Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Stewed! New range of gluten free stews (and what about the one with beer in?)

I just followed up a link from Glutenfreeguerillas about Stewed!'s new range of ready to eat stews, which are labelled as gluten-free.  I haven't tried them yet, but well done for adding to the variety of foods made from wholesome ingredients and making them readily available.

I had a quick look down the list and checked ingredients.  I noticed beer in one stew, so wrote to the company.  They replied within a few minutes.

Bob's British Beef in Ale

Chunks of tender British beef slowly cooked in Dorset ale with tasty root veggies and potatoes.
Beef (23%), onion, chopped tomatoes, carrot (10%), Dorset ale (10%), potato (8%), water, swede (7%), parsnip (7%), refined rapeseed oil, tomato purée, beef stock (beef stock, salt), cornflour, salt, garlic purée, mustard, ground bay, dried thyme, cracked black pepper.
• 2 of your 5-a-day
• British Beef
• No artificial flavourings or preservatives
• Gluten free
• Can be frozen

reply from company:

Hi Lois

Thanks for getting in touch.

The beer we use is a Dorset ale which does contain malted barley. The gluten is broken down into smaller protein molecules during fermentation process and the resulting barley gluten levels in the beer are tiny, it is tested to less than 5 parts per million (ppm) and the guideline for gluten free is 20ppm.  We add the beer to a level that is about 10% of the recipe.  This would result in a further dilution of the gluten, down to a maximum of 0.5ppm.  The beer is also clear of other artificial nasties.

The products once made are tested for the presence of gluten and the results are clear.

Interestingly when we started out, we weren't specifically aiming at the Gluten Free market, however, as we were cooking it exactly as you would at home our products were gluten free.  Since then it has become apparent to us how important it is, and how with a reasonable amount of effort you can achieve the same great results.

I hope this helps.  Please let me know your thoughts, especially after trying one!

Mark Seymour Mead
Operations Director

So, if you can manage gluten at very tiny levels this stew should be fine for you.  I won't try it as  I can't even eat the 'made in a factory which also handles wheat' foods without trouble.  I will keep an eye out for the other varieties and try them at some point.

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