Become a gluten-free professional

Frequently asked questions.

We have collected the most important questions and answers about celiac disease and gluten-free living for you.

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1. Cooking with Schär

You can easily substitute milk with any milk substitute, such as almond milk or rice milk.

Butter substitutes such as margarine or vegan butter can be used instead of butter.

Eggs can be substituted with apple puree, zucchini puree, or banana puree, depending on the recipe.

Baking powder can be used in place of yeast, but you usually need to adjust the recipe accordingly.

If you want to prepare the dough a day in advance, you need to use cold water and only half the amount of yeast, either dry yeast or fresh yeast.

After kneading, pour the dough into a fairly large bowl, as the dough will double or even triple in volume. Then wrap the bowl in airtight plastic wrap. The next day, leave the dough covered for up to 45 minutes and extend the rising time by at least 15 minutes.

If you want to freeze freshly baked bread or rolls, we recommend taking them out of the oven 5 minutes beforehand, freezing them while they are still warm, and wrapping them only when they are frozen.

Before baking them, let them thaw for 5 minutes and consequently reheat them in the oven for 10-15 minutes, depending on their size. Don’t forget to put the bowl of water in the oven-the steam makes the buns crispy while baking!

2. Gluten-related diseases

Coeliac disease (in the technical language also called gluten sensitive enteropathy/sprue)

Celiac disease (technical term is gluten-sensitive enteropathy/sprue)

Coeliac disease is a permanent intolerance of the organism towards gluten. It can also be seen as an auto-immune illness caused by the gluten contained in the grain types wheat, spelt, rye, barley, couscous and green spelt. In addition to the gluten as an antigen the genetic predisposition and further, partly still unknown factors are the premise for the development of a gluten intolerance. Coeliac disease belongs to the most wide spread chronic diseases in the world. In Europe, North Africa and areas where the majority of the population is of European descent (Australia, USA, Canada) the frequency of coeliac disease is about 1%. The only scientifically approved therapy is a life-long strict gluten-free diet.

Wheat allergy

Wheat allergy is an illness inducing defence reaction of the body towards various proteins in wheat. Sensitization via the airways through inhaling grain dust leads to the so-called baker’s asthma. If, however, by eating wheat a sensitization occurs in the gastro-intestinal system this may lead to a classical food allergy of the type lgE. With children wheat is one of six main allergens. With adults this allergy occurs less frequently, as in most cases it disappears again by the time the children reach school age. The same as with coeliac disease the only effective therapy is a strict avoidance of the triggering allergen, whereby due to the similarity of the allergens very often not only wheat, but also wild wheat, durum wheat, small spelt, Emmer wheat, Kamut, wild spelt, spelt and green spelt should be eliminated.

With a wheat allergy it is necessary to primarily avoid wheat, with coeliac disease, however, all wheat types containing gluten (wheat, barley, rye, spelt, triticale, Emmer wheat, green spelt, small spelt, bulgur, couscous) must be strictly avoided.

There are two types of fructose intolerance.

  • Hereditary fructose intolerance, a hereditary disorder of fruit sugar metabolization, is a rare enzyme defect involving the breakdown of fructose at the liver level. It is caused by a lack of the enzyme aldolase B. The consequence is mild to severe hypoglycemia (low blood sugar).
  • Intestinal fructose intolerance, usually called fructose malabsorption is widespread. About 30-40% of the population is affected. The cause of fructose malabsorption is a deficiency in the GLUT-5 transporter protein, which normally transports fructose across the mucosa of the small intestine. In cases of fructose malabsorption, this does not occur. Instead, the fructose reaches the large intestine causing complaints such as bloating, abdominal pain, and diarrhea. Treatment against fructose malabsorption consists of a low-fructose diet, where the individual tolerance limit for fructose is very subjective. Sugar substitutes, sorbitol, mannitol and xylitol should also be avoided as they further impede fructose absorption. According to some studies, foods that contain more glucose than fructose are better tolerated. In this regard, there is a list of permitted foods.

In cases of celiac disease, due to damage to the mucosa of the small intestine, temporary fructose intolerance may develop. This generally disappears as soon as the mucosa regenerates through a gluten-free diet.

No, it is not. There is an essential difference between allergy and intolerance. Even though the primary cause of both diseases is grain protein, the mechanisms triggered by intolerance are fundamentally different.

In food allergy, the immune system reacts violently to foods that are harmless in themselves. The body perceives allergens in the food as foreign bodies and sets off an immune reaction. The result is severe allergic reactions, up to and including allergic shock. The body’s reaction becomes visible through:

  • Skin irritation,
  • swelling,
  • itching in the mouth or throat,
  • nausea and vomiting.

