Saturday, March 29, 2014

My Food Allergies!

Food allergies: I have had them for years. The 1st to surface was sunflower seeds. I was in my early 20's when I had a reaction to them. Since then I had stirred clear, so I was not sure if I was really allergic to them until a couple of weeks ago...

While I was at the Expo, I received samples of the new gluten-free and dairy-free Zing bars. One was a Double Brownie and the other Dark Chocolate Mint Bar or that is what the package said. Sometime the next week I ate the bars.I usually have 1/2 at time, so I ate them over a few days.

During the week the roof of my mouth was itchy and so were the palm of my hands. For me, this is the 1st signs of an allergic reaction so I pulled out my Epi Pen, took natural allergy medicine and prayed. I never needed the Epi Pen and it subsided but returned again several times over the next few days. I had no idea what had caused this small reaction since I am usually extreme careful.

I was doing the post on protein bars and went to the Zing website to capture photos when I saw that the mint bar had a different label. Dark Chocolate Sunflower Mint. I did a little research and it has sunflower seed butter as the 5th ingredient as well as sunflower oil and sunflower lecithin.
 
Stay Safe.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Understanding Label Icons

Understanding the ingredients on labels can be frustrating.            
1. Is gluten-free the same as certified gluten-free?
2. Is Non-GMO the same as Organic?             

1. Gluten-Free Labeling vs. Certified Gluten-Free

The FDA has changed the requirements for gluten-free labels which is below. 
See my post about the new labeling laws. The standards for companies labeling foods gluten-free will be 20 ppm as required by the FDA. Read "Understanding PPM" .The products are NOT required to be continually tested   or undergo any formally reviews. 



When a company is certified gluten-free they have undergone an extensive review and numerous tests have been performed on the products and the manufacturing facility. The company must maintain these standards to be called Certified gluten-free. You will see labels like this one:


 

2. GMO = genetically modified organisms
GMO's are foods that have been engineered or altered. According to http://whfoods.com/, GMO vary greatly from the older practices of cross pollinating or grafting plants. The concern with  GMO's is that the genetic engineering is not necessarily between 2 plants."With modern genetic engineering, genes from an animal, plant, bacterium, or virus are inserted into a different organism (most often a plant), thereby irreversibly altering the genetic code, the "blueprint" that determines all of an organism's physical characteristics, of the organism that received the gene." There is a lot of buzz about GMO's and the effects they have on the human digestive system. Alfalfa, Corn, cotton, soy, sugar beets, summer squash and zucchini are a few of the corps that are heavily GMO. Go to Non-GMO Project Verified to see a detailed list.



Non -GMO: Non-GMO Project Verified is a third party organization that is qualified to certify produce as Non-GMO. When you see this label you can be assured that the produce or food products is void of GMO ingredients
In order to qualify for the seal the products must be continually tested. That being said, it does not mean that the produce or food product is free of               chemicals, pesticides etc.


Organic foods are always Non-GMO foods. Yet it is not required to have food tested for Non-GMO's in order to be certified organic. It is possible that the organic crops have been exposed to cross -contamination from GMO fields.

According to the USDA (United States Agricultural Dept.) 

"Certified Organic" means the item has been grown according to strict uniform standards that are verified by independent state or private organizations. Certification includes inspections of farm fields and processing facilities, detailed record keeping, and periodic testing of soil and water to ensure that growers and handlers are meeting the standards which have been set."




References:
1. http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=george&dbid=207
2. http://www.nongmoproject.org/learn-more/understanding-our-seal/
3. http://www.nal.usda.gov/afsic/pubs/ofp/ofp.shtml

Monday, March 24, 2014

E Z Gluten-Free Life Can Now be Translated.

I have added a TRANSLATOR to my blog so people can read it in many languages. It is located to the right of the post just under the Handbooks and Personal Note. 

Click on the arrow and pick a language. 

Enjoy

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Snackle Mouth - Closing Comments about the Expo

Going to the Natural Products Expo West has been a long journey rather than a destination this year. I was determined to pass on as much information as I could to those who could not attend. I did not realize how much work it would be when I made this commitment to you and myself.

While I am at the Expo, I start to divide the companies in to necessities vs. interesting vs. not interested. This year there were endlessness aisles of quinoa, rice, popcorn, potato chips, garbanzo bean snacks, nuts, kale chips - you get the picture. Though they are all gluten-free, they are not why I am at the Expo. I am there to get educated and see all the new and exciting products. So please know there are many gluten-free snacks out there that I have not posted about.   

Posting about the products has forced me to review every company I thought I was interested in, and evaluate how important they are in the scheme of things. Posting product information is a labor of love so I hope it help you.

