.
4. Testing, conducted at the University of Nebraska Food Allergy and Resource
Program laboratory, to verify the absence of allergens.
About Blend Pak® and Bloomfield Farms®
We operate two businesses serving a variety of needs. Our Blend Pak® plant specializes in dry mixes for restaurants; foodservice distributors; and further processors of red meat, poultry, seafood and fish. Product capabilities include marinades, seasonings, spices, batters, breaders, bakery mixes, etc. Our Bloomfield Farms® plant is designated gluten-free and is located 10 miles from Blend Pak. It specializes in gluten-free batters and breaders for fish, chicken, cheese sticks, etc, and can prepare mixes for bakery products, pizza dough, pasta and sauce blends. We will work with your R&D team to match a product that you already have or create a product based on your input. Visit the Web sites at <http://www.blendpak.com>and<http://www.thebloomfieldfarms.com>.