Gluten-free products are now being offered by custom food producer Butterfield Foods, LLC. The Noblesville, IN USDA-inspected company, whose research and development effort is led by one of the few certified research chefs in the nation, is now helping its customers serve up several options for diners with wheat allergies.

"Many of our customers come to us because they are seeing more and more of their customers requesting gluten-free items," said Frank Violi, president of Butterfield foods. "Because gluten-free products haven't been widely available in convenience stores and restaurants, most celiac sufferers just stay at home to eat. We are creating products that will make dining out a pleasure for them."

Butterfield achieves certification for the products that it manufactures on a case-by-case basis. Its first foray into this market was the production of gluten-free pizzas, and it has built on that success.

"Gluten-free products are an answer to growing health problems associated with wheat allergies," Violi says. "We're proud to work alongside our customers to produce products that really will be much healthier for those suffering from Celiac disease or gluten intolerance."

Celiac disease is an inherited autoimmune disorder that affects the digestive process of the small intestine and affects at least one percent of Americans, or nearly three million people in the United States. For those with the disease, the immune system responds by attacking the small intestine and inhibiting the absorption of important nutrients into the body.

Butterfield has developed black bean chipotle patties, vegetable and bean dishes and various soups and chilis for this market segment, and readily accepts challenges to develop custom products for operators and retailers that wish to penetrate this segment.