I left the must amusing product until last.

                                        Snackle Mouth




I am a sucker for quirky, artistic, outlandish, inventive ideas. Snackle Mouth is just that. Their products are really, really good tasting. They come in small bags, so they can be packed for lunch, etc. The packaging gives them such a fun vibe that no one needs to know they are gluten-free.

"When we set out to produce a fun new natural snack food, the proposition   was a little mind boggling but here’s how we created Snackle Mouth®.

  • Certified Gluten-Free
  • Non-GMO Canola Oil
  • Organic Blue Agave
  • Combine All Natural and Organic Ingredients
  • Mix in the Best Nuts We Could Find
  • NO Refined Sugar, NO Trans-Fats, Low Glycemic
  • Cool new name, Snackle Mouth®
  • Most Fun Package Design on the Planet
  • End Result, Great Tasting SUPERSNACK Clusters"

Flavors: 
Salty Chocolate
Bacon Maple
Almond Peanut Cranberry
Almond Berry
Almond Pecan Maple


I promise this is the last post about this Expo.  

Friday, March 21, 2014

Yeast Unraveled Revisited

Yeast Extract was once considered to be gluten-free but after Canada’s new 2012 labeling laws went in to effect, a different picture began to emerge. Canada is a few steps ahead of the United States, when it comes to gluten issues and the labeling laws are no different. Canada requires manufacturers to include, wheat, barley rye, and oats on the allergen label. Suddenly, companies like Campbells Soup and Knorr Soups started  listing “barley yeast extract or yeast extract containing barley” on some of the soup labels. In the U.S., Lipton soups are voluntarily listing “Autolyzed yeast extract (barley). (GF Living p 39)

According to the article, Yeast Extract, in Gluten-Free Living, by Van Waffle, “The Canadian Celiac Association (CCA) set out to determine what “barley yeast extract” means for people on a gluten-free diet.” The research is in the beginning stages but several tests have shown gluten levels above 20ppm. According to an expert, quoted in the article, the gluten count in the yeast extract they tested can range from 20ppm to 100ppm. More research needs to be done to confirm this information. (GF Living p 40)

The United States labeling laws do not require manufacturers to list barley, rye or oats as an allergen, therefore they are not required to add them to the label if it is products such as; in natural flavorings or yeast extract. It is the consumer’s responsibility to protect themselves by reading labels carefully and understanding what they are reading.

Different Kinds of Yeast

After reading the article, I decide to learn more about yeast.  I wanted to be clear about the different kinds of yeast, their uses, and where they are derived from.

NON-GLUTEN CONTAINING YEAST FORMS:
  1.     Nutritional Yeast:  Gluten-free yeast derived from beet molasses. It has a cheesy flavor and is often used as a cheese flavoring.  
       2.     Torula Yeast:  Gluten-free, highly nutritious yeast produced commercially. It is from a sugar recovered from the manufacturing of wood products or from processed fruit. It is used as a flavor enhancer. ( Source: Dictionary.com)
3.    Baker’s Yeast: Gluten-free yeast, used for the leavening of breads and baked goods.                                                                                                                                                            GLUTEN CONTAINING YEAST FORMS
      4.    Brewer’s Yeast: Is a by-product of the beer brewing process. It is rich in minerals and is sometimes used in nutritional supplements.   

      5.     Yeast Extract: Also called Autolyzed Yeast or Hydrolyzed Yeast.
Until further research is done and the FALCPA amends the new gluten labeling laws, it is up to the consumer to be aware of what is in the products they are purchasing. 
Waffle, Van, Yeast Extract. Gluten-Free Living Magazine (Number6/2013) 

  • According to Gluten-Free Living, “When yeast extract is a by-product of the beer-making process, it contains small amounts of barley protein, a fact that has been long known. When yeast extract is made from baker’s yeast, which uses sugar as a starter, it does not contain gluten.”  Yeast extract can also be a combination of both processes. (GF Living p 39)
  • “Unlike some ingredients that are processed to the point that all gluten protein is removed, the protein in yeast extract becomes more concentrated than yeast itself.”   (GF Living p 39)
  • Many popular sauces, bouillons, meat dishes, ready-made meals and savory snacks are refined with yeast extract.  (Source: http://www.yeastextract.info/faq)
  • Yeast extract is labeled as “yeast extract” in the ingredient list or sometimes included in “natural flavor”. (Source: http://www.yeastextract.info/faq)
  • *Natural Flavorings can contain gluten, MSG and/or Autolyzed Yeast (Yeast Extract). 
  • Even if the product says no “MSG” it may contain “free glutamate” the active ingredient   in MSG.

