Recipe changes

Judith Langfield
Another moan at Provamel, I'm afraid. You have already mentioned that Provamel desserts contain wheat. (FM Sept 08 - see below)
The Alpro soya single cream is being replaced by a Provamel version in the shops, and to my horror, I have found that it contains wheat syrup.

This is a real nuisance not only at home, but also when eating out. Recently, a chef had gone to the trouble of getting soya cream for me. I had to check with him what version he had got. Fortunately it was Alpro.

Why is Provamel being so stupid? Don't they realise that their products are being consumed by allergic people? Don't they do any market research beforehand? I note from your Tastings booklet that the wheat-free Alpro desserts rated more highly than the Provamel versions, so the wheat is not necessary.

From Michael Lovitt, Product Manager at Alpro
Dr Langfield’s is the first complaint I have heard about the cream. We are first and foremost a dairy-free alternative range, although we obviously try our best to ensure our products appeal to as many people as possible. Unfortunately in the case of the cream unless we start to receive more complaints this is not something we will would be likely to change.

With regard to the wheat starch in the Provamel desserts, I am sure that your readers will be glad to know that we have been pushing our research and development team in Belgium (in order for us to change this recipe it needs to be changed across Europe) and now have an expected release date of October for the new version using tapioca starch.

We will also be upgrading the taste and thickness of the desserts. Unfortunately this is by no means an easy process when you are dealing with 100% organic ingredients and the associated legal constraints but the initial trials are extremely positive.

More unwelcome recipe changes (FM Sept 08)
From Rachel Lansburgh

I wondered if readers knew that not only do the Alpro soya flavoured desserts seem to have changed their brand name to Provamel but now include wheat starch!

I went to Holland & Barrett as per usual to pick up my son's favourite Alpro vanilla custard style desserts only to find that they had changed their packaging and their name. Not thinking anything of it as my son drinks the Alpro vanilla soya milk and they hadn't changed any of the ingredients in the soya milk, even though they have changed the look of the product and its name. Does the name Provamel sound familiar? Wasn’t that its name before it became Alpro? I think so! Why, oh why does this keep happening? Life is so hard when you're on a gluten, wheat and dairy free diet.

Alpro/ Provamel say:
Provamel is a subsidiary brand of Alpro – our company’s European health-food brand, appealing to health-food consumers’ need for a 100% organic product that is free from artificial colours, preservatives, sweeteners and flavourings. Coupling this with a strong sustainable development stance and we believe that we now have a more relevant
offering for these customers. Alpro is still available in supermarkets.
Under European Law it is illegal to fortify any organic product (such as the 100% organic Provamel desserts) by adding ingredients such as calcium and vitamins.

Our Provamel desserts are still gluten free (endorsed by the Coeliac society) but are unfortunately at present not wheat free. We are working to source an organic tapioca which we will look to substitute as soon as we are satisfied that it meets our extremely exacting standards.

More research reports on free from foods


First Published in March 2009