Friday, November 19, 2010

Commercial flour mix with no potato starch!

Just a quick note -- I was at the supermarket this morning and checked out some commercially available gluten-free multipurpose flour mixes that I hadn't seen before...My post of a few days ago about nothing being available without potato starch in it now needs to be updated, as I did in fact find two mixes that were potato-free (see below)!

Unfortunately for my mom, even without the allergenic potato starch in it, these two are still not safe for her, as one contains both sorghum and millet (to which she is very allergic) and the other contains tapioca and gelatin -- she's not necessarily allergic to those, but it all depends on their source...Tapioca may also refer to manioc, yuca, cassava, or even arrowroot, and the commercially available forms can come from several different plants from several different parts of the world.  For my mother, the only tapioca she's found she can tolerate is Reese brand; she had bad experiences with several other brands.  Not knowing which plant/geographical area the tapioca in the flour mix is from, she can't risk using that flour.

Likewise with the gelatin, as there is no indication whether it is animal-based or vegetable-based, so she could be allergic to it if she's allergic to its source; not knowing the source means not buying the product because the risk isn't worthwhile.  A side note on that: my daughter, Abby, has a Hindu friend who often asks what things are made of when she comes to our house, including jello and marshmallows, as gelatin that is beef-based would be off-limits to her.  Obviously not a food allergy there, but emphasizes the point that accurate and sufficient labeling is important to more than one group of consumers.

The two multipurpose gluten-free mixes not containing potato starch were Hodgson Mills and Tom Sawyer.  My question, of course, is that if these two can do without the potato starch, why can't other commercially available brands do it too?

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