Explainer: What is Gluten Intolerance?

By Gary Adams, University of Nottingham and Stephen Harding, University of Nottingham

Gluten intolerance covers a range of gut problems caused by ingesting proteins found in wheat, barley, rye and in some cases, oats. The three main groups affected are those with a direct sensitivity to gluten, coeliac disease and people who are allergic to wheat. Although symptoms can appear similar and the terms are often used interchangeably, gluten intolerance isn’t the same as coeliac disease.

Coeliac disease is a serious life-long autoimmune condition of the small intestine, in which the body’s immune system attacks itself when someone with the condition eats gluten. This damages the healthy lining of the small intestine and stops nutrients being absorbed from food.

Gluten intolerance is also a permanent condition that damages the small intestine every time gluten is consumed, regardless of whether symptoms are present or not, but it is unclear whether the immune system is involved. Read the rest of this article »

Oh my Darling, oh my Darling, oh my Darling Crisps and Corn

bags of Darling Spuds and Darling Corn

Darling Spuds and Darling Corn

Ok, we admit it. We’re suckers when it comes to cool branding and packaging. So we loved these bags of crunchy handcooked crisps and gourmet popcorn that the chaps at Darling sent us to try.

Turns out the brains behind Darling are the same team that bought us Salty Dog crisps: Judy and Dave Willis. Judy wanted to create a more wholesome, natural snack and Darling Spuds was born. They’re suitable for vegetarians, have no GMOS, they only have natural ingredients, they’re 20% lower in fat than normal crisps aaaaaand (drumroll) they’re gluten free. Read the rest of this article »

Enjoy a Gluten Free Curry with Vini and Bal

Vini & Bal's gluten free curry sauces

Vini & Bal’s gluten free curry sauces

There’s nothing quite like a curry on a Friday night to cheer you up after a long hard week at work. So this week we’ve been cooking up a storm with Vini & Bal’s gluten free curry sauces.

You may have heard of Vini and Bal Auja. They were the first British Asian couple to secure investment on BBC2’s Dragons’ Den, and received a £50,000 investment from Dragon Piers Linney. As a result, Vini and Bal secured distribution to Sainsbury’s, and their products are now available in 300 stores across the UK. Read the rest of this article »

Quinoa is so last year. Teff is the new gluten free must-have according to the A-listers

photo of Tobia Teff products

Tobia Teff products

Heard of teff ? Nope, we hadn’t either until recently. But it seems the likes of Victoria Beckham, Sting and Gwyneth Paltrow (of course) are already singing its praises.

So what is teff exactly?

Traditionally from Ethiopia, teff is described as Ethiopia’s ‘second gift to the world’ after coffee. It’s a tiny grain (the size of a full stop) but it’s packed full of iron, calcium, magnesium and vitamins B and C. And it’s low in calories too. Read the rest of this article »

Kent & Fraser: Putting the ‘It’ in Gluten Free Biscuit

photo of Kent & Fraser Biscuits

Kent & Fraser Biscuits

Back in 2011 at the Allergy & Gluten Free show I chatted to the team from Kent & Fraser, makers of artisan wheat free and gluten free cookies, biscuits and shortbreads. They’d only been going a couple of years then and I loved the packaging, and I LOVED the Stilton and Walnut savoury biscuit.

I’m pleased to say Kent & Fraser are still going strong and are now available at Waitrose, Harrods, Selfridges and Ocado as well as independent delicatessens. Last week the gang at Kent and Fraser were kind enough to send us a couple of boxes: Stilton and Walnut (hooray) made with English Stilton, chopped walnuts and fresh herbs. And Chocolate Butter Crunch made with bitter premium dark cocoa. Read the rest of this article »