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Health, Beauty & Fashion

More choices now of gluten-free products

Gluten-free products are now more readily available in Singapore
The Straits Times - December 25, 2011
By: Eunice Quek
| More
More choices now of gluten-free products

Entrepreneur Ms Elaine Tan developed gluten allergies two years ago, after a year of living in London. The 24-year-old says: 'My diet consisted of a lot of wheat products such as bread. My face and body would break out in acne. I am also allergic to dairy products and have to be extra careful with what I eat.'

Gluten is a type of protein found in grains such as wheat, barley and oats. Allergy reactions vary from person to person.

Ms Ng Hwa Ling, dietitian at the Changi Sports Medicine Centre, says: 'For those who are gluten-

intolerant, their immune system react abnormally to gluten, which results in the damage of small intestines. Products made from gluten such as bread, biscuits, cake, pasta, pastry and even alcohol (fermented from grains such as barley, wheat) must be avoided.'

To ensure a gluten-free diet, Ms Tan buys products such as chocolates, pasta made from corn, hot dogs and dairy-free ice cream from organic food shops and supermarkets.

A check with supermarket chains and speciality stores such as Brown Rice Paradise at Tanglin Mall and SuperNature at Park House in Orchard Road showed that the market for such gluten-free products is growing and the outlets are expanding their range to meet consumer demand.

At Cold Storage and MarketPlace supermarkets, a spokesman says the two supermarkets have seen an increase in demand for gluten-free products. The group imports dry items such as biscuits mainly from the United States, Australia and the United Kingdom. Fresh items such as gluten-free Meister sausages were introduced last year.

The spokesman adds that they are 'expanding the categories of products' with more brands.

For other supermarket chains such as Giant hypermarket and Shop N Save, sales for gluten-free products are still low, says their spokesman, but they carry gluten-free snacks from Indonesia.

While FairPrice Finest supermarkets do not have a dedicated gluten-free section, many of the organic products it imports are gluten-free.

Those with multiple allergies can also go to speciality shops such as SuperNature, which stocks a variety of products to cater to special dietary needs.

A spokesman for SuperNature says: 'We have more than 300 gluten-free products including frozen foods and pasta. There is a growing demand for those with special diets and we colour-code our price tags to help customers identify items according to their needs.'

Green price tags are for gluten-free products while yellow price tags are for wheat-free items.

When buying gluten-free products, look out for products which are labelled ''gluten free'. As some medicines may contain gluten too, Ms Ng advises those who are allergic to check with their doctors.

Having a constant stock of gluten-free products in supermarkets is good news for Ms Syu Ai Ming, 40, as dining out can be a hassle as she is allergic to both gluten and eggs.

She says: 'Waiters may not be aware of the pitfalls of having this allergy and you don't want to eat in fear that something will happen. More products in supermarkets will help to raise awareness that people should be more conscious of those who are gluten-intolerant.'

As for lecturer Magdalene Chan, 43, who is allergic to gluten and shellfish, she says: 'I have friends whose children are allergic to wheat and so they have to buy gluten-free products to make meals for them. So even if the market is small, there is always more room to grow. When more products come in, hopefully prices go down too.'

 Where to shop

SUPERNATURE

 What: Carries more than 300 gluten-free products including Lundberg Family Farm Rice Chips ($5), Doves Farm Organic Chocolate Stars ($11) and Keep Smiling Vanilla M'Gorilla by Booja Booja Ice Cream ($5 for 110ml)

Where: 21 Orchard Boulevard, 01-21/23 and 27 Park House, open: 10am to 7pm (Mondays to Saturdays), 10am to 6pm (Sundays)

Info: Call 6304-1336 or go to www.supernature.com.sg

BROWN RICE PARADISE

What: Carries a wide variety of gluten-free products including Glutenfreeda apple cinnamon with flax instant oatmeal ($9.80 for 300g), Lundberg risotto with wild porcini mushroom ($7 for 166g) and Glutino brand of Gluten Free Pantry mixes including chocolate truffle brownie mix ($8.50 for 454g)

Where: 163 Tanglin Road, Tanglin Mall, 02-35 (tel: 6738-1121) and 55 Siglap Road, Siglap Centre, 02-18 (tel: 6448-6770), open: 10am to 8pm daily (Tanglin Mall), 11.30am to 7pm daily (Siglap)

Info: www.mybrp.com.sg

COLD STORAGE

What: Carries more than 20 brands of gluten-free products including Kallo Organic Original Rice Cakes ($5.20 for 130g), Fantastic Barbecued Rice Crackers ($2.85 for 100g) and Kind Fruit & Nut and Almonds and Apricots bars ($2.60 for 45g each)

Where: Outlets include Bugis Junction, 230 Victoria Street, B1-16 (tel: 6336-1990), Great World City, 1 Kim Seng Promenade, B1-18/19 (tel: 6735-4730)

Info: Go to www.coldstorage.com.sg for the full list of outlets and opening hours

FAIRPRICE FINEST

What: Does not have a specific gluten-free food category. However, many of the organic products it carries is gluten-free including Hillside Candy (honey, $4.95 for 100g), Bob's Red Mill Quinoa Flour ($14.95 for 623g) and BioAsia Organic Rice Chips ($3.40 for 105g)

Where: Outlets include Scotts Square, 6 Scotts Road, B1-03 to B1-07 & B1-10, Bukit Timah Plaza, 1 Jalan Anak Bukit, B1-01 & B2-01

Info: Go to www.fairprice.com.sg for the full list of outlets and opening hours

MARKET PLACE

What: Carries more than 20 gluten-free brands including Hale & Hearty Mini Breadsticks ($4.75 for 100g), Orgran corn and vegetable pasta ($5.95 for 250g) and Native Forest Organic Sliced Asian Pears ($5.90 for 425g)

Where: Outlets include Raffles City Shopping Centre, 252 North Bridge Road, B1-01 (tel: 6336-2676) and Paragon, 290 Orchard Road, B1-21/22 (tel: 6738-2798)

Info: Go to www.coldstorage.com.sg for the full list of outlets and opening hours

Prices may vary depending on the supermarket and its location.

 

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