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Free-from food firms realise sector's potential

By Rod Addy , 02-Mar-2012

Antony Worrall Thompson presented the trophy for the best Free-From Food Award to 2011 to Claire Marriage of Doves Farm
Antony Worrall Thompson presented the trophy for the best Free-From Food Award to 2011 to Claire Marriage of Doves Farm
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Free-from food manufacturers are increasingly waking up to the sector’s potential, according to Michelle Berriedale-Johnson, author of the Foods Matter website and founder of the Free-From Food Awards.

In this exclusive podcast, Berriedale-Johnson explains to Rod Addy the major drivers behind the growth in free-from foods such as gluten-free products.

Aside from those medically diagnosed with Coeliac’s disease, other consumers include the self-diagnosed, those diagnosed by complementary and alternative health practitioners and those who simply wish to avoid over-processed foods and eat healthily.

Gluten-free products

Through her own experience in co-ordinating the judging for the Free-From Food Awards, she claimed the variety of gluten-free products is increasingly significantly.

She claims gluten-free food categories have expanded from simple staples such as pasta into areas such as convenience foods, such as ready meals, pies and “handbag” products such as snack bars.

According to the website Coeliac UK: “Coeliac disease is an autoimmune disease. Gluten, which is found in wheat, barley and rye triggers an immune reaction in people with coeliac disease. This means that eating gluten damages the lining of the small intestine. Other parts of the body may be affected.”

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