Tag Archives: gluten-free

Lotus Foods Introduces Gluten-Free Ramen

Ramen, one of the best-loved Asian foods and a shelf staple in millions of American kitchens, dorm rooms and offices, is about to become even more popular. Traditionally, ramen noodles are made from wheat, and thus off-bounds to ­­legions of consumers who are gluten intolerant.

Lotus Foods, who changed how Americans think about rice, is shaking up the ramen world, introducing traditional Japanese-style ramen noodles made from rice.

Millet_Small“We are thrilled to bring this wonderfully quick, versatile and satisfying food to people who can’t eat wheat-based ramen,” says Lotus Foods Co-owner Caryl Levine. “And ramen fans will be delighted because our noodle cakes are made with our popular heirloom and organic specialty rice, so the tastes and colors are entirely new and exciting.”

Lotus Foods ‘ready-in-four-minutes’ Ramen are available in three flavors: Forbidden Rice® Ramen; Jade Pearl Rice™ Ramen; and Millet & Brown Rice Ramen. Consumers will have a choice of buying individual ramen cakes with savory reduced-sodium miso soup flavor packets to make an instant bowl of nourishing noodle soup, or four ramen noodle cakes packaged together without any flavor packets. Lotus Foods Ramen are perfect as a snack or the start of a complete meal by adding vegetables or a protein of choice. They will add drama to your favorite stir-fry or transform your classic cold noodle salad with a simple soy sauce and sesame dressing.

Forbidden Rice® Ramen are a natural source of antioxidants and high in protein, fiber and minerals. Jade Pearl Rice™ Ramen is infused with chlorophyll-rich, wild-crafted bamboo extract for enhanced taste and nutrition. Millet & Brown Rice Ramen have a delicious nutty taste and are a good source of fiber and protein.

As well as being gluten free, low fat and vegan, Lotus Foods Rice Ramen are made with organic rice and all non-GMO ingredients. The miso soup packets have 25 to 33 percent less sodium than regular ramen soups.

This is the second new product launch by Lotus Foods this year. In the spring, the company launched convenient microwaveable Heat & Eat Rice Bowls. Ready in just 90 seconds, they deliver nutritional benefits with three great-tasting heirloom rices. All three rices are produced through Lotus Foods’ partnership with family rice farmers in Cambodia and Indonesia, who are using water-conserving More Crop Per Dropgrowing methods. All of the products are gluten free, non-GMO verified and with no added salt or fat. Like the new Lotus Foods Rice Ramen, the bowls can be the easy, instant start to a complete meal or a quick, healthy snack.

“We want to make our healthy whole grain rice more accessible to people,” says Levine. “With so many people coping with gluten intolerance, diabetes, or simply too busy to cook, we feel it is important to give them more options to consume delicious and nutritious rice.”

Since 1995, Lotus Foods has been sourcing fair-trade ingredients from small family farmers around the world who are growing rice sustainably and preserving heirloom and specialty rices. The company’s objective is not only to help rice farmers earn a living wage but to bring healthier rice choices to consumers.


The Better Chip Offers a Quality Snacking Experience

The Better ChipThe Better Chip® is a snack chip made with natural ingredients and vegetables people can actually see as they snack. Available in Jalapeño, Red Pepper, Spinach & Kale, Corn and Sweet Onion flavors, each is developed with smart snackers in mind – using farm-fresh ingredients that taste delicious.  Because it is different, The Better Chip® is available in the deli section at grocery stores across the nation rather than the chip aisle, and uses a double corn masa formula for a heartier, sturdier snacking experience.

The Better Chip is:

  • A high-quality snack chip made with fresh vegetables
  • Naturally gluten-free
  • Vegan friendly (except for Sweet Onion, which includes white cheddar cheese)

Available in the deli section of more than 8,500 grocery stores in 35 states, The Better Chip is a new choice to satisfy the salty snack craving—with ingredients that are easy to understand and clearly natural.


There’s a New Chip in Town — NoTatoes

NoTatoes are made from “Potato’s Ugly Cousin”, the cassava (yuca) root. Cassava is enjoyed as a snack in many parts of the world. It’s naturally gluten-free, higher in fiber than potato chips and absolutely delicious.

