Essex ingredients firm EDME’s new gluten-free flour mill at Mistley, near Manningtree, sees sales soar
- Credit: Frances Brace
An Essex ingredients firm which launched a gluten-free flour mill three years ago is celebrating soaring sales of the products made there.
EDME, based at Mistley, near Manningtree, has seen a sixfold increase in demand for its gluten-free flours over the last two years.
The mill is based in what was a disused, run-down building at its site and mills flours from pulses, grains and seeds which are mainly sourced from East Anglian growers.
“The mill is supporting food manufacturers in creating more nutritious, better-tasting products, and helping keep our region in the limelight in food production and innovation,” said director Mike Carr.
The nutritionally-rich flours produced at the company’s Mistley mill include chickpea, broad bean, buckwheat, millet, quinoa and linseed. Each provides distinctive flavours, and can change the texture, as well as the taste of foods, the firm said.
Chickpea flour and lentil flours, which are high in protein and in fibre, are used in a range of Indian foods, including papadums. Flaxseed, with its high Omega 3 content can be used as a fat or egg substitute in domestic and industrial baking. Amaranth and quinoa flour, which contain all the essential amino acids, are ideal for boosting the nutritional value of breads, crackers, rice cakes and pastry.
“Many people believe gluten is inherently bad for you,” said Mike. “Of course, that’s true for those with coeliac disease - or who are gluten-intolerant. But the vast majority of the population can safely eat foods with wheat, barley or rye in them – and gain great health benefits from them.
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“That said, many gluten-free ingredients are highly nutritious and provide great health benefits to everyone.”
The firm said most of the raw materials it uses are grown by East Anglian farmers, with a small proportion imported. The region, well-known for the quality of its cereal grains, is now also building a reputation for producing a wide range of gluten-free crops, it said, including yellow and green split peas, chickpeas, fava beans, chia seeds, and quinoa, which are all beginning to be cultivated here.
“We supply some of the biggest players in the food industry who use our flours and seed mixes to add nutritional value to foods, and bring greater choice to consumers,” said Mike.