Pizza Hut, one of the world’s largest pizza purveyors, is adding gluten-free pizza to its lineup this month.
Customers will be able to order 10-inch cheese-only and pepperoni pizzas made with dough supplied by Udi’s, a gluten-free baking company owned by Boulder Brands.
Customers who merely want to limit gluten, a protein composite found in wheat and some other grains, in their diet can create their own pizzas from a broader range of toppings baked on Udi’s dough.
Restaurant chains are scrambling to introduce gluten-free menu items to meet rising demand. Some two million people in America have celiac disease, a digestive disorder that makes it impossible to tolerate gluten, according to the National Institutes of Health. Many more have what is known as non-celiac gluten sensitivity — and still others follow a gluten-free diet because it tends to help control weight gain.
But it is almost impossible to make gluten-free selections in a kitchen that prepares a variety of meals. Traces of gluten can be found on utensils, prep tables and in other places, raising the risk of cross-contamination.
Domino’s, a Pizza Hut competitor, has offered a gluten-free crust for a couple of years. But the company is careful to note that it cannot guarantee the absence of gluten because the gluten-free crust is prepared in the same kitchens as crusts containing flour.