Until further research is done and the FALCPA amends the new glluten labeling laws, it is up to the consumer to be aware of what is in the products they are purchasing. 


Waffle, Van, Yeast Extract. Gluten-Free Living Magazine (Number6/2013)




Persons that are very sensitive to gluten or have other food allergies should review all information in order to make an informed decision.

Gluten-Free Cosmetic and Personal Care Products

I was surprised to see that there were far less Personal Care products at the expo this year. I walked the aisles and spoke to many companies. The world of gluten-free personal care products has not changed that much.

I chose 4 lines to write about that I have a lot of respect for. Mineral Fusion, My Chelle Dermaceuticals and Pure & Basic are gluten-free companies that use clean, natural products rather then chemicals, artificial colors, preservatives etc.  

Mineral Fusion: The full line of Mineral Fusion is Gluten-free. It is also ....

" Our approach to cosmetics and personal care has four goals:
First, we aim to bring our customers the revitalizing and protecting benefits of minerals, such as magnesium, copper and zinc, which also provide antioxidant defense against damaging free radicals.
Second, we aim to leave the skin in better condition than we found it. This includes providing active ingredients that heal and care for the skin and hair, as well as making our products free of gluten, parabens, talc, artificial colors, synthetic fragrances, SLS, and phthalates.
Third, we want our product to contribute a level of social well being and have officially partnered with the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence to support women in need.
Fourth, we are committed to sustainability and utilize wind power, soy inks, packaging from recycled materials and packaging that is recyclable.
We are dedicated to creating naturally effective, healthy and safe personal care products while contributing to the well being of our community."

Products:
Cosmetics
Body Care
Hair
Nail
________________________________________________________________________________

My Chelle Dermaceuticals  
This product is gluten-free and cruelty free



Cosmetics
Facial Care
Body Care
Personal Care
Sun Care






_______________________________________________________________________________

Pure & Basic (Website under construction)
Gluten-free, organic,and natural ingredients.  

Bath & Body Wash
Bar Soap
Body Lotion
Hand & Skin Care
Hair Care Products















Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Gluten-Free Protein Bars

We all need an energy lift at some point during the day. I, for one, opt for a protein bar because they are easy to travel around with.

I have been using Zing Bars for this purpose for several years now. They are not only gluten-free but have soy-free and dairy-free options as well. I was happy to see that they have added to the line. 

Zing Bars have a range of 10-13 grams of protein and 4 -6 grams of fiber each. 

ALL BARS ARE GLUTEN-FREE:
Vegan Line:     
                     
                      Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip
                      Double Nut Brownie: New
                      Cashew Cranberry Orange
                     

                      Coconut Cashew Crisp

Contains Whey Protein:                                                                                   

                      Dark Chocolate Hazelnut
                      Dark Chocolate Coconut
                      Dark Chocolate Sunflower Mint:                                                                                                            Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter
                      Oatmeal Chocolate Chip      
                      Almond Blueberry   

_______________________________________________________________
EPIC:  Definitely not vegan. These bars are made with bison, beef, turkey or lamb. It is a quirky take on jerky. Though I can not taste them because they have celery in them (deathly allergic), my friends who have tried them - love them. 

EPIC bars are  100 % grass fed, Paleo friendly, gluten-free, low glycemic, soy -free, dairy-free, and nitrate free.

EPIC bars have 10 -14 grams of protein, 1-2 grams of fiber.




Flavors: Bison (Bacon-Cranberry)
               Beef   (Habanero - Cherry)
              Turkey  (Almond - Cranberry)
            Lamb  ( Currant-Mint)
________________________________________________________________
Pure Organic:  Organic, Non-GMO, Gluten-Free, Vegan, 
                      5-6 gram protein, low sodium, 3-4 grams of fiber, Omega-3s.
        


Organic, Non-GMO, Gluten-Free, and Vegan Flavors:
Cashew Coconut: New
Banana Coconut
Dark Chocolate Berry
Apple Cinnamon
Cranberry Orange
Cherry Cashew
Wild Blueberry
Chocolate Brownie

______________________________________________________________
LARA BARS: Their UBER Bars are gluten-free.
                   3-6 grams of protein, 2-3 grams of fiber

Ubers Larabars are Gluten-Free, Non-GMO, and Kosher.



