FreeFrom Food Awards Judging
Judges for the FreeFrom Food Awards include:
• free from food professionals – manufacturers, chefs, cookery writers, bloggers etc.;
• nutritionists, dietitians and other health professionals;
• coeliacs and those living on gluten/wheat, dairy, egg, soya and nut free diets;
• 'normal' people, both laymen and food professionals, to benchmark the products against their non-freefrom equivalents.
There are between eight and ten judges plus a monitor for each session.
Because the freefrom food world is a small one, some of our judges will, inevitably, be professionally invovled with some of our entrants. As far as possible we try to ensure that no judge actually judges a category that one of their clients has entered by asking them to declare any interests they may have when we confirm their booking. Should it happen that a judge does end up on a panel that is judging one of their clients' products, then they are welcome to remain in the room but they may not comment on the products, nor do we count their marks for that session.
The food is all prepared according to the directions on the packaging, and feedback given to the judges about any products that do not seem to cook as per the instructions. The judges are given enough of each product to sample once, and then come back to again a little later, which is why we ask for such specific quantities of each product.
Each category is judged ‘blind’. Judges are given judging sheets with the description and all details of the products - except who makes it! They are asked to taste the products using the following criteria:
• quality of product based on appearance, aroma, texture, flavour;
Judges are also asked to make comments that could be helpful to the manufacturers of each product.
They are then asked to choose winners, highly commendeds and commendeds for that category.
Once they have made their choices, and only then, judges are shown the packaging for each product so that they can assess the design and the labelling for clarity and accuracy. They may then decide to alter their decisions about winners if they feel that the product's on-pack information does not merit a winning place or commendation.
On the last judging day all the category winners are judged a second time to choose the overall winner of the FAIR trophy.
We appreciate that the judges' comments provide valuable feedback to manufacturers, however, because of the large number of entries, we only give feedback on non-winning products on request.
For judges comments on the whole process follow the links under January and February on the 2016 press page.
Judges for the 2017 Awards
Alex Gazzola – Food/health writer
The beer entry awaiting tasting
Jennifer John – Ceres PR
Last day judges enjoying themselves!
Plus 10 children with either coeliac disease of allergies assembled from among Christine Bailey's patients – here they are being organised by Christine's son Isaac! For more on the children's judging session see this post on Michelle's blog.
If you have any queries or would like to talk to us about the project - please email Michelle or Cressida or call on 020 7722 2866