Gluten: How really aware are you?


I definitely wasn’t aware of gluten disorders until I met Muza Al Mazrouei. I always accepted the few catering orders for gluten free cakes thinking all I had to do was make sure our appliances were thoroughly cleaned and ensure that we were using gluten-free flour. But I learned more, after a chat with Muza…


“I am also an entrepreneur who manages the first gluten free bakery in UAE. Firin Bakery opened its door in April, 2015. I let go of my three masters’ degrees and my doctorate to focus on helping the community in gluten free freshly baked items.

“Gluten is a kind of protein that can be found in some grain products like wheat, barley and rye. In the baking world, it affects the elasticity of dough, which is a by-product of grounding grains, which in turn affects the chewiness of the baked products.


“A person with a wheat allergy, celiac disease, non-celiac sensitivity may feel different symptoms, from mild to life-threatening. Nausea and vomiting, indigestion, irritation of the mouth and throat, constipation, stomach pain, failure to thrive in infants, delayed puberty in adolescence and difficulty in breathing are some of these symptoms.

“It is very important to prepare food in a gluten-free kitchen. Cross contamination is one of the causes why people with allergy to this substance still suffer even though they think they are careful in choosing their food. There should be a separate cooking and baking tools for this specific kind of food. If possible, there should be a separate preparation space that is exclusively for the ingredients. A gluten-free kitchen is a space where all the ingredients that are being used to prepare and make foods are exclusively intended for that sole purpose.


“One can determine if an item is truly gluten free by looking at the ingredients used, and by asking if the kitchen used in preparing the item is exclusively created in a kitchen which didn’t have any other use of the substance.

“Awareness is being spread and educating customers is one of the reasons behind the sudden increase in knowledge regarding gluten allergy, its symptoms and how to prevent it. I became aware by reading a lot and exploring medical websites. I joined Chicago University’s social accounts because they have Celiac department that educates people about the disease.”

For tips on living a gluten-free lifestyle, check out the link below: