Consumer demand drives gluten-free herbs and spices
Food manufacturers, processors and butchers are under pressure to bring high-quality, differentiated, gluten-free products to the market, resulting in the launch of a gluten-free range free from cross-contamination.
Following the introduction of its gluten-free ground cumin and coriander last year, EHL Ingredients has expanded its offering of gluten-free products as a response to consumer demands.EHL’s portfolio now offers 20 new ingredients to the listings.
Options now available to butchers, food manufacturers, meat processors and caters include: dried ground turmeric, cassia, star anise, oregano, ginger, chilli, coriander seeds, paprika and nutmeg. Herbs such as dried parsley, sage, basil and pepper have also been added to the range.
The development comes after the firm identified an increasing trend for customers seeking free-from ingredients, driven by healthy lifestyles and a rise in food allergy sufferers in the UK. EHL highlighted that the industry should react to these demands by offering solutions.
“Gluten-free really presents an opportunity for us, and for the food industry as a whole, and we are working hard to source and develop ingredients to ensure those with a gluten intolerance don’t have to compromise on flavour,” said Kath Davies, new product development manager at EHL Ingredients.
“Social media influencers, bloggers, health and fitness enthusiasts and celebrity chefs are encouraging consumers to switch to free-from foods, to follow a certain lifestyle diet, and for general health and wellbeing. Alongside this, the number of diagnosed coeliacs is steadily increasing. The UK free-from market is growing rapidly and expected to be worth 925 million pounds by 2021, according to Mintel. As a result, food manufacturers, processors and butchers are under pressure to bring high-quality, differentiated, gluten-free products to the market.”
Davies highlighted that while many herbs and spices are already gluten-free, this is not always sufficient as they may have been cross-contaminated in the supply chain.
“Our new gluten-free range offers the meat industry quality, versatile ingredients to create traditional favourites and novel dishes for consumers to enjoy,” she explained.
“We’re always looking out for the next big food trend and we’re planning to expand this range and launch gluten-free herb and spice blends, seasonings and marinades in the coming months to strengthen our portfolio.”
To ensure products are gluten-free, EHL Ingredients carries out a rigorous auditing process for all of its suppliers. Helping to meet consumer demands, it has invested in a new facility to increase manufacturing capacity by 50% and is on a recruitment drive to strengthen its senior team and expand the product portfolio.