A MALTINGS company’s demand for gluten-free products has increased by six-fold in the past two years.

Edme, which was once a run-down disused building, was transformed into a state of the art flour mill three years ago.

The company, based in Mistley, is now celebrating its success in selling gluten-free products in many supermarkets following an increase in demand.

Mike Carr, Edme director, said: “The mill is supporting food manufacturers in creating more nutritious, better-tasting products, and helping keep our region in the limelight in food production and innovation.”

During the past three years demand for flours from the mill has snowballed, with gluten-free products in shops sealing their position in mainstream supermarkets.

Mr Carr said: “Many people believe gluten is inherently bad for you.

“Of course, that’s true for those with coeliac disease – or who are gluten-intolerant. But the vast majority of the population can safely eat foods with wheat, barley or rye in them – and gain great health benefits from them.

“That said, many gluten-free ingredients are highly nutritious and provide great health benefits to everyone.

“We mill flours from pulses, grains and seeds that are high in fibre and are rich in protein, vitamins and minerals. These are used by bakers and food manufacturers to create tasty, nutritious breads, biscuits, cakes, pies, batters, coatings and sauces.”

Most of the raw materials used by Edme are grown by East Anglian farmers, with a small proportion imported.

The region is famed for the quality of its cereal grains, and farmers are now also building their reputation for producing a wide range of gluten-free crops. Yellow and green split peas, chickpeas, fava beans, chia seeds, and quinoa are beginning to be cultivated here.

Mr Carr added: “We supply some of the biggest players in the food industry who use our flours and seed mixes to add nutritional value to foods, and bring greater choice to consumers. While we’re celebrating the success of the mill, we’re also raising a toast to the farmers who supply us with the raw materials and the bakers and food manufacturers who are contributing to the health and wellbeing of the nation.”