Dark Chocolate Turtle: New
Dark Chocolate Peanut: New
Sticky Bun
Cherry Cobbler
Coconut Macaroon
Apple Turnover
Bananas Foster
Roasted Nut Roll


_______________________________________________________________

the Gluten Free Bar: GFB     : 12-13 grams of protein, 3-4 grams of fiber



All of our products are:
• High in Protein
• Vegan
• Soy-Free
• Non-GMO
• Dairy-Free
• Gluten-Free
• All Natural
• Casein-Free
• Low Sodium
• No Trans-Fat
• Cholesterol Free
• Wheat-Free
• Omega-3 from Flax
• Good Source of Fiber
• Made in Our Dedicated Gluten-Free Facility
certs brown





Flavors:
Oatmeal Raisin
Coconut Cashew Crunch
Dark Chocolate Coconut 
Peanut Butter
Chocolate Peanut Butter
Cranberry Toasted Almond






Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Freedom Foods: North America


 

Let's start with the fact that I tried several of Freedom's products at the expo and was extremely impressed with the flavors and textures. From the comments of people around me, I was not the only one impressed.

Freedom Foods - North America was founded in Australia, 24 years ago. FYI - Australia and New Zealand have the strictest gluten-free rules in the world, requiring no more than 3 parts per million. 

Freedom takes this to a whole new level. 

Freedom quality control is a dream come true for those of us who are extremely sensitive to the slightest amount of gluten. Read what the say about their quality control. 

Freedom does not only caters to the gluten-free community.

The products are gluten-free, GMO free, allergen free, preservative Free, lower salt, lower sugar, no artificial colors, good source of  fiber. 

The company has expanded to the United States, 18 months ago.

You can find a list of the US products on the website. 

 Here is their commitment:

" Our dedicated 'free from' home


In 2009, Freedom Foods completed construction of a world-class, dedicated ‘free from’ factory in Stanbridge in the beautiful New South Wales Riverina (near Leeton).

To say that we are ‘home proud’ is an understatement. That’s because we’ve created one of the few food production facilities in the world that is totally free from wheat, barley, triticale, tree nuts, peanuts, soy, dairy and sesame seeds. To protect this great Allergen Free status, we do many things:

              We closely manage the process of sourcing our ingredients


We work closely with all of our suppliers to ensure their total supply processes are allergen free and they have in place the right processes, protocols and testing procedures to only deliver us allergen free ingredients.

We work closely with our growers

This ensures that they plant, harvest and manage their grains to ensure no cross-contamination.

We have our own mill on site

Rather than buying gluten free flours from mills that also process wheat and other allergens, we mill our grains which ensure great quality and of course no risk of cross contamination.

We test every batch we produce

At the mill, on the production line and as finished goods in the warehouse for all of the allergens. You might think this is a ‘belts and braces’ approach to testing for allergens. If so, you’re right!

We test to the world best testing levels

Our testing processes are at the lowest levels technically available. We also get external testing done on our products to continually validate our processes.

We are continually re-certified for the highest levels of quality assurances

Our site is SQF certified, the highest quality standard available. We use these regular audits to challenge ourselves to continually improve our own standards and ensure we are up to date with latest global thinking and processes in the area of quality assurance and food safety.

We continually train and re-train our staff

Our team are the first line defence for our site in terms of preservation of our allergen free status. Our team knows and protects our site through their on-going monitoring and reinforcement."

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Wafer Bites Anyone? Glutino New Products 2014

 GLUTINO'S has been listening to it's customers. 

1. People on a gluten-free diet need to be sure to get enough fiber in their diet. 
Glutino has a new MULTIGRAIN ENGLISH MUFFINS that does just that. 




2. BREAKFAST anyone!

 
Glutino now has a pre-made PANCAKE MIX you can pour right onto the griddle.




 


3. WAFERS are one of the best selling gluten-free cookies.


Glutino has introduced 3 flavors of wafers:


 Lemon 




 Milk Chocolate


Vanilla 



4. WAFER BITES are new to the gluten-free menu.

 Try the Chocolate Covered, Lemon and/or Hazelnut. (Coming Soon)










5.  Tired of basic GF PRETZELS



Glutino has added a kick to the basic pretzel by adding 2 new flavors: Honey Mustard and Sesame. 







6. Next Glutino added a NEW COOKIE FLAVORS:


 Double Chocolate Chip 




Improved  Creme Cookies


Improved the Chocolate Chip Cookies




7. The BREAD has been repackaged and includes: Multi grain, Seeded and White.


Warning: These products are gluten-free but may contain dairy, soy, eggs, nuts etc.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Natural Products Expo West- New Gluten-Free Products

New Gluten Free Products Introduced at the Natural Products Expo West

I saw hundreds of companies while at the Expo. I narrowed my interest down to 77 companies. I highlighted Udi's today and Glutino will be on Sunday.
I will have several posts. This one is items that are made from grains such as bread products, cereal, flours, and oats. The next will be food products that constitute a meal such as frozen foods.  I will post about GF power bars, GF snacks and GF personal care products in upcoming posts. 