NoTatoes bagNoTatoes has blended the great flavor of cassava with corn and a other simple, all natural ingredients to create the worlds first Cassava Tortilla Chips, NoTatoes! Don’t misunderstand, they love Cousin Potato, but let’s face it he’s not known as a couch potato for nothing! NoTatoes will satisfy any desire for a crunchy, tasty snack while at the same taking waistlines into consideration.

NoTatoes can be enjoyed like any other chip — with salsa, hummus, or all by au naturale (NoTatoes’ favorite way). One taste and you’ll be saying Yes to No…NoTatoes! And why not? With ingredients including cassava flour, stone ground corn, safflower and/or sunflower oil, quinoa, flax seed, sesame seed evaporated, cane juice, sea salt.


Wixon Now Offers Gluten-Free Items

Wixon Inc. now offers gluten-free seasonings and mixes to extend its customers’ product lines and meet the demands of this growing market segment.

 According to The Mayo Clinic and global market research firm Mintel Group Ltd., nearly 1.8 million Americans have celiac disease, 1.4 million are undiagnosed, and 1.6 million are on a gluten-free diet without diagnosis. Eighteen percent of consumers say that “gluten-free” is a consideration when choosing packaged foods. In fact, “gluten-free” claims on new food and beverage items have grown more than 94 percent since 2008.

 From sourcing to handling and testing, Wixon takes the necessary measures to ensure the highest quality gluten-free products.
Gluten-free raw materials are sourced from qualified vendor partners, who provide a gluten-free Statement of Assurance. Wixon’s segregated blending suites and operations handling avoid cross-contamination. Blends are tested to confirm gluten-free status and validate Wixon’s gluten-free procedures. Gluten-free raw materials and ingredients are also stored in segregated areas.

In addition to rigorous finished product testing, Wixon is GFSI Certified to FSSC 22000, the premier, globally-recognized model of food safety.  

Wixon also has introduced a sampling of gluten-free seasonings and mixes.

The new products include:

  • Gluten-Free Chocolate Brownie Mix – A rich brownie with a hint of cinnamon and coffee.
  • Gluten-Free Honey Butter Corn Bread Mix – A simply sweet honey and butter-flavored corn bread.
  • Gluten-Free Seasoned Pizza Crust Mix – A zesty blend of thyme, rosemary, and basil, plus onion and garlic. This mix is ideal as a flatbread, too.
  • Gluten-Free Vanilla Muffin Mix – A vanilla muffin mix enhanced with a dash of sweet cinnamon. Berries can be added.

“Wixon strives to make gluten-free worry-free,” says Tim Sonntag, Wixon’s Vice President of Quality and Technical Services. “With more than one quarter of adults aiming to cut down or avoid gluten completely, food manufacturers cannot afford to ignore this growing demographic. Wixon’s new gluten-free offerings can be trusted to incorporate our flavor technology expertise with the assurance of our stringent quality and safety criteria.”

For more information or to request a complimentary sample of the new gluten-free products, call 800-841-5304 or email Samples@wixon.com.

PARTNERS Launches Gluten-Free Line

PARTNERS, A Tasteful Choice Company, maker of all natural, wholesome, and delicious crackers, cookies and granola, is launching its first gluten-free line, Free for All Kitchen. Since 1992, founder Marian Harris has taken great care to create and perfect every one of her recipes and the new gluten-free additions are no exception.

Three years ago, Marian and the PARTNERS family recognized the importance of producing a gluten-free line and have been diligently working ever since. Why so long? It takes time to develop a delicious gluten-free alternative that doesn’t compromise on taste, nutrition, or quality.

While many companies push out products that are heavily processed or rely on empty calorie rice fillers to create gluten-free alternatives, Marian focused on finding high quality, all natural ingredients to create her crackers. Three years in the baking, Marian’s new gluten-free crackers are made from a five ancient grain blend of amaranth, quinoa, millet, sorghum, and teff.

These ancient grain crackers are available in three of PARTNERS most popular flavors: Roasted Garlic & Rosemary, Olive Oil & Sea Salt, and Olive Oil & Herb. The family recognized the need for a great entertaining style cracker in the gluten-free category and decided to release their new recipes in a hors d’oeuvre style cut. With Free for All Kitchen crackers, retailers now have an elegant, delicious, worry free option to showcase their favorite cheeses and consumers have an elegant, delicious, worry free option to serve to all of their guests.

