Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Sensitive Coeliacs!!

Okay so for those of you who are completely baffled after diagnosis about what is actually gluten free, hopefully I can help to clarify:

In Europe anything that shows 20 ppm (parts per million) or less of gluten in tests can be labelled gluten free. This includes foods containing barley malt extract, "gluten free" oats, wheat starch,  wheat fibre, wheat derived dextrose and wheat derived glucose syrup.  (It used to be 200ppm but tests have improved. In Australia, apparently it is 2ppm). All coeliacs are told not to consume oats in first year after diagnosis and in the rest of Europe not at all even after that.

If you're one of the unlucky 20%  of coeliacs like me, you will also get "glutened" by barley malt extract, "GF" oats, "GF"wheat starch (also called codex starch) and "GF"fibre. Unfortunately the CUK directory does not differentiate items containing these ingredients and as you clearly can't just trust a gluten-free label you will have to read all ingredient lists very carefully. Help!

So to save you a few glutenings by trial and error, here is a list of "GF" food/drink that I have found I react to:
-mrs crimbles gluten free macaroons (wheat dextrose)
- Pombar Crisps (gluten free wheat starch)
- Estrella Beer (barley extract, not stated on label)
- Kopparberg ciders (barley extract, not stated on label)
- GF Oats (look for GF oat flour in freefrom biscuits, especially seasonal ones)
- Fruit flakes (gluten free wheat fibre)
- Codex wheat starch (mostly in prescription foods)
- Mint polos
- Fruit pastilles+gums (see nestle's own list - products marked with an asterisk.)
- Vimto drinks (barley extract)
- Barley squashes
- barley malt, own brand cereals, BBQ sauces.
- red lentils unless stated GF (methods of harvest)
- any speciality flours that do not state gf on the label (like those sold in Holland and barrat)
- polenta unless stated GF (methods of production)
- yeast extract pastes/marmites
-some gf gravy powders (yeast extract)
- dextrose/glucose syrup (usually made from wheat in eu, sometimes made from corn in us). Most companies dont label the origin and it can be either or both. Its in lots of sandwich meats and freefrom foods (even those labeled wheat free).
- Udi bagels (contain corn dextrose but wheat glucose syrup)
-supermarket brands freefrom bread (wheat dextrose)
-supermarket brands freefrom battered frozen foods (wheat dextrose, treated starch)

Hopefully one day CUK will acknowledge the need for some kind of differentiation in their directory, like an asterisk for products containing these low gluten suspect ingredients. I have asked, but please do contact them yourselves as the more who request this, the more likely they are to support us sensitive coeliacs...

Any products you're not sure about, its worth emailing the companies direct. Most will respond to questions about ingredients and methods of production. And the more questions they get, the more likely they are to consider our needs!