After two whole days off it was quite hard to get back into judging swing this morning – but if anything was going to get us going it was ‘Breakfast’ – although I am not sure that anyone had quite counted on facing up to 25 cereals!! Flakes, loads of them as you can see, porridges, granolas, mueslis, teff grains, superfoods and variety packs!
However, game to a man (although in fact, all of today’s judges were women…), our judges worked their way through all 25, and then had a very heated discussion on the merits of nutritional excellence over palatability!
In fact, this is a subject which crops up in lots of judging sessions as our dietitian/nutrition judges are, understandably, concerned that those who are already on restricted diets and therefore at risk of nutritional insufficiency, should eat the healthiest of foods. On the other hand, food industry judges and those with allergies or coeliac disease, while wishing to eat healthily, are also anxious that the food tastes nice, especially if they have children who may otherwise refuse to eat it at all!! Of course, the trick is, to make freefrom food that is both nutritious and tastes nice – and I am glad to say that there is a great deal more of that about than there used to be.
Anyhow, here they all are, sampling away with a will!
There were some interesting discoveries but, out of 18 biscuits, we were horrified to discover that our one dairy-intolerant judge could only taste two as all of the other 16 included dairy even though they were gluten free! Given that making a dairy-free sweet biscuit is really not that much of a manufacturing challenge, and that there has been, over the last couple of years, a move towards excluding more than one allergen if you are manufacturing ‘freefrom’, this was really very disappointing. I do hope we do not find the same gluten-only focus among the cakes tomorrow…