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Monash Contest

Beyond thrilled to be at Monash University in Australia, 2013.

Beyond thrilled to be at Monash University in Australia, 2013.

IBS awareness month is drawing to a close. Before it's gone for good, I've got a little contest to run in honor of Monash University's Low FODMAP Certification launch (details at the bottom of this blog).

I've been a Monash fan since I first started learning (and teaching) about FODMAPs eight years ago, and in 2013 I even flew to Australia to meet and learn from the team at Central Clinical School’s Department of Gastroenterology. I enjoyed meeting the researchers in the FODMAP program and toured one of the only labs in the world analyzing foods for their FODMAP composition. The lab was actually a lot smaller than I though it would be, considering the big impact that it has made on the world--it was just one room, really, with a few freezers, lab benches and a desk or two.

Kelly and C.K. showed me around the lab. Between their shoulders you can see the table-top equipment that measures the FODMAPs in food.

Kelly and C.K. showed me around the lab. Between their shoulders you can see the table-top equipment that measures the FODMAPs in food.

Kelly, the lab tech, and C.K., a graduate student at Monash, showed me the high-performance liquid chromatography machine that is used to measure the FODMAPs in the lab samples. Analysis is a complicated process that begins with getting multiple representative samples of the item to be tested, combining and freeze drying them, preparing a test solution of the samples, finally running them through the test protocol and documenting every step of the way. It is an expensive and involved process, and the focus at first was on whole foods: fruit, vegetables, whole grains and so on.  Later that year, the Monash University Low FODMAP iphone app came out, and it has been very well received by IBS sufferers around the globe! But sometimes it isn't enough to know about tomato sauce in general or generic Australian bread. We'd like to know about the FODMAP content of specific brand name foods we could find in our local grocery stores. Enter the Monash University Low FODMAP Certification Program.

My husband, in the Sydney airport, rearranging the 80 loaves of U.S. bread that we hand carried to the lab at Monash. The research process takes a long time. FODMAP content of these breads has still not been published.

My husband, in the Sydney airport, rearranging the 80 loaves of U.S. bread that we hand carried to the lab at Monash. The research process takes a long time. FODMAP content of these breads has still not been published.

Manufacturers will be able to submit their products for testing at Monash's lab, for a fee. My understanding is that products meeting the criteria for low FODMAP will be permitted to bear the Monash University Low FODMAP seal (see it here) and have their products listed by name in the low FODMAP app.

Now here comes the contest. I have 10 free promo codes to give away to iphone users who would like to own the Monash University Low FODMAP App (sorry, iphone only, no droid promos are available). If you already own the app, you can give the promo code to someone else who needs it. To enter, please share 1) your email address (so I can let you know when you win:) and 2) the type of food or beverage you would be most excited to see sporting a Monash University  Low FODMAP seal. Fill in the blank: I would just like to go to the store and buy a low FODMAP ___________________. (Mine is a low-FODMAP chicken broth, what's yours?)

Only one entry per person! I will choose 10 random winners by noon on April 31, Eastern Standard Time. If I don't hear back from you within 24 hours I will give the code to someone else, because time is short. They must be redeemed by May 5th, 2015.