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It’s that time of year when a whole host of judges get together to discuss the crème de la crème of the free from food world!

FFFA16 logo(photo credit - Free From Food Awards)

When you’re shopping for free from foods at the supermarket, have you ever noticed those little yellow circles depicting ‘free from award winner’, or may 'shortlisted' or even 'highly commended' or 'commended'?

They are sought after by the companies who create free from food items. They are also something that people who buy free from foods tend to watch out for, as they know that the products will be of the absolute highest quality and will have gone through rigorous testing to achieve that status!

You see, that’s what these awards champion and are all about. Those wonderful creations that enable those of us within the allergy and intolerance world to have some semblance of normality for the basic necessity of eating, whilst also giving us peace of mind that the products do actually offer what they claim!

Ever since we were thrown feet first into the allergy world, I have been aware of these wonderful awards.

Last year, at the Allergy Show, I had the pleasure of meeting the lovely Michelle, who invited me to become part of the judging team. I was so pleased, as it is a real honour to be a part of these awards!

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So, a little background of the awards to bring you all up to speed.

The Free From Food Awards were founded by Foods Matter and Free From Foods Matter as a way to not only celebrate the free from food industry, but to also encourage innovation.

Of the foods entered, only those shortlisted, commended, highly commended or award winners are allowed to use the FFFA logo.

This year saw 100’s of entries, and 2 weeks where judges put all of the products through their paces, blind tasted and deliberated over.

Sounds a bit like masterchef doesn't it!

I was part of the judging group for breads (over 20 entries), breakfast bars (over 20 entries) and foods to go (over 40 entries!). It was a LOT of food to taste test blind over the course of 1 day.

We started with the breads first, and had a mix of supermarket ready options, beautiful artisan bakes, and a few new options being brought to market.

We then had a well deserved coffee and a chance to let our tummy’s settle before starting on the breakfast bars! I ended up having a fit of giggles over one particular offering, which saw Nicky from Can I Eat There join in too! J

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Lunch was provided by Michelle and her team, and it was a truly delicious totally free from offering which saw us all go back for seconds.

Big mistake, as we had over 40 products to sample for the afternoon session, eeek!!

We were all fit to burst by the end of the day, and even Boris the cat joined in to keep us company!

The exciting bit for me, was that I have found 3 potentially safe new foods for Callum, including a pretty impressive garlic bread that’s soon to be launched by Tesco! I will be stocking up as soon as it becomes available, it’s seriously good and means I don’t have to make my own from scratch any more!

The final shortlist has now been released, and you can find all the details here - it’s wonderful to see such a fabulous array of options available for the free from world, and it can only continue to improve.

The awards ceremony is at the end of April, and I for one can’t wait to find out who the overall winner will be, and all of the award winners!

Are there any particular products that you’re championing? Who would you like to see win?

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