After the glitter of Christmas is over I have another exciting event to look forward to.....
It has been my privilege this year to be a judge for the Free From Food Awards for the third year in a row. I am very proud to be a judge in such a prestigious event.
What are the Free From Food Awards?
A fantastic organisation which seeks out food and drink relevant to the freefrom industry, awards them on their merits and encourages them to improve on any shortfalls.
The products that are entered into the awards come from producers of all sizes and backgrounds. From the towering supermarkets to the tiny entrepreneurs, from strong ethical backgrounds to having fun with food, every entry is interesting.
Each entry applies on paper, sends in product samples and is checked for relevance to the freefrom market place. The products then undergo scrutiny from a panel of judges in a tasting session (judging info here). The products are judged on their appearance, smell, taste, texture and usefulness within the market. Also considered are the ingredients list, price, availability, labelling and suitability for a number of freefrom customers. Each judge gives each product a score out of ten and leaves comments on their findings.
Who is involved?
The Free From Food Awards are directed by the very capable and extremely well qualified Michelle Berriedale Johnson. Assisted by the efficient and knowledgeable Cressida Langdon, Catherine and Katherine, Sue Cane and Alex Gazzola and a great panel of judges the process is a precision event.
The judges are experts from the food industry and medical profession, fellow bloggers, allergy/intolerance/auto immune condition sufferers and (benchmark) non sufferers who often have great skills from elsewhere in the food industry.
Even more confectionery samples to taste
Why is it great?
The awards inject motivation for innovation and demand excellence from a rapidly changing freefrom marketplace.
There are 16 categories in total with extra awards for retailer of the year, innovation award, startups and small producers and the overall winner.
Only the best products with genuine relevance to the freefrom market are championed by the judging process.
The shortlisted products, runners up and winners are published for all to see, giving everyone the chance to find excellent products they can eat.
All the judges are volunteers and a donation from the product entry costs is given to charity each year. Find out more here.
The confectionery category was hotly contested
What I loved this year
I have a sweet tooth and a passion for chocolate which was not going to cease when I had to give up lactose, dairy and gluten. On my quest to find suitable products I have not been disappointed. It was a natural choice for me to offer to judge the breakfast and confectionery categories.
My favourite products this year include:
Sprouted Porridge Oats by Rude Health
Spiced Pecan Tonic Granola by Rollagranola
Nutribix by Life Health Foods
Coconut Blueberry Yoghurt by The Coconut Collaborative
Solkiki Tahitian Nougat White Chocolate Bar
Eat Allergy Safe Dark Chocolate Truffles
Eskal Gluten Free Wafer Rolls
Cocoa Libre Three Mini Slab Bars
D&D Dairyfree Chocolate Drops
Booja Booja Hazelnut Chocolate Truffles
You can find details of all the product I judged and many more on the Free From Food Awards website.