The Gluten Free Expo is an annual event owned and managed by Coeliac Australia with the purpose of showcasing new products in the market. The expo also features cooking demos (sponsored by Coles, education sessions (sponsored by Genius Gluten Free) and more.
There are plenty of products to sample at the expo, but in case you’re still hungry, there are also a number of food stalls offering everything from arepas to donuts.
Gluten-free regulations are stricter in Australia than other countries. Therefore, it is reassuring for people who need to avoid gluten to know which products meet national standards. This can be particularly important shortly after an allergy/intolerance diagnosis, when navigating the gluten-free foodscape can be tricky.
This year’s highlights
I recommend having a look at the following stalls:
- Bob’s Red Mill for their great baking mixes, including the best chocolate cake ever
- Bolero Drink AU for their sugar-free hydration powders in every flavour you can imagine
- Diegos Authentic Foods for their great tortillas and salsas
- GF Precinct for their variety of sliced breads
- Higher Living for their awesome teas
- Wellaby’s for their great-tasting crackers
- Jalna Dairy Foods for their wonderful pot-set yoghurt range
- Jasper and Myrtle Chocolates for truly special artisanal chocolate
- Lewis and Son for their nitrate-free charcuterie made with grass-fed beef and fermented vegetables
- Lupins For Life Pty Ltd for lupin flour, flakes and kibble
- O’Brien Beer for the best gluten-free beer in the market
- Roza’s Gourmet for their delicious preservative-free dips and pestos
- Schär for their wide variety of European-style breads and biscuits
- Tender Gourmet Butchery for their award-winning sausages
- The Happy Snack Company for their roasted chickpeas and fava beans
- Simply Wize for their range of snacks
- Well & Good for their new range of allergen-free breads (including great burger buns)
Food for thought
According to Coeliac Australia, Coeliac Disease affects 1 in 70 people (however, 80% of the population remain undiagnosed). People with Coeliac Disease need to be on a gluten-free diet for life. The best diagnostic tool for Coeliac Disease is an intestinal biopsy.
Gluten intolerance (a.k.a. non-Coeliac gluten sensitivity) is a highly debated topic; recent studies seem to indicate that it does exist but its prevalence is rather low (estimated at 0.6 – 6%). As it’s the case with all food intolerance, there is a threshold unique to each individual. The best way of determining whether gluten is a problem or not and what amount of gluten you can have is following an elimination-reintroduction protocol.
The bottom line is that not everyone needs to be on a gluten-free diet. If you do have Coeliac disease or are gluten intolerant, remember the following:
- There are plenty of foods that are naturally gluten-free and do not come in packages: meat, fish, eggs, fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, milk, cheese, etc. (ok, some of those do come in packages but you get my point)
- Always read labels, some gluten-free foods are hyper processed and nutrient-poor (gluten-free does not necessarily equal healthy)
The Gluten Free Expo is still on today Sunday 5th August at Rosehill Gardens Racecourse from 9:00am – 4:00pm. To learn more about the expo, buy tickets or for more information about Coeliac disease click on the links below.
You can also read about last year’s expo here.