Alimentaria Presents: Testing for Gluten in Swedish Snack Foods

(ed.’s note: Below, a post written and translated by Mo, our lovely intern, originally posted at El Blog Sin Gluten!)

You know that game that kids and psychologists alike play “What´s the first word that comes to mind when I say…?”

Let´s play.

What the first word that comes to mind when I say Sweden?

What did you think of? Snow? “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”? Well, I thought of three things: cold, happy people, and high quality furniture.

However, after recent events, my answer has altered dramatically. Now, I hear Sweden and I think: bananas, coconuts and goji berries. Crazy, right? So what caused this extreme change?We met the lovely people from Ekomoa last week at Alimentaria, an international exhibition of food and beverages in Barcelona, Spain and got the opportunity to try their product. Needless to say, we´re kind of crazy about it.

What they do is create amazing, raw snacks out of 100% natural organic fruits, vegetables and nuts. Speaking of ingredients, Ekomoa uses a ton of different nutritious packed fruits, nuts and vegetables in their 10 varieties of sweet and savory snacks, such as: (mouth watering can begin now) bananas, coconuts, dates, zucchini, carrots, blueberries, raspberries, almonds, goji berries, sun flower seeds along with lemon, sea salt, and a variety of herbs for flavoring, just to name a few.

And you know us, we had to find out….is it too good to be true? Could such a tasty, healthy snack so jam-packed with flavor really be.…gluten-free?

We investigated a bit further into the company itself and how they create their products before we began testing their food for gluten.

We loved that they use an old-school air drying technique to make these “super snacks” rather than baking them. This way, the final product is still considered ‘raw’, which helps preserve the quality and benefits of the vitamins, minerals, fiber and enzymes of the ingredients.

Even better, there are no added sugars or preservatives – just wholesome, clean ingredients in a perfect snack on the go!

As you can see, all the ingredients used in Ekomoa´s products are naturally gluten-free. However, accidental cross contamination can be quite common even in facilities that produce only gluten-free foods, because of cross contamination during transportation or the ingredients could have already been contaminated when they arrive to the production facility. Trace amounts of a gluten containing ingredient can easily raise the level of gluten to 20 parts per million (ppm) (the Codex Alimentarius limit to consider a food gluten-free) or more.

Therefore, we´ve decided to utilize GlutenTox Home, which can test up to 5 ppm – helpful for those with extreme gluten sensitivity- to test out Ekomoa´s Banan&Blåbärskyssar snacks.

First we ground up a sample into small pieces and measured out 1 gram using the spoon provided in the kit.

We added this to the Extraction Solution in the yellow-lidded jar, shook vigorously for 2 minutes, and then let settle for 5 minutes.

Using the provided dropper, we collected some of the liquid that separated from the solids at the bottom of the jar, and since we were testing for 20 ppm, added 2 drops to the blue-lidded jar of Dilution Solution (if we wanted to test for 5 ppm, we would have added 8 drops).

After shaking gently for about 15 seconds, we added 6 drops to the analyzer (in the little well labeled ‘S’) and waited a few minutes.

Drum roll……

Success!

Our blue control line showed up first, telling us that we had correctly administered the test for gluten. We waited the full 10 minutes but not a single trace of a pink line showed up next to it, meaning, according to the Codex Alimentarius standards, that the Banan & Blåbärskyssar lot we have tested is gluten-free!

And what did it taste like?

Banana fans out there: Get your hands on a pretty flowered package of Bananbräck, you won´t be disappointed (editor’s note: they aren’t available in the US or Canada yet!). These things are like bananas’ overachieving older brother. Bananas 2.0 if you will. There´s so much banana-coconut flavor packed in there, I don´t know how I can ever go back to eating just a regular banana.

So these little pieces of heaven look like they would be crunchy like a cracker, which I was a bit worried about, because dried bananas can lose a lot of their banana-essence. But to my pleasant surprise, they were moist, soft and full of flavor. Not only that, the genius combination of coconut and cacao scattered throughout really creates a unique and dynamic taste.

Congratulations Ekomoa! And welcome to the gluten-free community!

You can find more information about Ekomoa and their fabulously fruity-nutty snacks at www.ekomoa.se (don´t be afraid of all the Swedish, Google Translate does a pretty good job translating the whole page for you) or by contacting anita@ekomoa.se.

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