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FreeFrom Foods Awards 2013 - shortlist announced

FreeFrom Foods Awards 2013 - shortlist announced

After a record-breaking number of entries and two weeks of testing by more than 50 expert judges, the shortlist for this year's FreeFrom Food Awards has now been completed.

Nearly 220 products have been shortlisted across 15 categories including children’s foods, world foods and Christmas foods. The final winners are to be announced and presented with their certificates by Antony Worrall Thompson at an invitation-only event in central London on April 16th.

The awards celebrate innovation by the food industry in creating great tasting food that is free from one or more of the ingredients (including wheat, gluten, dairy, eggs, yeast, nuts and soya) that trouble so many people. Entries this year ranged from 'activated' walnuts and 'sea waves' pasta, to 'cappuccino' soya milk and sulphite-free wine. 

“Not only did we have a 37% increase in the number of products entered into the awards,” said Michelle Berriedale-Johnson, editor of FoodsMatter who chairs the judging sessions, “but the range of products has widened enormously, with a noticeable increase in quality and innovation too. Gluten-free samosas and panini, fresh chickpea pasta, lots of children's products, a massive entry into the 'store cupboard' category, the usual wonderful selection of 'free-of-everything' cakes and biscuits and, for the first time, a gluten-free beer that was also alcohol free!”

The FreeFrom Food Awards, now in their sixth year, are the industry’s only awards for freefrom food and their continuing success is evidence of the sector’s rapid growth and the number of people who have an allergy or intolerance to one or more foods. A total of 342 products were entered from 120 companies – more than half of which were new to the awards. The judges included: manufacturers, chefs and cookery writers; dietitians and nutritionists; coeliacs and allergy sufferers, as well as freefrom and gluten-free bloggers.  

Michelle Berriedale-Johnson founded www.foodsmatter.com in the early 1990s to provide a comprehensive resource for the thousands of people who suffer from food allergies and intolerances. These can include severe allergic reactions to foods such as nuts (which can be fatal if not treated swiftly), autoimmune conditions such as coeliac disease or intolerances and sensitivities which may not be life-threatening but can seriously impact on the sufferer’s quality of life or even ability to hold down a job. 

This is a very complex area and for many it can take a considerable amount of time to identify the food or foods that are causing their symptoms. This can be difficult because some foods or food components such as milk and gluten are used in such a wide range of products. Until relatively recently those suffering from food allergies or intolerances had only a very limited range of products to choose from.

The FreeFrom Food Awards have been instrumental in driving new product development and improving the quality and choice of freefrom foods that are available. For more information on the awards visit www.freefromfoodawards.co.uk.

For information on freefrom food visit www.freefromfoodsmatter.com and for information on food allergy and intolerance visit: www.foodsmatter.com. You can also follow them on Twitter @FFFoodawards and @FreeFromFood.

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