EHL expands gluten-free range to address free-from demands

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25 Oct 2017 --- EHL Ingredients has expanded its range of certified gluten-free herbs and spices in response to increasing consumer demand for free-from food products. It will now offer 20 new ingredients that have been tested and certified as gluten-free, following the success of gluten-free ground cumin and coriander launched last year. 

Ingredients in the new gluten-free range include dried ground turmeric, cassia, star anise, oregano, ginger, chili, coriander seed, paprika and nutmeg. Herbs such as dried parsley, sage, basil and pepper have also been added to the list – for food manufacturers, bakers, meat processors and caterers to add to formulations and recipes for soups, sauces, marinades and meal kits, and world foods such as curries, tagines and stews. 

EHL’s new product development team spotted a growing trend of consumers actively seeking out gluten-free products to fit into modern health and fitness lifestyles. There is also a rise in food allergy sufferers in the UK, and both factors led to the development of the new range.  Around one percent of Britons suffer from celiac disease (gluten allergy) and research from YouGov found that 13 percent of adults are choosing to follow a gluten-free diet. 

Consumers are looking for authentic, quality foods, flavors and textures in the free-from aisles and EHL’s new range allows manufacturers to create innovative, tasty, international dishes and accompaniments. Food manufacturers and processors looking to create quality gluten-free dishes, for supermarket shelves or foodservice outlets can use these versatile new ingredients to offer suitable alternatives to traditional recipes. 

Kath Davies, new product development manager at EHL Ingredients, says: “Gluten-free really presents an opportunity for us, and for the food industry as a whole, and we are working hard to source and develop ingredients to ensure those with a gluten intolerance don’t have to compromise on flavor.” 

“Social media influencers, bloggers, health and fitness enthusiasts, and celebrity chefs are encouraging consumers to switch to free-from foods, to follow a certain lifestyle or diet, and for general health and wellbeing. Alongside this, the number of diagnosed celiacs is steadily increasing.”

Speaking to FoodIngredientsFirst, Davies says: “We launched gluten-free ground cumin and coriander last year to test the market. As a result, our customers loved the products and asked us for additional ingredients to add to gluten-free foods, so we’ve devised a list of commonly used, versatile herbs and spices. We have worked with our suppliers to source gluten-free versions to service food manufacturers’ increasing interest in ingredients suitable for free-from foods.”
 
“This will continue as we’re expecting to see an increase in the number of gluten-free products being developed for retail, and especially for foodservice outlets. We are experiencing a rise in demand from caterers, chefs, foodservice operators and outlets as they add gluten-free alternatives to menus. Much in the way that restaurants, pubs, bars and other outlets tend to offer a vegetarian or vegan dish on a standard menu, gluten-free will appear more often as an alternative menu option.”  
 
“It’s dishes that are popular menu choices already that chefs and operators need to consider adding gluten-free alternatives for. For example, Indian or Thai curries, soups and stews, pizzas, pastas, pies, and quiches, marinated meat or fish dishes such as kebabs, chops, fish and prawns, and baked goods such as garlic and herb breads,” she says.   

“Many herbs and spices are gluten-free in themselves but this is not always sufficient; a guarantee that there has not been any cross-contamination in the supply chain is also required,” she notes.

“Our new gluten-free range offers food manufacturers and retailers quality, versatile, ingredients to create traditional favorites and novel dishes for consumers to enjoy.”

“We’re always looking out for the next big food trend and we’re planning to expand this range and launch gluten-free herb and spice blends, seasonings and marinades in the coming months to strengthen our portfolio,” adds Davies.

By Elizabeth Green

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