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Is something without gluten "Gluten free"?

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Is something without gluten "Gluten free"?

Postby Hairyloon » Tue Dec 13, 2016 9:50 am

Or, in an alternative question: what is a cake?

I have just confidently told someone that a local bakery makes the best gluten free cakes I have ever tasted, certain in the knowledge that I have eaten almost no other gluten free cakes.
Then I was moved to wonder if it was strictly true: there are all manner of confections that would not ordinarily contain gluten: possibly one of those was better than these...
But are those confections cakes? I know that cake has quite a clear definition for tax purposes: it is for example distinct from a biscuit.

This was not said in a formal advertisement so it is of no real consequence, but if it had been then it might be, and we might want to say something along those lines at some point...
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Re: Is something without gluten "Gluten free"?

Postby atticus » Tue Dec 13, 2016 10:22 am

Is something without gluten 'gluten free'? Yes.

Gluten free products do not contain gluten. Gluten is found in cereal grains, particularly wheat, rye, barley and oats.

There are people who are gluten-intolerant. Some have coeliac disease. Some have a more unpleasant condition called dermatitis herpetiformis. The Coeliac Society website has plenty of useful information. To qualify as gluten free, a complete absence of gluten is required; some sufferers have a total intolerance, and when you have been gluten free for an extended period, the effect of a minuscule exposure can be extremely unpleasant.

Some people go gluten free as a fad. The one advantage of the faddiness is increased awareness and greater availability of gluten free products. Although beware the sandwich shop that uses the same bread board.

Gluten free cakes (and biscuits) are made with gluten free flour. Often this is rice, spelt or potato flour, but gluten free wheat flour is also a thing.

A member of my immediate family is affected. We have to look at the ingredients list of everything we buy. Most people do not.
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Re: Is something without gluten "Gluten free"?

Postby Hairyloon » Tue Dec 13, 2016 10:53 am

Thanks Atti, very informative, but you appear to have answered the title without reference to the post.

My point is that you would not, for example refer to a fried egg as "gluten free" even though it contains no gluten. Although I am moved to add that if you fried that egg in a traditional bakery, then it could easily pick up enough gluten to upset some people, so I suggest you are arguably wrong on your first point: the thing without gluten may contain traces of gluten whereas a gluten free thing would not have.

But that detracts from the question: most cakes are made with flour containing gluten. A gluten free cake is very clearly a thing which is different from that, and would, by many people, be expected to taste like cardboard. A gluten free cake that tastes as good as a normal cake is quite a special thing.

I cannot say for sure that these cakes are the best cakes I have ever tasted, although they are very good, but I can say, with absolute certainty say that they are the best gluten free cakes, providing we are comparing like with like.

However, consider for example a meringue: that is gluten free, and I had and very fine example of one just last week. I am not saying it was better than the gluten free cakes, but I could not say with certainty that it was not, without a side by side comparison.
But is the meringue a cake?
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Re: Is something without gluten "Gluten free"?

Postby atticus » Tue Dec 13, 2016 11:06 am

No appearance. I answered the title, as the first sentence of my post shows. The rest of your post has f*** all to do with the title. You might as well have asked in the headline whether Concorde pilots can swim, for all the relevance it had to the body of the post. But as people will open the thread out of interest in the headline, to see how the question is dealt with in the subsequent discussion, I answered that question.

You appear to suggest that something can only be gluten free if it once contained gluten. Wrong.

Nor is a thing that should be gf but has been contaminated with traces of gluten gluten free. I referred in my earlier post to the possibility of cross contamination. Eggs are gluten free, in that they contain no gluten, just as flour made from crops that do not contain gluten is gluten free. Steak is also gluten free, as it contains no gluten. The same goes for lettuce. And pineapples. They all contain no gluten, and as such are gluten free. They are referred to as gluten free.

My colleagues like my cakes whenever I bake one and bring some in to work. They (cakes) are all gluten free, but most of my colleagues don't know that. Gluten free cakes can be every bit as good.

Meringues can be made without egg. Use the liquid from a tin of chick peas instead of egg white. Both ways are gluten free.
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Re: Is something without gluten "Gluten free"?

Postby Hairyloon » Tue Dec 13, 2016 12:48 pm

Go on, show me somewhere referring to a gluten free lettuce.

But you still seem to be missing the point of the question.
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Re: Is something without gluten "Gluten free"?

Postby theycantdothat » Tue Dec 13, 2016 3:55 pm

So is your question: Can "gluten free" be used to refer to any product free from gluten, or should it be restricted to a product normally expected to contain gluten, but which does not?
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Re: Is something without gluten "Gluten free"?

Postby Hairyloon » Tue Dec 13, 2016 5:15 pm

theycantdothat wrote:So is your question: Can "gluten free" be used to refer to any product free from gluten, or should it be restricted to a product normally expected to contain gluten, but which does not?


No, the question is, when comparing gluten free cakes, is there an implication that the comparison is with cakes that would ordinarily contain gluten, or should it include anything cake like that has no gluten in it.
Or is it the case that by definition "cake" is made with flour and therefore would ordinarily contain gluten, in which case the original question becomes fairly meaningless.
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Re: Is something without gluten "Gluten free"?

Postby atticus » Tue Dec 13, 2016 6:53 pm

Lettuce does not contain gluten. Ergo it is gluten free.

Not all flour contains gluten. Please see above.

A gluten free Victoria Sponge is still a cake. As is my gluten free lemon drizzle gateau. And the gluten free Schwarzwälderkirschentorte.
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Re: Is something without gluten "Gluten free"?

Postby Hairyloon » Tue Dec 13, 2016 9:16 pm

Still missing the point Atti'. Are you doing it on purpose?
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Re: Is something without gluten "Gluten free"?

Postby atticus » Tue Dec 13, 2016 10:23 pm

I specifically answered 3 pointss you had made in your previous posts. About lettuce. About flour. And about cake.

If you have a point, you are plainly incapable of making it intelligibly or coherently.
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