Look for Free for All Kitchen Gluten Free Crackers in 5-ounce cartons and cellophane wrapped deli trays. The PARTNERS team applied the same care and attention to creating elegant, attractive packaging that showcases the high quality taste and ingredients that everyone can enjoy.

New Products Take a Bow Before the Curtain Rises at #ExpoEast

Live from Natural Products Expo EastAmong the new products making their debut at this year’s Natural Products Expo East are Quinoa & Brown Rice from Hodgson Mill in pre-seasoned packets for three or four servings. Cooks add water, heat and serve for a dish that’s ready in 15 minutes. Varieties include Lemon Pepper, Italian, Spicy and Garlic and Herb.

Domino Foods’ Florida Crystals brand introduced Tate Lyle Organic Pure Cane Sugar and Organic Turbinado Raw Cane Sugar. Both products carry Fair Trade certification and are packaged in 24-ounce packages for the supermarket shelf.

Several companies are offering new snack chips to the market. Those include Corn Pretzels from The Real Deal All-Natural Snacks, Super Food grain chips from Rhythm Superfoods in four flavors, Beanitos Restaurant-Style White Bean with Sea Salt Chips and Cassava Tortilla Chips from NoTatoes. Brad’s Raw Foods has added a Pina Kale-Ada flavor to its line of Brad’s Raw Leafy Kale snacks, and Ocean’s Halo is debuting The Seaweed Chip here.

Farmer Gene’s Tiny but Mighty Popcorn is packaged to be popped at home. This ancient heirloom popcorn is a native plant that grows into a bush that produces multiple small ears of popping corn whose kernels have thin hulls that virtually disintegrate when the corn is popped, so they don’t get stuck in teeth when the popcorn is eaten, the company says.

The Good Bean Roasted Chickpea Snacks

The Good Bean’s crunchy roasted chickpeas are naturally packed with protein, fiber and antioxidants, so you are not eating empty calories. Best of all, these snacks are also delicious! Roasted slowly, then tossed with tasty spices, The Good Bean’s Roasted Chickpea Snacks are delicious on salads, soups or right out of the bag. Gluten-free, nut-free and non-GMO, these snacks contain nothing over-engineered and nothing artificial. The Good Bean Roasted Chickpea Snacks are available in 2.5-ounce bags, with the company also set to debut new 6-ounce bags with resealable zip locks.8-TheGoodBeanFILL

Five flavors: (sea salt, smoky chili & lime, cracked pepper, mesquite barbeque and Thai coconut lemongrass)

Passage Foods Now Certified Gluten-Free

Passage Foods range of authentic cooking sauces are now certified gluten-free by the Gluten-Free Certification Organization (GFCO). The Passage Foods range includes Passage to Mexico, Passage to Thailand, Passage to Morocco, and Passage to Europe as well as several other classic and ethnic product ranges. Each of the 23 different simmer sauces is a blend of fresh ingredients creating a recipe deep in the traditional flavors of its country such as Moroccan Harissa, Red Thai Curry, Spanish Chicken and Chipotle Lime. “It has always been in our brand’s DNA that Passage Foods products be gluten-free and we have always used third-party testing to detect gluten to a level of 5 parts per million. The Celiac community understands the importance of this testing, but there is a much larger share of the North America population that is now practicing a gluten-restricted diet as a healthy lifestyle choice,” states Passages’ Mark MacKenzie. “We knew that the Gluten Intolerance Group through their GFCO program was the foremost trusted certification program available, and we felt that partnering was an important message to both our healthy lifestyle and celiac customers.”

Specialty Foods Producers Wow Restaurateurs

by Lorrie Baumann

Specialty food producers showed up en masse at this year’s Western Foodservice & Hospitality Expo to introduce southern California restaurateurs to great gourmet products that can help their foodservice operations create the kind of flavor experience that their upscale clientele demands. Many of these folks will be familiar names to specialty foods retailers too.

Sparrow Lane artisanal varietal vinegars was at the show to talk about why these California-produced products are better. “A lot of balsamics on the market start with red wine or white wine and then add caramel colors. We have our own plant where we produce our own vinegars from the natural grape must, so you don’t get the extra sugars and the other things that don’t belong in there, and then they’re aged in oak barrels from 12 to 15 months and then bottled,” says Jesse Layman, the company’s “head chef and marketing guy.” He’s been a chef for 25 years, and he says vinegars have a wide variety of uses, allowing you to eliminate salt while enhancing the flavors of the food. Blackberry balsamic is wonderful with pork and chicken dishes and served en croute. And of course, they are still good on salads. Use Sparrow Lane varietals on salads as a nice finishing vinegar.

