Let’s talk Food List…………
You may have noticed some changes to your Food List this year.
This year we have focused on clarifying some of the categories. For example, rice is now under express rice and grains. Plain rice is a naturally GF grain, therefore it would not be able to claim a ‘gluten free’ status.
However due to the nature of the precooked express rice packs and the added flavours and ingredients, we have kept these on our list.
According to the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI):
“The use of the “gluten-free” declaration should not mislead consumers, in line with the requirements of Article 7 of the legislation on the provision of food information to consumers (Regulation (EU) No.
1169/2011). This basically means that foods that are naturally gluten free cannot say that they are gluten free on the label. The reasons for this are that, if one pack of rice says “gluten free” it can make people think that all the other packs of rice contain gluten. This is also true for products like milk: stating that a milk is gluten-free is misleading to the consumer, as it implies that this one brand of milk is special when, in fact, all milk is gluten-free.”
Have you noticed lately; some lentils now carry a may contain statement?
In recent years, packets of dried lentils have started appearing with ‘may contain gluten’ statement. We have been in contact with lentils importers, packagers and suppliers in relation to this issue. The problem is that lentils come into Ireland in very large bulk.
packages. They are then re-packaged into smaller packs on site. Many of these sites now handle and re-package gluten containing cereals and grains as well. This is the reason for the “may contain” warnings now seen on many packs of lentils.
We have found it challenging to find brands who do not carry a ‘may contain gluten’ label. Currently Spar own brand red split lentils are the only lentils on our food list.
Therefore, we at the society ask you to check the back of package information before purchasing any other dried lentils. If you do find lentils that have no “May Contain” label, do let us know so we can add them to your Food List.
What products should I look out for?
Naturally gluten free foods can be described as food with single ingredients or products that are in their natural form i.e., milk, cheese, vegetables, uncooked plain meats, and fish etc.
Often ‘naturally gluten free’ products can have added ingredients to them, which means you need to check the back of package labelling and check your food list book.
Usually, we need to check for products with added flavours, spices and herbs, marinades,and pastes.
|Gluten free by nature||Need to check|
|Dairy||Fresh Milk, Fresh cream||Dried Milk/Milk|
|(double, single, clotted||powders, Fruit and|
|etc.), Cheese with no||Flavoured Yoghurt|
|added ingredients,||and Yoghurt drinks,|
|Buttermilk, Plain||Cheese with added|
|ingredients, sliced and grated cheese.|
|Spreads||Conserves, glucose syrup, golden syrup, honey, jam,marmalade, molasses, treacle||Mincemeat, nut butters, chocolate spreads, yeastextract, prepared dips (salsa, humusetc)|
|Drinks||Coffee, fruit juice, squash, tea, water.||Cloudy fizzy drinks, drinking chocolate,ginger beer|
|Nuts, Seeds, and Pulses||Plain nuts, seeds and pulses (beans, peas)||Lentils, Dry roasted and salt/flavoured nuts, Beans in sauces (bakedbeans)|
|Meat and Poultry||All fresh plain uncooked meats, smoked meats, and cured meats||Cooked sliced deli meats, Uncooked Meat/poultry in a marinade or sauce, Burgers, Sausages,Pudding, Pates.|
Let’s look a bit closer….
What an added ingredient in cheese?
Cream cheese is a cheese which has more water, this additional water gives it the creamy texture.
Ingredients in a soft cheese:
Full fat soft cheese, salt, stabiliser (Locust Bean Gum), citric acid
Ingredients in a hard cheese:
Milk, salt, Starter Culture, Rennet
Do these cheeses have added ingredients?
No, all ingredients in these cheese products are needed to form the cheese products.
- Salt is added to foods for flavour but also to absorb Therefore, depending on the cheese, the level of salt can be different.
- Stabilisers are used in food for various things such as improving texture, improving mouthfeel, appearance, self-life In the case of cream cheese, a stabiliser is used to keep the water in the cheese for longer, this is why cream cheese has its creamy texture.
- Rennet is often added to cheese as it is an enzyme that curdles the milk. You may have heard the nursery rhyme ‘Little miss Muffet sat on her tuffet eating her curds and whey….’ This what happens when rennet is added to milk, it splits the milk in to curd and whey. The curd are the lumps that appear in the milk, and the liquid is the whey. We collect the curd to produce While, whey is usually collected and dried and used in animal feed and in ‘whey protein powders.
- Starter culture is good bacteria added to These bacteria help the change from milk to cheese by breaking down the sugars in the milk. By these good bacteria being present is prevent bad bacteria getting into the cheese causing it to spoil. Therefore, in this case se would say the starter culture is a preservative.
- Citric Acid is used to boost acidity, enhance flavour and preserve foods.
Added ingredient cheese include ….
Medium Fat Soft Cheese, Garlic, Salt, Herbs, Stabilisers (Locust Bean Gum, Carrageenan), Acid (Citric Acid)