When the estimates of various research companies considered, it is thought that global gluten-free products market is around, 3 and 4.5 billion dollar in 2015. According to a research, gluten-free products are most demanded in Asia-Pacific region. It is estimated that the market value of this region has reached to 98.6 million dollar. In addition, gluten-free products market is expected to reach 7.59 billion dollar in 2020.
Being included in grains such as rye, barley and oat as protein, gluten creates webby structure in leavened dough. It enables the dough to rise, have an elastic structure and keep its shape. However this protein which can be digested in many people’s stomach and intestines causes serious health problems in some people. These people who cannot digest gluten easily are sensitive to gluten mildly or seriously. This situation which is known as coeliac disease or gluten sensitivity is considered as one of the most common food sensitivities today.
The signs of coeliac disease may vary from person to person. The most apparent sign is diarrhea and weight loss. Besides, complaints such as swelling in the abdomen, ache, vomiting, unexplained anemia, tiredness, joint and bone paint and irritability may appear.
GRAINS AND FOODS WITH GLUTEN
When people with coeliac disease consume foods with gluten their immune systems react this by giving harm to their small intestine. So the foods that these people should not consume are determined. These are grain products such as wheat, rye, barley and oat. As some products can be considered as sub-category of these grains, they are too harmful for people with coeliac disease.
Sub-categories such as durum wheat, spelt, kamut, wheat and triticale which is a crossbreed of rye and many foods (bulgur or semolina) which are directly produced from these grains or contains raw material with gluten are among forbidden ingredients list for people with coeliac disease. However the idea that all the grains are risky is not true. For example, corn which is a grain product does not contain a serious risk for people with coeliac disease. It can be tolerated by people with coeliac disease. Likewise, grains like amaranth, buck wheat, rice, millet, quinoa, sorghum and teff does not contain gluten. However, it is advisable to consume these grains measuredly.
NEW TRENG IN PRODUCTION: “GLUTEN-FREE PRODUCTS”
Coeliac disease has no treatment. So in order to have a normal and healthy life, one should have a gluten-free diet. This means that wheat, rye, barley, oat and some other grains should be avoided. Despite these restrictions, people with coeliac disease can have a healthy and balanced diet with many different foods. Especially in the recent years, many companies have been producing special products for those with coeliac disease and so the alternatives both for people with coeliac disease and for with gluten sensitivity is increasing. Also these companies make contribution to create a new production area.
Turkish Food Codex defines the products that are produced for those with gluten sensitivity as special consumption products which are produced, prepared and processed to meet the special dietary requirements of people with gluten intolerance. In these products, rice, corn, soy, potato and peas flour can be used as an alternative to wheat flour. There some foods that are naturally contain no gluten. Meat, fish, milk, 100% fruit/vegetable juice, fresh vegetables and fruits, oil, egg and honey can be examples for this.
LEGAL REGULATIONS ABOUT GLUTEN-FREE PRODUCTS
The regulations that European Commission prepared for the composition and labeling of suitable foodstuffs regarding people with gluten sensitivity in 2009 41/2009/EC entered into force completely on January 1, 2012. The Turkish Food Codex repealed the relevant Gluten-Free Food Communiqué issued before on January 4, 2012; instead of this Proper Food Communiqué for People with gluten sensitivity was published and put into practice.
As even a very small amount of gluten is known to cause health problem in certain groups of consumers, the use of the phrases such as “gluten-free” or “very low gluten” in the labels emerges as quite an important issue. Gluten sensitivity, in other words, the subject of celiac disease and labeling of food produced for these patients as gluten-free is gaining more importance every day for export and the domestic market as well as human health. The appearance of gluten-free foods has been characterized as the further understanding of the importance of celiac disease. The years that Internet did not appear yet and the access to the products was only through certain centers were extremely difficult times for people with celiac disease. To be nourished was a serious problem for to people with the disease in such period. Today, however, gluten-free products prepared for those with celiac disease and gluten sensitivity is becoming increasingly common.
GLUTEN FREE PRODUCTS MARKET AND TRENDS
Gluten-free foods, as described above, are special products for consumers who need or desire alternatives to products made from wheat, barley and rye. When compiling the various research company estimates the global market value of gluten-free products by 2015 4.3 – is thought to be around 4.5 billion dollars. According to a research, gluten-free products are most demanded in Asia-Pacific region. It is estimated that the market value of this region has reached to 98.6 million dollar. In addition, gluten-free products market is expected to reach 7.59 billion dollar in 2020.
HEALTHY LIFE CONCERNS WILL GROW THE MARKET
Gluten-free products market is developing most rapidly in Europe. The reason for that is the healthy nutrition/ healthy life concerns which has been increasing in Europe. Italy has the highest market share in Europe. Having 250 million euro gluten-free products market, Italy reaches 30 percent of this value through modern retail sales. It is estimated that gluten-free products sales increased 15 percent in Italy. England follows Italy with 210 million euro in terms of gluten-free products market. This is the highest rate in Europe. France has 60 million euro gluten-free products market. 30 million euro of this comes from supermarkets. French gluten-free products market has grown 32 percent. It is also known that Germany has 54 million euro gluten-free products market and holds 70 percent of the market alone. The most rapidly growing market is England in Europe. It is estimated that total market value will increase 50 percent by 2019.
This huge interest for gluten-free products continues to increase thanks to the Europeans who want to avoid the allergy and sensitivity that food and beverages cause. Datamonitor research shows that nearly one out of five European consumers (18%) avoids consuming some food and beverages due to allergy and sensitivity. This explains how the gluten-free market is resuming growing although the rate of people with coeliac disease is only 1 percent. Datamonitor consumer analyst Mark Whalley says about the situation as follows: “It is known that there lots of people who prefer a gluten-free diet and most of them are with coeliac disease. The sign of coeliac disease cause concerns in people without coeliac disease and the demand for gluten-free products increases every day.”
MOST DEMANDED TWO PRODUCTS IN THE MARKET: BREAD AND PASTA
According to the researches, it is observed that 13 percent of British people avoid consuming gluten. This is 9 percent in Italy, 9 percent in Poland, 7 percent in Germany and 7 percent in Spain. Considering the allocation of gluten-free products by types in European market, the highest share belongs to bread. Gluten-free bread is demanded most in Italy. Spain, Poland, Germany and France follow Italy respectively. The second most consumed product is pasta. İt is seen that Gluten-free pasta is preferred most in Italy. Poland, Germany, France and Spain follow Italy respectively. The third most consumed group is the cereals. Italy has the highest share in consumption of gluten-free breakfast cereals as well as other products. Poland, France and Germany (in equal rates) and Spain come after Italy. Italy, Spain, France and Poland (in equal rates) and Germany are listed respectively in Gluten-free pizza.
THE RISK OF GLUTEN-FREE PRODUCTS MARKET
The fact that people who have any problem with gluten as well as people with gluten sensitivity prefer gluten-free products due to healthy nutrition concerns caused the gluten-free diet has become a “fashion” because the gluten-free diet has not proved to be healthy yet. Even some scientists assert the contrary. This may cause the demand for gluten-free products to increase or decrease. The people who think they are with coeliac disease can be categorized under this. Besides, another risk for gluten-free products is that the demand for the products without carbohydrate is getting increasing every day.