In the last 15 years, food allergies and intolerances cases have been doubled worldwide, affecting an increasing percentage of the population.
A food intolerance is an adverse reaction of our organism to the ingestion of a foodstuff or food component, caused because a person can´t digest it correctly. This disorder can be genetic, and show up from birth, or it can be acquired as time goes by.
The two main food intolerances are:
Gluten intolerance (or celiac disease): The gluten intolerant person, also called celiac, suffers from a lesion in the small intestine mucosa because of an inadequate absorption of gluten (protein appearing in cereals like wheat, rye, barley and oats).
The main byproducts in which gluten can be found are flours, bakery, pasta, doughs, bechamel sauce, soups, breadcrumbs, cold meats, melted cheese, candy, ice-creams, etc.
Lactose intolerance: lactose (sugar in milk) intolerant people produce a small or no quantity of lactase enzyme, which prevents from metabolizing and digesting the lactose, producing a set of gastrointestinal symptoms.
The main products where lactose can be found are dairy byproducts (ice-creams, milkshakes, creme caramel, etc.), pastry and bakery, sliced bread, candy, chocolate, turron, soups, sauces, croquettes, cold meats, etc.
The symptoms of a food intolerance appear slowly and most of them are digestive: nausea, diarrhea, intestinal pains, colics and cephalalgia, among others. At the beginning, these symptoms are not usually associated with the food ingested some hours before, for that reason it is very common that this food keeps being consumed, being able to cause a more or less serious gastrointestinal disorder.
Gluten or/and lactose intolerant people must avoid the consumption of food containing these substances. For that, it is fundamental to choose the products that will be part of their shopping basket carefully, trying to buy those in which the ‘gluten-free’ and ‘lactose-free’ statement specifically figures.
In food with ‘gluten-free’ statement, the current regulations establish that they can´t have a gluten content higher than 20 mg/kg. Nevertheless, for the ‘lactose-free’ statement, there is no regulatory standards in Europe establishing maximum contents, although lactose contents lower than 100 mg/kg are commonly accepted as a model.
In packed food, information about the presence of agents that can cause allergies or food intolerances must be provided clearly highlighting these substances in the list of ingredients of the product. In the absence of a list of ingredients, the reference ‘it contains’ has to be included followed by the allergen substance (gluten, lactose, etc.). Furthermore, any establishment serving non-packed food must provide information on this aspect to the customer.
In Rivero, we are aware of the increase of allergies and food intolerances cases among population and that is why all our set of products is manufactured with no gluten or lactose, figuring this statement visible on the labelling of all our products. This way, we can guarantee celiac and lactose intolerant people a safe consumption of any of the Rivero products.