Danisco has previously eliminated rBST growth hormones from the supply chain of its MicroGard antimicrobials, also in response to changing consumer preferences. Now, both its MicroGard and NovaGard natural preservative ranges for fresh and chilled foods are gluten free, the company said.
The US is the most established gluten-free market, and currently the only one where sales exceed $1bn annually, reflecting the size of the population and wider product penetration, according to Datamonitor.
Global product manager at Danisco Matthew Hundt told FoodNavigator-USA.com: “There was concern that some of the ingredients we were using contained gluten, and so we took a proactive step.”
He added: “The USA has perhaps the largest gluten-free foods market in the world, with annual sales estimated at more than $1.5bn in a ‘free-from’ market worth over $3bn. At Danisco, our job is to help food manufacturers respond quickly to harness the growth opportunity that demand represents.”
Its cultured dairy or cultured dextrose ingredients are most often used as natural replacements for chemical preservatives like potassium sorbate, Hundt said. They would be labeled on ingredient lists as cultured dextrose or cultured milk.
Some of its NovaGard fermentates are not all-natural, he added, and would require a different label.
“There will always be a place for the synthetic, but in the United States we want a natural product with a long shelf life. That’s pretty challenging,” Hundt said. “…We watch these global trends and try to adapt where we can. It’s one of the things we have done in recent years, to try and respond to consumer trends.”
It is estimated that one in every 133 Americans has celiac disease, an autoimmune disorder with symptoms triggered by gluten, the protein found in wheat, rye, barley and spelt. Currently the only treatment for the disease is complete avoidance of gluten. In addition, there is evidence that some people without celiac disease may have certain levels of intolerance to gluten, leading them to also choose a gluten free diet.