The launch is in response to calls from customers affected by changes in prescribing practices in some parts of England.
According to Jill Nelmes, Juvela’s retail marketing manager, in recent years, several UK commissioning groups (CCGs) have launched local consultations on gluten-free prescribing for people with medically diagnosed celiac disease (CD).
This has resulted in many areas of the country stopping the prescribing of gluten-free products.
“This means many people with coeliac disease no longer have access to gluten-free food on prescriptions,” Nelmes told BakeryandSnacks.
“As the only treatment for CD is a strict gluten-free diet, this has had a major impact for people with CD.”
Specialist manufacturer Juvela – which is part of international food group Hero UK – has been providing gluten-free foods for over 25 years.
Its product portfolio contains part-baked and long-life bread products, flour mixes, crackers, breakfast cereals, pure oats and pasta for over 25 years, available through community pharmacies across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
The new range of bread products is being produced at the company’s gluten-free facility in Wales from flour made from gluten-free wheat starch.
“We choose to use gluten-free wheat starch in some of our products as it produces superior baking results that most closely resemble the quality of gluten-containing foods in terms of taste and texture,” said Nelmes.
She explained the removal of the gluten is conducted under strict quality controls and is rigorously tested to ensure it meets the Codex standard for gluten-free foods.
“This is an internationally agreed standard that specifies that all gluten-free foods must be below 20ppm (twenty parts per million) to be suitable to be labelled as gluten-free. At this level people with celiac disease can safely eat these foods,” said Nelmes.
The Tesco range consist of fresh 400g sliced gluten-free loaves in white and fibre varieties, and packs of four gluten-free bread rolls in white and fibre varieties, retailing for £2.80 ($3.69) and £2.20 ($2.89), respectively.
The breads are fortified with vitamins and minerals - including calcium, iron and folic acid – contains less than 5% fat and no eggs.
“This is an exciting time to be entering the free from arena as there is so much interest and innovation. This move also give us an opportunity to showcase our authentic tasting gluten-free loaves and rolls to a wider audience of free-from shoppers who choose to avoid gluten for either a health condition or as a lifestyle choice,” added Nelmes.
Juvela bread products are not wheat-free and therefore not suitable for those people diagnosed with either wheat allergy or wheat intolerance.
The brand originated in Sweden where Juvela operated as part of a gluten-free category owned by the Semper brand.
Juvela employs 18 staff and has a turnover of £16.6m($21.97m).
The company’s gluten-free foods will continue to be distributed through community pharmacies in areas not affected by changes to prescribing policies.