I have had many people inquire over the years (and as recently as last week) about GF Communion Wafers. So, I thought I would post some information for you. Low gluten wafers were originally said to be at about 60ppm-100ppm. (20ppm is the maximum allowed for a product to be labeled GF)
However, the Benedictine Sisters have “perfected” making the wafers that “adhere to the strict guidelines of the Center for Celiac Research”. You can purchase them yourself, or your church can order them. The problem is they are low gluten and the amount of gluten is not written in PPM. So you have to extrapolate to figure it out.
Karen Broussard from The Gluten Free Travel Site has written an article about this as well. You can also search, list and review churches that offer the GF/Low Gluten Communion Wafers on the GF Travel Site! See link at the bottom.
About a year ago the Catholic Church approved a “low gluten wafer”, and I was all fired up about this in my facebook posting back then because I think they could have approved a GF Wafer. Therefore, I don’t take communion; it is not worth the risk for me but you need to make your own decision. If I had a wheat allergy, I would not take the chance.
Some say that they can take 1/4 of the host and be fine. The problem with Celiac Disease is that everyone’s level of sensitivity is different. (that is why we are certified GF to 5ppm at One Dish Cuisine Cafe, Deli and Bakery). Therefore you need to make your own informed decision.
I suggest everyone read the information (all the links) and decide for themselves. Another resource that I give to those who are Catholic is this site; catholicceliacs.org. They really give you a lot of information so you can make an informed decision. Click Here for Catholic Celiacs Org
Another site that is great is this one: Altar Breads BSPA; they break down the difference between “low gluten” and “GF” communion wafers. I urge everyone to read the info in this link: Click Here for Altar Breads BSPA
Another place to purchase is from Cavanagh Company in RI: Click here for Cavanagh Company
One final note, don’t get caught up in “wheat grown in Germany vs wheat grown in the US”. All wheat is still wheat, it does not matter where it is grown. If wheat grown in Germany was safe for Celiacs we would all be eating regular bread made with German wheat! Also, “Codex wheat starch” is wheat starch that has been processed to remove the gluten protein. This is approved for use in GF Products in Europe and in the US. Dr Schar uses it in many of their products. I will not allow it in our facility due to the risk for those with Wheat Allergies. (I did a facebook posting about this last year as well)
For a list of “GF” Churches and link to the Benedictine Sisters please visit The Gluten Free Travel Site at this link. Gluten Free Churches
I hope this helps you all out!