Stockport-based EHL Ingredients has expanded its range of certified gluten-free herbs and spices in response to increasing consumer demand for free-from food products.
It will now offer 20 new ingredients that have been rigorously tested and certified as gluten-free, following the success of gluten-free ground cumin and coriander launched last year.
Ingredients in the new gluten-free range include dried ground turmeric, cassia, star anise, oregano, ginger, chilli, coriander seed, paprika and nutmeg. Herbs such as dried parsley, sage, basil and pepper have also been added to the list – for food manufacturers, bakers, meat processors and caterers to add to formulations and recipes for soups, sauces, marinades and meal kits, and world foods such as curries, tagines and stews.
EHL’s new product development team spotted a growing trend of consumers actively seeking out gluten-free products to fit into modern health and fitness lifestyles. There is also a rise in food allergy sufferers in the UK, and both factors led to the development of the new range. Around one percent of Britons suffer from coeliac disease (gluten allergy) and research from YouGov found that 13 percent of adults are choosing to follow a gluten-free diet.
Consumers are looking for authentic, quality foods, flavours and textures in the free-from aisles and EHL’s new range allows manufacturers to create innovative, tasty, international dishes and accompaniments. Food manufacturers and processors looking to create quality gluten-free dishes, for supermarket shelves or foodservice outlets should start stocking up on these versatile new ingredients to offer suitable alternatives to traditional recipes.
Kath Davies, new product development manager at EHL Ingredients, says: “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.
“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 or 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 by 2021, according to Mintel. As a result, food manufacturers and retailers are under pressure to bring high quality, differentiated, gluten-free products to market.
“Many herbs and spices are gluten-free in themselves but this is not always sufficient; a guarantee that there has not been any cross-contamination in the supply chain is also required.
“Our new gluten-free range offers food manufacturers and retailers quality, versatile, ingredients to create traditional favorites and novel dishes for consumers to enjoy.”
“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.”
The leading importer, blender and packer of international food ingredients has invested in a new facility to increase manufacturing capacity by 50 per cent and is on a recruitment drive to strengthen the senior team and expand the product portfolio.
Products are available in bulk to food manufacturers and meat processors, wholesalers and cash and carries, caterers and chefs, co-packers, multiple retailers, health food stores and large co-operatives. As well as the new gluten-free ingredients, EHL stocks around 200 conventional and organic ingredients, including herbs and spices, beans, lentils and peas, herbs, nuts and dried fruits, seeds and flakes, grains and rice, oils, vinegars, salts, sugars and syrups, as well as other ingredients such as flour, honey and fruit concentrates.
To ensure that all EHL’s ingredients are 100 per cent gluten-free, it carries out a rigorous auditing process for all of its suppliers. Additionally, at its headquarters in Stockport, Cheshire, it follows strict hygiene procedures to ensure that there is no cross-contamination, providing the very best in quality for its customers.