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Offering gluten free - a no brainer

In 2014 sales of gluten-free products reached £184m, up 15% from 2013. The buzz around gluten free continues to intensify, creating a rapidly growing market with sales predicted to reach £562m by 2017, according to Mintel

The growth in gluten-free eating has come from two key areas, people who choose to follow a gluten-free diet for lifestyle reasons and the increase in the number of people diagnosed with coeliac disease for whom there is no choice but to follow a gluten-free diet for life.

Recent data from Mintel has shown that nearly two in five of those who eat or have previously eaten gluten-free foods (38%) do so because they believe it’s better for their overall health. Also according to Mintel, there is still a need for gluten-free food innovation, especially within categories that typically contain gluten, including bread, pasta, pizza, snacks, and desserts.

“The demand for free-from products is growing and gluten-free products are definitely commanding more shelf space,” comments Robert Whittle, General Manager, Pidy UK – a pastry manufacturer that offers a range of gluten-free pastries – who also believes that the gluten-free market will continue to grow at an increased rate as there is no sign of it slowing down in the near future.

Phil VickeryKnorr has the know how

Research from Knorr has identified that almost two thirds of caterers would potentially like to offer more gluten-free dishes. The survey of more than 1200 chefs found that 72% of caterers already offer gluten-free items on their menu, but 47% felt they needed more recipe inspiration.

To support chefs, Knorr has teamed up with top chef and gluten-free expert, Phil Vickery to develop a downloadable guide, available from knorrglutenfree. The guide offers advice on easy gluten-free menu swaps, preventing cross-contamination in kitchens, and contains a selection of simple and tasty recipes from Phil Vickery.

The research also revealed that 49% of all the chefs surveyed had never received any formal training on creating gluten-free dishes. To address this need, Knorr is holding a series of gluten-free masterclasses. Featuring insight from Coeliac UK, the results of Knorr’s research and recipe demonstrations from Phil, each of the fully booked classes aims to make gluten-free catering even simpler for chefs.

Chefs who missed out on the masterclasses can watch highlights from the class, by visiting the Unilever Food Solutions channel. There is also a bank of simple gluten-free recipe videos from Phil to provide inspiration.

Are you allergy aware

National charity, Allergy UK has launched a new accreditation scheme to help foodservice operators cater for food allergies.

The Allergy Aware Scheme will recognise catering outlets that provide exceptional service for people with food allergies and intolerances, and those that offer ‘gold standard’ allergen management.

The scheme aims to put peace of mind on the menu for the estimated two million people in the UK suffering from food allergies.

With around 4800 hospital admissions a year being due to allergic reactions to food, safety for customers is more important than ever before. Worryingly, admissions for anaphylaxis (severe allergy) have increased by 615% in 20 years, so it is no surprise that 92% of those with severe allergies worry about eating out.

The scheme comprises detailed expert food allergy training and audit. All outlets are required to sign an Allergy Aware Scheme Charter to ensure best practice and compliance. Interested businesses can join the scheme initially for a 12-month period, and will be subject to renewal on an annual basis.

Successfully accredited restaurants will receive a premium listing on ‘Can I Eat There?’ an online restaurant and menu directory for the allergic and coeliac community. Users can search by location, cuisine or allergy rating, then filter the menu by allergen to see what they can eat. Customers can also read and leave reviews. The website highlights restaurants that are part of the Allergy Aware Scheme, guiding them to the most allergyfriendly establishments.

For further information, contact Allergy UK on 01322 619 898 or email

Gluten Free magazinesIntroducing Hazards of Allergens

Free to download, this series of user-friendly comics provides a collection of (Food Allergen) Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) information guides that communicate a very serious message in an easily accessible way.

The Comics each feature an allergen critical control point with story lines including: referring to written allergen data to double check for a customer, use of gloves, use of separate serving utensils, and dealing with May Contain statements.

“These comics will bring to life what is normally a bind for caterers and it will make it so much easier for employers and managers to get staff to read them and sign that they understand them,” comments Julian Edwards, CEO of Food Service Allergen Management (FSAM).

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Coeliac stomach crampsRecognising coeliac disease

Coeliac disease, an autoimmune condition caused by an intolerance to gluten, affects 1 in 100 people in the UK. But with only 24% of those with the condition having a diagnosis, an estimated half a million people are living with coeliac disease without knowing it so the gluten-free market will increase as more are diagnosed.

The national charity Coeliac UK, in order to raise awareness of the symptoms of coeliac disease has launched a campaign targeting the thousands of people who are undiagnosed. An online assessment (www. allows people to check their symptoms. Following completion of the questionnaire they will receive their results by email, highlighting if they need to seek further advice from their GP.

The campaign hopes to reach those experiencing symptoms, which most commonly include frequent bouts of diarrhoea, nausea and vomiting, abdominal pain and stomach cramping, ongoing fatigue and regular mouth ulcers and ask them to question “Is it coeliac disease?”.

“If gluten is causing you problems, it may be tempting to just stop eating it. However, it is essential not to go gluten-free until all tests have been completed,” says Sarah Sleet, chief executive of Coeliac UK. “Gluten must be consumed every day for a minimum of six weeks prior to all tests (blood test and biopsy) as they look at how the body responds to gluten and otherwise a false negative result might occur.

“As more and more people are diagnosed, providing gluten-free menu options gives caterers the opportunity to attract a growing customer base. Research conducted by Coeliac UK shows that people with the condition and the family and friends they eat out with are worth a potential £100 million a year to the hospitality industry.” For more information visit

57-calorie Carrot Cake Cupcakes

CupcakesDeveloped by Hebe Burton for
Serves: 5


For the cupcakes

  • 15g cinnamon whey protein
  • 5g pea protein
  • 20g gluten free oat/ buckwheat flour
  • 3g coconut four
  • 8g peanut flour
  • 45ml egg white
  • 35g grated carrot
  • 35ml milk/water
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon (opt)
  • 1-2 tsp vanilla stevia drops/ sweetener of choice, to taste
  • 1 tsp baking powder

Cream cheese

  • 30g 3% cream cheese
  • 30g Greek yoghurt
  • 1 tsp vanilla casein (opt) Stevia to taste OR, simply use cream cheese mixed with stevia for an easier option!


  1. Preheat oven to 180ºC. Mix all ingredients up, roughly blend, and divide between 5 cupcakes cases.
  2. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until done.
  3. Allow to cool, mix up the cream cheese mixture and spread on top, and dust with cinnamon.

Gluten-free Turkey Marinade


  • 56g Knorr gravy granules for meat
  • 700ml water
  • 20g egg white
  • 30ml vegetable oil
  • 30g cornflour
  • 750g turkey, diced


  1. Make up gravy granules as per manufacturer’s instructions by whisking 56g of granules with up to 700ml of boiling water.
  2. Whisk the egg white, salt, oil and cornflour until creamy.
  3. Add the turkey, mix well and leave for a few minutes.
  4. Take the turkey out of the egg white mixture. Remove any excess.
  5. To cook, either quickly fry in oil or drop into boiling gravy and simmer until the turkey has reached a core temperature of 75°C.
  6. Serve with a selection of freshly cooked vegetables, new potatoes and Knorr gluten-free gravy.
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