Can't Stomach Gluten? Celiac Sufferers are Not Alone

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riceworks® promotes celiac awareness month in Canada with new snack website for gluten-sensitive consumers

October is celiac awareness month in Canada -- a month dedicated to informing the public of this often-misdiagnosed gastrointestinal disease that afflicts nearly 2.5 million North Americans. Some health officials estimate that one out of 100 North Americans have this gluten-triggered condition and that 97% of the population remains undiagnosed.

Celiac disease has special relevance to Snack Alliance Inc., a snack food company whose riceworks® gluten-free rice crisps have won accolades from the celiac community in North America and beyond. To commemorate celiac awareness month, Snack Alliance Inc. created a new website, Gluten Free Snacks For Me, dedicated to people interested in the gluten-free trend.

Celiac disease occurs when gluten--a protein found in wheat, rye and barley--triggers an abnormal response that damages the lining of the small intestine, interfering with your absorption of nutrients.

"While there are dozens of medical-related celiac websites, ours is more of a celiac lifestyle site," said Kerry Manning Cooper, director of marketing for riceworks®. "Our goal is to be a resource centre for our growing number of celiac and gluten-sensitive consumers and to provide a shared forum for those who want recipes, advice and how-to tips on ways to live a satisfying, gluten-free life."

While most people think celiac disease afflicts mostly children, it can occur at any age. In fact, two-thirds of those diagnosed are midlife adults. Later in life, the disease can be triggered by pregnancy, surgery, gastrointestinal infection or severe emotional stress.

For celiac patients, even small amounts of gluten can spark a reaction. Fortunately riceworks® brown rice crisps are 100% gluten-free and celiac friendly.

"A lot of our customers, many of whom suffer from celiac disease or who are simply sensitive to gluten, appreciate having a rice-based snack that tastes like a tasty snack should taste," said Manning Cooper. "While the celiac population wasn't the prime target we sought when we first developed the product, those with gluten sensitivities soon found us, embraced our riceworks® product and passed the word around. It's heartening to hear and we expect the new website to deepen our relationship with customers."

About Snack Alliance
Snack Alliance Inc. (SAI) launched riceworks® in late 2006. The product is produced in Hermiston, Oregon and Bristol, Virginia and sold throughout the US, Canada, Great Britain and parts of Asia. Retail customers include Costco, Safeway, Target, Tesco and SAI has been successfully producing snack foods since 1997. Since that time the company has created a leadership position in the snack industry throughout North America, Europe and Asia.

The company's signature product, riceworks® gourmet brown rice crisps, is a gluten-free snack that has won kudos from the celiac community. For those who need or prefer to live a gluten-free lifestyle, riceworks® is a tasty and popular snack alternative

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Tricia Ryan
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