The worst consequence is an acute overreaction in the form of shock, which must be treated immediately. Triggers of allergic reactions are found in numerous foods such as milk, egg, soy, fish, wheat, celery, mustard and nuts.

Food intolerances, on the other hand, affect the body’s metabolism but not its immune system. The symptoms are similar to those of a food allergy, but there is no risk of allergic shock. There are, however, numerous non-allergic incompatibility reactions that cause different symptoms in those affected. One example: the enzyme necessary to break down a nutrient is missing or inactive. The result is a disturbed metabolism, whereby the body cannot digest food components or can only digest them incompletely. This is why flatulence, pain in the gastrointestinal tract, constipation and diarrhea often occur. With intolerance, small amounts of a food can usually continue to be consumed. If the affected food or food ingredients are avoided or reduced, the symptoms usually disappear quickly and a symptom-free life is possible.

There are actually people where coeliac disease has been excluded but who, nevertheless, have symptoms similar to those of coeliac disease when they eat food containing gluten. This phenomenon is called gluten sensitivity or wheat sensitivity and is being researched quite actively at the moment. However it is not a milder form of coeliac disease as the gluten sensitivity is not immunological and no antibodies are formed. The wheat sensitivity describes an intolerance towards wheat components. Possibly the amylase-trypsin-inhibitors (ATIs) associated with products containing gluten are the cause and not the gluten contained in wheat. It is important though to always speak to a doctor, as only they can really determine the cause of the symptoms and give you a correct diagnosis.

Coeliac disease symptoms:

  • Innate autoimmune reaction
  • Reduction of the villi in the intestine
  • Typical enteropathy

Wheat sensitivity symptoms:

  • Unexplained immunological reaction
  • No enteropathy

3. Products

Customers who have registered by indicating their first name, last name and address through our contact form and have given us consent to send advertising materials are occasionally sent product samples.

The Freshness Sticker is a small adhesive label that is applied to the package. Oxygen causes oxidative reactions and is a major cause of food spoilage. The Freshness Sticker absorbs the oxygen contained within the residual air in the package and thus extends the shelf life of the product naturally, allowing it to be stored longer. In this way, our bread remains as fresh as freshly baked even without artificial preservatives.

Since the end of 2005 all food items, which can cause an allergic reaction (such as gluten), regardless of the contained form or amount, must be indicated on the product label. The 14 most common triggers for allergies and other intolerances are:

  • grains containing gluten *
  • milk *
  • eggs *
  • soya *
  • peanuts *
  • shelled nuts (almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, cashew nuts, pecan nuts, Brazil nuts, pistachios, macadamia nuts and Queensland nuts) *
  • celery *
  • mustard *
  • crustaceans *
  • fish *
  • sesame seeds *
  • lupines *
  • molluscs *
  • sulphur dioxide and sulphites in a concentration of more than 10 mg/kg or 10mg/litre

*and products made thereof

In order to help you easily and comfortably recognise the allergens of each product and in this way be able to choose the most ideal food items for your diet requirements, Schär has developed a clear distinction system.

The distinction “free from” indicates that the allergen is not contained in the specific product. The absence of allergens is guaranteed (for example: free from gluten, wheat, lactose).

Without addition of:

The distinction “without addition of” describes which ingredients are not part of the recipe of this product. However, unintentional cross contaminations cannot be excluded (for example without addition of milk, egg, soya). If a product contains allergens this will be indicated in bold in the list of ingredients.

Although there is a legal requirement to list allergens, a warning of possible unintended contact between the product and these allergens does not have to be indicated on the product label. For example, if a plain milk chocolate bar is produced directly after a chocolate bar containing nuts, traces of nuts may be transferred to the plain milk chocolate unintentionally. To cover cases such as this, manufacturers often use the warning, «May contain traces of…» However, there is no legal obligation to place this warning on packaging. As far as Schär is concerned, if the product may contain traces, we also indicate this.

We procure our raw materials from the following countries:

Oats: Northern Europe
Millet: Italy and Austria
Rice: Italy and Spain
Sorghum: Italy
Maize: Italy and Austria
Buckwheat: Poland
Soya: flour, bran and flakes are from EU countries.

Additives are indicated as E-numbers on food packaging. They are added to food in order to extend their shelf life, to intensify flavour, to improve the appearance or to simplify processing. All food additives must be explicitly inspected and permitted by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). Additives are generally gluten-free, should they, however, contain gluten, this has to be indicated in the list of ingredients according to the “Allergen Labelling” regulations.


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