Gluten Free Guerrillas
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Unsympathetic manufacturers

HI, I am new to this site and have been reading through some of the blogs. I wanted to share this with you to see if some of you have had similar experiences. I was diagnosed coeliac about 2 months ago after about 6 years of constant illness (oh and it was me who diagnosed myself not the numerous doctors who I have seen). Anyway my weakness is cakes and biccies, so I've been looking around for subsitutes and contacting some manufacturers to see what their future lines would be. So I contacted McVities, here is their response;

Thank you for your email. I'm really sorry to hear about your recent dietary diagnosis. We have no plans to introduce any gluten-free biscuits in the near future, it does not feature in our current business strategy nor does it fit in with our branding. Also, gluten-free is a niche market therefore it seems unlikely that we will do such a range of biscuits.

I'm really sorry, I hope you are able to find suitable and equally delicious biscuits elsewhere.

Yours sincerely

Yeah, I will admit that it really annoyed me.

11 Replies

Hi ScouseKitty ... The problem that standard manufacturers of food items have is that gluten travels. If something is being made on a premises that contains flour then it will contaminate everything made on the same premises. It is therefore probably not worth contacting manufacturers of products made from wheat, barley, rye or oats. This also applies to cereals - you will find that most manufactured cereals that are not specifically gluten free will have gluten in them - even Cornflakes and Rice Krispies .. they have malt added to them and so are out-of-bounds to us.

Thankfully though there are many other brands that are comepletely gluten free - though I found it rather annoying the other day when my daughter pointed out that the Crimbles chocolate covered coconut macaroons contained gluten!


It is a minefield, the silliest things contain gluten that you wouldn't think do. The biggest problem I have is my own will power - I didn't realise it was so strong.


It isn't your fault. All the research that has been done on both gluten and wheat shows just how addictive it is .... you have a tiny, tiny, tiny amount and your body craves for more - like a drug.

This is quite an interesting article that makes you appreciate just how addictive gluten must be .. if you haven't time to read all of the article then scroll down until you reach the title:

Gluten evils and woes (I have included this part of the article .. just in case you may not have time to read it all - it isn't too long and is most enlightening.)

"Gluten is purposefully put in some products because it increases hunger signals to make you eat more of a product by increasing the ghrelin in the digestive tract to enhance feelings of hunger - leaving you hungry for more of that product. Gluten also interferes with leptin which tells your brain you're full and signals fat to break down. Leptin also normalizes pain sensations in the spinal cord.

• Gluten sensitivity causes inflammation that harms the body tissues by causing an autoimmune response where the immune system ends up attacking the body

• C-reactive proteins rise in response to inflammation; causing cholesterol levels to shoot up and calcium deposits to harden the arteries and blood pressure rise

• Sugar cannot fuel cancer cells by itself. Gluten and the amino acid glutamine have been studied and found to play a critical role in the cancer process.

• Gluten is an excitotoxin; which agitates and kills neuronal cells which like glutamate (think MSG), accelerates, activates, irritates and damages brain cells. A 2006 study took 131 children with ADHD and removed gluten from their diets and all 131 children were reported to have significant improvements.

• Gluten can be broken down into strange proteins that are a lot like psychedelic drugs. These are opium-like proteins are called gluteomorophins (think Autism and Manic Depressive Disorder).

• With gluten, the N Methyl D Aspartate receptors cause spinal cord neurons to become hyper to touch. Leptin in the spinal cord normalizes pain perception and gluten interferes with that process (think fibromyalgia).

• University of California put people on a "Paleolithic" diet, their blood pressure dropped along with blood insulin levels. Good cholesterol went up and bad cholesterol went down - in just 10 days!

• Gluten sensitivity causes you to miss out on your fat soluble vitamins like vitamin D and K

• Eating gluten has now been related to bone density problems (think osteoporosis)"

Read the full article on this link:

The following is not exactly aimed at coeliacs but does explain a little about the problems that are evolving around people who are eating common day grains such as wheat and corn and so help a little to keep us on the straight and narrow and away from the grains ..


I also think that we have to remember that cooking and baking with GF foods is very different from cooking with wheat so I wouldn't even be that sure that gf cookies etc would be that great from a mainstream manufacturer. It's not just a matter of substituting the flour plus ensuring a completely gf environment is a big deal both for us and for them. Also, most GF biscuits and cakes are so high in fat and sugar and other junk that I only eat ones that I bake myself.


Thanks Lynxcat that article is fascinating and scary, if we only knew exactly what went into our food! I'm quite lucky when it comes to meals as we have always cooked everything from scratch so it's not a massive adjustment - just swapping out flour and pasta that kind of thing. I've just got to sort eat out. Oh and I have found some lovely biscuits from a woman called Dr Lucy, they are gorgeous - even nicer than some "normal" ones.


I admit to having insider knowledge.

Its not just a matter of putting the gluten free through the manufacturing plant....its embracing the whole ethos of gluten free.

Different ingredients..and certified to be g/f.

Different weighing room and storage.

Different mixers, provers, ovens. Dough formers, depositors etc..

Different production team and intensive training

Slicer machines...start at about 30K.

Packing, labelling.

Certification, laboratory testing.

And can be done....

Then folks want goods to taste/aroma/texture/mouth feel like the wheated, and be priced at minus -£.

For my next trick....



Do you work for a certain mainstream company that now has a dedicated GF bakery just outside of Newcastle upon Tyne???


No. Not in Tyneside.


Who is that company with the GF factory?


Warburtons. their new factory in Newcastle is completely GF. They only make their GF products there. I had thier lemon and poppy seed cakes earlier in the week after spotting them in a large Tesco. Delicious!


Hi Scousekitty, Welcome to the GF Club! I shouldn't presume but just looking at your name I wonder if you are a Liverpool Lass just like myself??? If so, and you fancy a GF bonanza, get your GF butt along to my Macmillan Coffee/Tea morning if you can 28th Sept. I am baking and serving GF cakes and biccies only. If you are interested - let me know. x Ali


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