Fresh Origins offered fresh microgreens packaged for foodservice use. Although microgreens have been getting a lot of buzz in white tablecloth restaurants over the past year or two, the company is just now looking for a toehold on the retail market. Contact kelly@freshorigins.com

Daiya brought its line of dairy-free, soy-free, gluten-free, Kosher, vegan cheese alternatives. Daiya recently came out with some cream cheeses that come packed in 8-ounce containers (12 per case) in flavors including strawberry-style, made from real strawberries, original flavor that’s like a traditional plain cream cheese and an onion and chive-style product. The company also makes cheese-alternative slices for retail sale in Swiss-style, cheddar style and a provolone style.  The slices come in cases of 12 7.8-ounce packages. Mozzarella, cheddar, and pepper-jack style cheese alternatives are also available for retail in shreds. Contact Trevis Umble trev@daiyafoods.com. He’s the retail sales manager for the western U.S., but if he’s not the appropriate contact for you, he’ll refer you to the right person.

Pure Indulgent Foods is offering “flats” as a companion for cheeses and spreads. These savory crackers come in flavors including Rosemary Cranberry, Cashew Date, Chili Mango and Fig Olive. At the show, the Rosemary Cranberry and Chili Mango flavor crackers were drawing attention as an all-natural way to add a crisp touch to a salad. Call 403.243.5699 for more information.

SooFoo demonstrated that “Mighty Grains with a Strange Name” can be delicious with samples of their blend of nine organic, GMO-free grains and lentils grown in the U.S. “We have the original blend here that we’ve cooked in water in a rice cooker and we’re sampling with some olive oil and a little salt,” says Felice Charlton, Director of New Business for the company. The product also makes a Lemon Kale Salad for which Charlton developed the recipe. Add the cooked grain to some kale and crumbled feta and toss with an olive oil-lemon juice dressing. Add some pine nuts and dried cranberries for nutty crunch and sweetness. Visit www.soofoo.com.

Blaze’s Beans in Vancouver teamed up with Orange County Produce about 10 years ago to produce a line of spicy pickled beans that are great for Bloody Marys. “Almost everything we market has been going to Canada for the last 10 or 15 years, but we’ve been marketing in the U.S. for only the last five or six years,” says Matt Kawamura, a Partner in Blaze’s Beans. Visit www.blazesbeans.com.


Bob’s Red Mill Celebrates Long-Awaited FDA Ruling that Regulates Gluten Free Labeling

Gluten free pioneer helped to define standards by testifying on the matter in 2005.

Bob’s Red Mill Natural Foods, a pioneering manufacturer of delicious and safe gluten free products, commends the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which on Friday issued a history-making ruling that made life safer and simpler for those with Celiac disease and gluten sensitivities.

“We applaud the FDA for implementing its new gluten free labeling guidelines,” said Bob Moore, founder, president and CEO of employee-owned Bob’s Red Mill Natural Foods. “It’s encouraging to see these important standards put into place, and we’re celebrating with Celiac sufferers and those with gluten sensitivities everywhere on this monumental milestone.”

The FDA’s new ruling defines what a gluten free label on a food package means. The regulation states products labeled “gluten free” must contain less than 20 parts per million of gluten. For more than ten years Bob’s Red Mill solidified its leadership role in the gluten free arena by adhering on its own accord to a strict standard of less than 20 parts per million for all of its gluten free products.

In 2005 Bob’s Red Mill was invited to testify before the FDA about its gluten free manufacturing and product labeling practices. The company also was the first to provide pure gluten free oats to stores nationwide in unlimited quantities.

“Bob’s Red Mill has been a vocal advocate for safe gluten free standards and we’re honored to have been a part of this process that began nearly a decade ago,” said Dennis Gilliam, Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Bob’s Red Mill.

Offering more than 80 gluten free flours, cereals, baking mixes and grains, all of the company’s gluten free products are made in a dedicated 100 percent gluten free facility. Its gluten free products are batch tested in its quality control laboratory with an R5 ELISA Gluten Assay test to ensure the absence of gluten. Testing is performed again after packaging.