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.

Judges hard at work!

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.

Any leftover food is distributed to homeless shelters through City Harvest so that nothing is unnecessarily wasted.

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;
• usefulness – does it fulfil a really useful purpose for someone on a freefrom diet?
• cleverness – is it doing something which is really difficult to do in manufacturing terms?
• nutritional profile

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.


Judges for the 2018 Awards

Alex, Janette, EmmaAlexa Baracaia – YesNoBananas
Angela Mumby – Mrs Crimbles (sponsor)
Becky Excell – GlutenFreeCuppaTea
Benjamin Richardson – Forever Free-From
Besma Whayeb – Curiously Conscious
Bob Trice – Quintus Consulting
Bruce McGowan – coeliac
Carly Braddock – GlutenFreeB
Catherine Rose – Catherine Rose Consulting
Christine Bailey – Advance Nutrition
Clare Wood – Sacla (sponsor)
Claire Nuttall – The Brand Incubator
Claire Rutherford – Ilumi (sponsor)
David Johnstone – coeliac
David Wood – Northumbrian Fine Foods (sponsor)
Diana Murphy – The Gluten Free Centre
Emma Hutchinson – Love Free From
Emma Amoscato – Free From Farmhouse
Finn Ní Fhaoláin – food writer
Grace Cheetham – Allergy Free Cook
Hailey Phillips – Allergy Adventures
Halima Ferriera – Tailored Taste
Hannah Lawrence – FoodsMatter
Jackie Mitchell – Eating Out with Food Allergies
Jakki Mather – Northumbrian Fine Foods (sponsor)
Jane Dean – A Breath for Life
Jane McEwan – Jane McEwan Nutrition
Jane Suthering – past president of the Guild of Food Writers
Janette Marshall – food & health writer

Veggy meals

The beer entry awaiting tasting

Jenny Tscheische – Lunch Box Doctor
John Burke – FreeFrom Food Awards Ireland
Julia Marriott – Alimentary Bites
Julia Reid – Stonecroft B&B
Karen Woodford – Safer Eating
Kate McBain – demonstrator
Lilly Abrahmsohn – product developer
Liz Allan – Allergy Aware Kitchen
Emma Kirkham– Delamere Dairy (sponsor)
Lorna Rhodes – Nutrition Dynamics
Lucinda Bruce Gardyne – Genius Gluten Free (sponsor)
Lucy Nixon – Free-From.com
Lynne Regent – The Anaphlyaxis Campaign
Mario Tonetti – Food Matters Live (sponsor)
Dr Megan Rossi – King's College
Melanie Knibb – Le Coin de Mel
Natalie Newman – Intolerant Gourmand
Teatime judges

Last day judges enjoying themselves!

Nicki Clowes – Tesco (sponsor)
Nina Modak – EatingAllergySafe
Par Liddar – Waitrose
Paul Degnan – GlutenFreePSD
Philip Chatfield – Integrated Food Projects Ltd (sponsor & coeliac)
Rachel Burkinshaw – 7 Years to Diagnosis
Richard Sharp – Real Ale.com
Russell Abbott – Synergis Marketing
Ruth Holroyd – What Allergy?
Sarah Sleet – Coeliac UK
Sian Drew – Gluten Free Mrs D
Simon Wright of OF+ Consulting
Sophie Harrison – Waitrose
Sue Cane – coeliac and beer writer
Sue Warren – Wellaby's (sponsor)
Susanna Booth – Wide Circle Cooking
Tanya Harris – Tiana Fair Trade Organics (sponsor)
Tom Treverton – The Allergy & FreeFrom Show (sponsor)
Tracy Cane – Orgran (sponosr)
Vicky Montague – FreeFrom Fairy

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.

Children FreeFrom Food awards

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