We like to bring good news of new gluten free products coming to the market but on Thursday we attended a product demonstration by Ireks, a German manufacturer of gluten free flour mixes, a product not available in the shops.
Hosted by Andrews Ingredients in Lisburn, County Down, the morning consisted of a walk through of their gluten free breads, cakes and confection followed by tasting and a chat with the bakers and sales team. It was very well organised and the Ireks mixes appear to produce an excellent finished product in a wide range of foods although it was agreed the gluten free scones require a little further development.
The first half of the morning was aimed at the gluten free trade and the second half at the non gluten free producers so there was a mix of industry but all on a large scale. From chatting with the professional bakers attending, those selling gluten free products were buying in their stock to complement their own handmade produce while others had separate production sites for complete freedom from cross contamination such as Ashers Bakery. At the other end of the scale was the producer completely dedicated to gluten free such as Makey Bakey. So what is the value to the gluten free consumer?
With raw ingredient suppliers such as Andrews bringing in high quality gluten free flours, existing bakeries and new ventures can more readily and cost effectively produce tasty gluten free products. The Andrews and Ireks development bakers also provided recipes and technical assistance with baking specifics, improving the knowledge of bakers working on gluten free foods and ultimately contributing to a better product for us consumers. So while we are always looking for new products and recipes to eat now, it’s exciting to know both suppliers and producers are working in the background to develop new foods and healthier options.
One item of note which reoccurred a number of times was the aim of producers to create a product that avoided multiple allergens, particularly lactose and also sugar for a healthier product. Gluten was the first allergen to be excluded along with wheat and from there additional products were refined so this could be a mixed blessing for Coeliacs but baked products with lower sugar or fat are always welcome when compared to the existing supermarket line up.
For anyone in the trade interested in the Ireks flour mixes, contact our Trade Service. You can also browse the Ireks website and of course have a look at Andrews Ingredients. You can also find them on Facebook and Twitter.