Call for greater transparency in gluten-free testing

A Coeliac disease expert from The University of Western Australia is calling for greater transparency in the testing of gluten free foods. It comes after reports that some gluten free products contain traces of gluten, potentially dangerous to sufferers of Coeliac disease.

UWA Professor Geoff Forbes said recent studies detected gluten in 14 per cent of imported gluten free foods, nine per cent of gluten free marketed restaurant foods and 2.7 per cent of commonly purchased gluten free foods, including foods manufactured in dedicated gluten free factories.

“These findings are a big concern and a reminder of the difficulties faced by Coeliac disease patients,” he said.

In his article reflecting on the recent reports, and published in the Medical Journal of Australia, Professor Forbes said the governance of gluten free food code compliance was unsatisfactory.

“There are several government agencies with responsibilities for food safety. Despite this, the testing of gluten free foods for food code compliance in the food industry is without Federal or State government oversight, and there is no reporting of test results,” he said.

Professor Forbes said the cumulative effect of tiny traces of gluten in different foods could cause major health consequences for Coeliac disease patients.

“Inadvertent gluten exposure may occur by cross-contamination from known gluten-containing foods, or from foods considered free of gluten by listed ingredient but not labelled gluten free,” he said.

“The very least patients should expect is negligible additional contamination from gluten-free labelled products. The testing of gluten free labelled foods to check the levels of gluten is critical.”

Professor Forbes said a solution to the problem would be to mandate the regular publication of laboratory test results as a simple measure to assure consumers with Coeliac disease.

“This would also be a positive initiative for local gluten free food exporters, wishing to take an international advantage of the tighter Australian gluten free Standard.”

Helga’s Gluten Free Wholemeal

Manufacturer: Goodman Fielder

Launch date: July 2016

Ingredients: Water, wholemeal rice flour (18%), modified tapioca starch (1442), maize starch, milled linseed, canola oil, sugar, egg white, soy flour, iodised salt, psyllium flour, cultured dextrose, vinegar, yeast, emulsifier (491), thickener (464), vegetable gum (412), vitamin (thiamin)

Shelf Life: 14 days

Packaging: Modified Atmosphere Pack (MAP) which excludes oxygen

Country of origin: Australia


Made with care from gluten free wholegrains, Helga’s Gluten Free Wholemeal delivers the closest thing to a real bread experience without the gluten. Just one serve (two slices) contributes 25 per cent towards the Grains & Legumes Nutrition Council 48g Whole Grain Daily Target Intake.

To prove just how delicious gluten free wholemeal can be, Helga’s has commissioned Sophie Henley, owner of boutique Sydney wholefoods cafe, Henley’s Wholefoods, to create a series of mouth-watering recipes featuring the new Helga’s Gluten Free Wholemeal.

Inspired by the impressive, Instagram worthy menu on offer at Henley’s Wholefoods, Sophie Henley and her team have paired Helga’s Gluten Free Wholemeal with a selection of fresh ingredients to create the recipes. For example, the Chicken Finger Sandwich is packed full of nutritious ingredients and is gluten and dairy free so it’s perfect for entertaining friends and family with dietary requirements.

Given those following a gluten free diet need to avoid wheat, rye, barley and oats, getting enough wholegrains in the diet can be tricky.

Containing no artificial colours and flavours, Helga’s Gluten Free Wholemeal is dairy free and a source of fibre.

Made by the seed and grain experts, the new Wholemeal recipe joins Helga’s Gluten Free Sunflower & Red Quinoa, Helga’s Gluten Free Soy & Linseed and Helga’s Gluten Free 5 Seeds.

Sunny Queen serves up a gluten free solution for coeliac sufferers

Sunny Queen Meal Solutions is helping to cater for coeliac sufferers with its pre-prepared real egg meals designed exclusively for commercial kitchens and the hospitality industry. In Australia 1 in 60 women and 1 in 80 men are affected by coeliac disease, and following a strict gluten free diet is the only way they can minimise their symptoms.

Based on research that has shown Australians indulge in 30.5 million take-away and 21 million eat-in visits every month, Kate Di Prima, an accredited practicing dietician with 23 years’ experience, has advised that restaurants revisit their menu offering to help alleviate the grief coeliac customers face when purchasing pre-made meals.

“Food intolerances are becoming more common every day, so it’s important that cafes and restaurants keep up with our changing dietary needs,” she said.

“The safest way to cater for coeliac sufferers is to offer egg options, as eggs are a simple and suitable gluten free solution – high in nutrients and protein, and are naturally gluten free, providing a low risk option for people with coeliac disease.”

John O’Hara, Managing Director of Sunny Queen Meal Solutions, said it’s important for hospitality and catering businesses to cater for all dietary requirements, in particular for the more prevalent diseases currently affecting Australians.

“From omelettes and poached eggs for breakfast to fritters and egg bakes for dinner, eggs are an incredibly versatile meal option that will satisfy both coeliac sufferers and those without dietary restrictions,” he said.

“We’re proud that the entire Sunny Queen Meal Solutions product range is gluten free, providing the hospitality industry with a range of suitable meal options to add to their menus.”

Sunny Queen Meal Solutions products use real eggs, fresh from Sunny Queen farms, and are prepared within stringent health and safety guidelines to ensure they can be consumed by customers that are gluten intolerant.