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 pnel 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 either to our local homeless shelter, The Simon Community, or 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.

For judges comments on the whole process follow the links under January and February on the 2016 press page.


Judges for the 2016 Awards

Alex, Janette, EmmaAdriana Rabinovich – GlutenFree4Kids
Alex Gazzola – Food/health writer
Alexa Baracaia – YesNoBananas
Audrey Vanderpuye – gluten intolerant
Ben Richardson – Forever Free-From
Bruce McGowan – coeliac
Carly Braddock – GlutenFreeB
Chantal Denny – Vegan Lifestyle Association
Christine Bailey – Advance Nutrition
Claire Nuttall – The Brand Incubator
Claire Ramsay – Mrs Crimbles (sponsor)
David Johnstone – coeliac & blogger
Emma Hutchinson – Love Free From
Emma Amoscato – Free From Farmhouse
Grace Cheetham – Allergy Free Cook
Holly Wales – Udi's (sponsor)
Ian Marber –
Jackie Mitchell – food & health writer
Jan Maish – Product Developer, Waitrose
Jane Dean –  A Breath for Life
Jane Milton – Jane Milton.com
Jane Suthering – past president of the Guild of Food Writers
Janette Marshall – food & health writer

Veggy meals

Jeffrey Hyman – Food & Drink Innovation Network
Jennifer John – Ceres PR
John Burke – FreeFrom Food Awards Ireland
Julia Marriott – Alimentary Bites
Justine Bold – Nutritionist
Karen Newby – Nutritional Therapist
Kelly Cross – Gluten Free Cake Lover
Kim McGowan – Gluten-free Gathering
Lilly Abrahmsohn – product developer
Liz Allan – Allergy Aware Kitchen
Liz Sutton – Delamere Dairy (sponsor)
Louise Marchionne – Food Fit for You
Lucy Nixon – Free-From.com
Lynne Regent – The Anaphlyaxis Campaign
Maria-Jesus Rojo – Flourless in London
Mike Hind – Manifold Marketing
Naomi Hopkins – Goodness Direct (sponsor)
Natalie Dyson Coope – Intolerant Gourmand
Teatime judges Nick Gregory – FreeFrom Heaven (sponsor)
Nicki Clowes – Tesco (sponsor)
Nicky Grainger – Can I Eat There?
Paul Degnan – GlutenFreePSD
Rachel Burkinshaw – 7 Years to Diagnosis
Rosemary Moon – RosemaryMoon.com
Russell Abbott – Synergis Marketing
Ruth Green – Ruth Green Nutrition
Ruth Holroyd – What Allergy?
Simon Wright of OF+ Consulting
Siobhan Norton – Journalist & coeliac
Stanley Montwedi – Free From Market (sponsor)
Sue Cane – coeliac and beer writer
Sue Warren – Wellaby's (sponsor)
Susanna Booth – Wide Circle Cooking


Plus 10 children with either coeliac disease of allergies assembled from among Christine Bailey's patients – here they are working out the marks! For more on the children's judging session see this post on Michelle's blog and this post on Christine's.

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