Graduate Program

Nutrition and Dietetics

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Semester of Degree Completion


Thesis Director

James E. Painter


The prevalence of celiac disease and gluten intolerances has increased drastically in the last few decades, accounting for 1 in 100 individuals, or about 1% of Americans (Mager, Qiao, & Turner, 2012). The only treatment for celiac disease or any other gluten intolerance is the gluten-free diet. The gluten-free diet can lack many essential nutrients. The purpose of this research was to identify if consumers could perceive a difference in quality when comparing whole-grain gluten-free baked goods to refined gluten-free baked goods at varying flour levels of 20%, 50%, and 100%.

The researcher-developed Carlson Acceptability of Gluten-Free Baked Goods Survey was distributed to thirty-four adults the majority being between the ages of 18 to 24 years old. The data were analyzed using t-tests. The study showed consumers preferred whole-grain gluten-free baked goods with less than 20% flour. In addition, consumers were not able to differentiate between whole-grain gluten-free flour and refined gluten-free flour when more than 50% of the baked good was flour. Overall, this study suggests consumers are accepting of whole-grain gluten-free products at a level that is very close, or perhaps equal to, their acceptance of products made with refined gluten-free flour. Several implications are the need for more research on consumer acceptability of whole-grain gluten-free products to increase nutritional value for those on the gluten-free diet.