The biggest of the ‘free from’ sectors, gluten free is evolving – and there’s still scope for growth. Shaking off its one-dimensional image, gluten free products are experiencing incredible levels of innovation.
Gluten free – and more
Thanks to advances in gluten free, there is a new wave of products that are also dairy or lactose free, vegan and sugar free or organic – the allergy free list is endless. Gluten free food and drinks are catering for personalised dietary needs and now have better nutritional profiles.
Innovative gluten free creations are improving their dietary value by incorporating nutrition rich raw ingredients. Pulses such as red lentils are increasing products’ protein content – Organic Bakery Zemanka (stand C07) from Czech Republic are baking biscuits with red lentil flour and chocolate. Dafco (Stand G21) from The Netherlands are including high protein beans in their bread mixes and Italy’s Farabella (Stand F39) are using ancient grains and seeds such as teff, chia and buckwheat in their pasta, bread, sauces and snacks.
Folate has been included in legume pasta from Italy’s Pasta Lensi (stand B01). This beneficial micro nutrient is a topic of debate in the UK. Research published in January 2018 is showing a need to fortify bread and flour with folic acid to prevent birth defects. Algae is also being heralded as gluten free a super ingredient and a valuable source of iodine. Additionally, its lipid rich protein properties can be used to replace egg and dairy fat in sauces, baking and drinks.
All about education
For coeliacs, gluten free is a health necessity, but for others it is a health choice. There is global growth in health-conscious consumers choosing to buy gluten free – particularly in Eastern Europe. This year we will welcome 75% more exhibitors from this region.
Increased education regarding food and ingredients and ground-breaking nutraceutical products are helping to engage consumers and raise awareness. This is shaping demand across the free from sector and encouraging manufacturers to develop products that cater for a range of allergen or meat free needs. The maturing gluten free market is expected to reach $4.7b by 2020 – with space for more pioneering concepts.
Ronald Holman, Exhibition Director, said:
Since we began, we have seen huge innovations across gluten free. I am incredibly excited to meet with and taste the latest and greatest gluten free products emerging from across the globe. Join us by pre-registering for you free badges at freefromfoodexpo.com.