Your thoughts on gluten-free foods

Related tags Gluten-free diet

Last week we published some musings from our editorial team on the gluten-free food market. We don’t pretend to hold all the answers, but we have been pleased that some of our readers have engaged in the debate. Below are the responses we have received – the good, the bad, and the ugly…

The original audio podcast is available here.

Gluten free claims for various foods from different processors should not be trusted, unless there is an agreed on international standard for Gluten Free claims. Grains considered free of gluten in one country are not considered to be in other countries. This month articles appeared in the news of Gluten Free French bread made from buckwheat. Many German rye breads are claimed to be Gluten Free. Customers are confused in thinking that Wheat Free claims on the wrapper make the product Gluten Free. Another problem is that many traditional bakeries offer Gluten Free products made on a table that just had wheat flour scattered over the surface. Wash downs take time and that is money in this unsettled world. Consumer trust is required when the claims are to be accepted. Present facts should not allow consumers to feel secure enough to believe the claims, especially when health is the reason to make the choice.

Mr Larry WhetstoneCanuk Sales, Canada

Very interesting comments, esp about it 'not being nice'. How many liked the taste of a cigarette, the first time they tried one...Personally I hope this does get more 'acceptable', as I know people who have died from coeliac disease which led to kidney problems. A pity there is not the same amount of care and consideration going into foods with mercury, GM, corn syrup, aspartame, food colourings and sweets (esp warnings for children), the list is endless. Keep up the good work of spreading this info.

Mrs Anne HabermacherNo company given, United Kingdom

Gluten free possibilities tend to be nutritionally depleted for protein (wheat products are ~9% protein): non-wheat protein help retain crumb moisture and softness preventing the 'powderiness' Stephen mentions.Mr. Paul HartSolanic, The Netherlands

With the epidemic of autism, the gluten-free market can be expected to grow as it becomes not just a fad, but a necessity for many.

Mrs Diana MartinNo company given, United States

I was disappointed by your discussion - it would have been exciting to first hear about new trends (stats on the growth in different segments, not just Europe); then I would have expected a more detailed discussion about labelling [you scratch the surface and then stop] and processors selling products under different standards (different levels of ppm gluten permitted, depending on where it's manufactured/sold, with whom certified 'gluten free'). Dr Bodo SteinerUniversity of Alberta, Canada

I do not agree that people DO NOT become vegetarian for health reasons - that is absolute codswallop!!! With all the science surrounding a) the links between high meat/dairy and cancers/heart disease and b) the health benefits of "balanced" vegetarian and even vegan diets... more and more people ARE choosing to become vegetarian for health reasons JUST people are choosing gluten-free (and not necessarily processed gluten-free foods because many benefit from better digestive function and therefore overall better energy and health! That is the real world Jess!Ms Lucy-Ann PrideauxSimply Nutrition, United Kingdom

I am a coeliac and have been gluten free for medical reasons since 1992. Two quick points. 1) Gluten free foods are premium priced in comparison to ordinary products and in some cases not very different eg Tesco Free From Chocolate Crispy Bar does not differ significantly from the “normal” rice crispy bars. 2) I chatted to Prêt A Manger about their “wheat free” sandwich which is not in fact gluten free. The company said they still cannot find any decent gluten-free bread.Branwell JohnsonMarketing Week, United Kingdom

James Daniells (sic) will be pleased to know that we have "got there" with gluten free pasta. He can tell his sister to buy the award winning Asda brand pasta. It looks like pasta, taste like pasta, is organic and 100% natural. Bon Appetito.Mr Nigel SinghPasta Lesni, United Kingdom

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