Food Matters Live to sponsor the Innovation Award in the 2014 FreeFrom Food Awards

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As samples pour in for the judging sessions for the 2014 FreeFrom Food Awards at the end of the month, the organisers are delighted to announce the last two categories in this year’s awards have now been sponsored.

The Innovation Award,  one of the most prestigious in the annual awards and won last year by Dell ‘Ugo’s revolutionary Chickpea fusilli, will be sponsored for 2014 by Food Matters Live, the new event exploring one of the most important challenges of our time: the relationship between food, health and nutrition.

David Wood, director, Food Matters Live, said: “To be able to recognise innovation in the free from sector fits extremely well with some of the key themes of Food Matters Live, and we are delighted to support this award.”

The Pizza and Pasta category will be sponsored by the Food and Drink Innovation Network, leading organisers of freefrom conferences and seminars.

Other sponsors this year include long-time supporters Tesco, Asda, Genon Laboratories,Goodness Direct, Mrs Crimbles, Newburn Bakehouse, Sainsbury’s, Delamere Dairy andHale & Hearty.

New sponsors this year include Genius Gluten Free, Ilumi, Food Heaven, 24 Vend, Cornitoand the new American arrival on the UK freefrom scene, Udi’s.

Judging takes place over a two week period in north London and judges are asked not only to assess the taste and texture of an entry but to consider:

  • its usefulness – does it fulfil a really useful purpose for someone on a freefrom diet?
  • its cleverness – is it doing something which is really difficult to do in manufacturing terms?
  • its nutritional profile

 Judges include:

  • freefrom food professionals – manufacturers, chefs, cookery writers, bloggers etc
  • nutritionists, dietitians and other health professionals
  • coeliacs and those living on gluten/wheat, dairy, egg, soya and nut free diets
  • normal’ people, both laymen and food professionals, to benchmark the products against their non-freefrom equivalents.For more on the judging please see the food awards site here

Michelle Berriedale Johnson, director of the awards and chair of the judges, said: “Because we have such diverse judging panels – manufacturers, food writers, chefs, nutritionists, raw foodies, coeliacs, allergy sufferers and just regular food lovers to benchmark the products against ‘normal’ foods – judging sessions can be extremely lively, indeed argumentative, but as a result we do feel that we come up with the right winners.”

A shortlist will be announced after the judging on 12 February 2014.

The invitation-only presentation will take place on 25 March 2014 in central London.

Awards patron, Antony Worrall Thompson, said: “FreeFrom has become such an important part of food-thinking for all of us these days that it is vital to have a reliable, independent guide to freefrom excellence – and the awards provide just that.”

The FreeFrom Food Awards are the UK’s only industry awards celebrating the growth and excellence of ‘freefrom’ food created for allergy sufferers, coeliacs and those who feel healthier if they exclude gluten, dairy and other allergens from their diets. FreeFrom Food Awards bright yellow logos are now to be seen on a huge range of freefrom products from one man/woman producers of freefrom cupcakes to supermarket own label ranges.  

Freefrom is the reported to be the only food sector to have shown 15% growth year on year over the last five years.

The awards, now in their seventh year, are run by the same team as run the FreeFrom Matters sites (allergy resource sites with over half a million unique visitors a year), the FreeFrom Skincare Awards and who, this year, are launching the FreeFrom Eating Out Awards.

For more information on the awards and interview opportunities, please check the site at www.freefromfoodawards.co.uk or contact Michelle Berriedale-Johnson, director of the awards and editor of the FreedFrom Matters sites.