Bob's Red Mill:
Muesli
Pie Crust Mix
Apple Blueberry Granola
Honey Oat Granola
Natural Almond Meal/Flour
GF Oat Bran Cereal
GF Oat Flour
GF Scottish Oatmeal
GF Thick Oats
 


GlutenFreeda: 
Sun Dried Tomato & Herb GF Flour Tortillas
Artisan Flat Bread - Parmesan & Asiago Cheese

Kinnikinnick:
Soft Bagels (Blueberry, Plain, Cinnamon Raisin)


Rudi’s Organic Bakery: 
Organic White English Muffins
Organic Pretzel Rolls
Organic Hot Dog Rolls 
Organic Hamburger Buns. 
Cherry Almond Bars
Heat & Serve Ciabatta Rolls
Deli Style Sandwich Bread
Double Fiber Sandwich Bread
Savory Herb Stuffing

Van's:
MultiGrain Chips (Nacho, Nacho & Mighty Good BBQ)
Sandwich Bars (PB & J) (Blueberry and Strawberry)

XO Baking Co.
GF Pie Crust Mix
GF Muffin Mix
GF Biscuit/Scone Mix
Blondie Mix 



Meanwhile, I hope you find this information useful. Image: Mary's Gone Crackers Gluten Free Graham Crackers Mary’s Gone Crackers Gluten Free Graham Crackers I was so pleased to see a gluten free graham cracker that was not made with any bean flour. Mary’s did things right! Full of healthy ingredients and a bit softer than gluten graham crackers, they have a wonderful graham flavor with a bit of a healthy aftertaste. The list of healthy ingredients is nearly an arms length long including...

Read more at glutenfreerecipebox.com/new-gluten-free-products-natural-products-expo-west-2014-part-1/ © Carla's Gluten Free Recipe Box
will create Part 2 and so forth as I try other samples that I brought home with me. Meanwhile, I hope you find this information useful. Image: Mary's Gone Crackers Gluten Free Graham Crackers Mary’s Gone Crackers Gluten Free Graham Crackers I was so pleased to see a gluten free graham cracker that was not made with any bean flour. Mary’s did things right! Full of healthy ingredients and a bit softer than gluten graham crackers, they have a wonderful graham flavor with a bit of a healthy...

Read more at glutenfreerecipebox.com/new-gluten-free-products-natural-products-expo-west-2014-part-1/ © Carla's Gluten Free Recipe Box

Udi's Hits a Homerun with New Products


Udi's New Products is very impressive. I especially enjoyed the new cookie line.

The new cookies are delicious, moist and had a wonderful texture. My favorite is the Salted Caramel Cashew. These Cookies are in my top 2 GF packaged cookies. They are gluten-free, dairy-free and soy-free.


Maple Pecan Chocolate Chip, Salted Caramel Cashew, Peanut Butter Coconut







Soft and Chewy Ginger Cookies

Udi's has also added a Granola Bar line These are also gluten-free, dairy-free and soy-free.

Chocolate Chip, Ancient Grain, Cranberry Almond
Udis' has an Ancient Grain Crisps line.  



Ancient Grain Sea Salt, Aged Cheddar, Jalapeno Cheddar

Udi's added a Pumpkin Muffin to there existing muffin line.


Pumpkin Muffins


Udi's Gluten Free line of gluten-free products has been impressive for a while now. 

The line has includes: 
GF Bagels includes Cinnamon Raisin, Whole Grain, Plain, Mighty Bagel and Everything Bagels.
GF Breads, Rolls and Buns includes 
        Bread: White, Whole Grain, Millet-Chia, Cinnamon Raisin, Omega Flax- Fiber  and
        French Baguette
        Dinner Rolls:  Whole Grain Seed and Classic French
        Rolls: Whole Grain and White (both hamburger and hot dog)
GF Cookies and Brownies:  Oatmeal Raisin, Dark Chocolate, Chocolate Chip, Snicker Doodles,
GF Frozen Pizza and Pizza Dough: Pizza Dough, Pepperoni, Three Cheese, Marguerite, and Spinach & Feta
GF Granola and Granola Bars: Cranberry, Au Natural, Original, Vanilla, Omega Cheery Walnut and   Blueberry Cashew
GF Muffins and Cinnamon Rolls: Cinnamon, Lemon Streusel, Double Chocolate, and Blueberry
GF Tortillas: Plain Small and Large