As any tests methods using antibodies in the world – from blood tests to pregnancy tests, false positive or false negative are always possible to occur. Is Nima safe? I am not sure but this publication says it is.  🤔🤔 

 

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0308814618315292

Of course, if a company publishes it to benefit their own product more tests have to be done to guarantee quality and reproducibility, but for now the data looks really robust. I am aware of the negative points of Nima (can be read here and here). What I want with this post is to open coeliacs eyes!!!! Gluten-free on the package does not means it’s safe and we must work together to try to change this! Call your favorite product manufacturer, send e-mail, ask for production details, origin of ingredients, tests for gluten detection, methodology used, is gluten being used in other products in the same industry, is there a risk of contamination and so on…   This should be government work and coeliac societies but they are not doing a great job.

I want to tell a history that happened to me, Nima and Alpro products. I wrote a short version of this in a coeliac group in facebook and the feedback that I’ve got was mostly hate on Nima instead of coeliacs working together to make sure that a product with gluten free on their package is really safe. 

My Nima gave positive for gluten in Alpro yogurts, I sent pictures to Alpro with batch number etc. Their reply was an ELISA test from *4 years ago* – my conclusion: they can’t proof their products are still safe. Nima could be wrong but Alpro didn’t confirm if their yogurt is safe, so for now I trust more Nima then Alpro.

What I could understand from all my emails to different companies is that testing *only once* guarantee a company to write GF on their package, at least for some UK products that I have contacted. This explains a lot why so many of us are sick.

Coeliac society should change this and make companies to do ELISA tests more often (at least once a year) and follow closely these companies for any changes in production line and origin of ingredients.

As I said before, I normally send e-mails to many companies just to double check how safe they are. Here are all the emails that I exchanged with Alpro and their replies, make your own conclusions. Mine is: we are not safe.

My e-mail : 04/07/2016

I’m coeliac and always buy your products, they are great. I’m curious about how strict you are in producing the products. Do you quantify gluten in all your final products? How about ingredients? Do you do this every batch? Which test do you use?

Alpro: 05/07/2016

We can confirm that with the exception of our Alpro Oat Original Drink all of our products are gluten free. 

Please rest assured no gluten is detected in our soya or nut alternatives. All products listed with Coeliac UK meet the required <20ppm gluten levels and our testing method actually detects to less than 5ppm. Every product within our range is in line with the European legislation on gluten and the different formulas are monitored via regular sampling. All of our Alpro plant-based products are endorsed by Coeliac UK.

My e-mail: 25/01/2017

I already sent you an e-mail regarding how do you quantify gluten in your products and how often etc. I got a really satisfactory response so that’s why Alpro is one of my favorite gluten free options. (I am celiac) 

I know now you have Oat milk which contains gluten (as you wrote in your previous e-mail) however, in the oat milk box it’s written free from milk and wheat. This is too tricky/confusing to us celiacs, therefore, I strongly suggest you to write down on the box that it contains gluten for all celiac safety. I know people buying products wrongly because of bad labeling.

Alpro: 24/01/2017

Thank you for your email regarding our Alpro Oat Original Drink. We’re pleased to hear you enjoy our products! 

As part of our ongoing development process, we are constantly looking for improvements in terms of the quality and packaging of our range, so please rest assured we will forward your comments regarding the labelling of our Alpro Oat Original onto our Product Development Team. We welcome all feedback from our customers and we do keep on file a record of all such suggestions and comments, which we continually refer to when reviewing the products in our plant-based range.

My e-mail: 15/03/2018

Message Type: ProductComplaint
Product: alpro vanilla and chocolate
ProductTHT: 16/07/18
Purchase date:
Production code: ca422008:16
Optin: /
Message: Other product:
best before 13 08 18
batch code ca461904:35

I am coeliac and have always enjoyed your products however, we did a test with the Nima detector (which detects above 20ppm of gluten) and the result came out positive for gluten. To be sure we took another product and it came out positive as well.
I am aware that these gluten detectors are not 100% reliable that’s why I’m contacting your company.
I am sure there is no cross-contamination with gluten in the sample as no gluten is allowed in my house. Also, I’m sure the machine is working perfectly.
As a coeliac I would like to know if you have ELISA results quantifying gluten in your products so I can be sure that your product is gluten free.
If your company does not quantify gluten in your final products and your production line has a risk of cross-contamination I encourage you to remove the gluten free label from your products as this is really serious matter.

Alpro: 16/03/2018

We understand your concerns and would like to assure you that all Alpro products are certified Gluten Free <20ppm, with the exception of the Alpro Oat Original Drink and Alpro Plain with Oats soya alternative to yogurt. All allergens are stated in bold in the ingredients list on the pack and any risk of cross-contamination would also be clearly stated. We work closely with the Coeliac Society and they can substantiate that our products are suitable for those on a gluten free diet.

We can confirm that we do have the ELISA results for both our Alpro Velvet Vanilla and Alpro smooth Chocolate desserts, which you can find attached and indicate that in both cases they are negative at the defined quantification limit of 5 ppm.

*I am not allowed to share their ELISA tests – but the result is negative from a product of 2014*

My e-mail: 21/03/2018

Thank you so much for your reply. It’s wonderful that alpro is always producing amazing products, however, the test attached in this email is from 2014, do you have a more recent one? We know food suppliers, machinery, workers are always changing so I’m still not convinced that the batch is without gluten.

Alpro: 21/03/2018

Please rest assured we have raised this with the relevant department to see if we have a more recent analysis. We will be in touch once we have further information.

Alpro: 22/03/2018

We have received confirmation that the reports provided were the most recent for these particular products however, we have not changed our ingredients or production processes to ensure that these products are gluten free.

We would be happy to analyse our retained samples from the batches in question on your behalf and we will write to you detailing our findings.

My e-mail: 22/03/2018

That’s great! thank you very much! I’ll be waiting!

My e-mail: 10/04/2018

I’ve sent you an email beginning of March, got reply, you told me you would do further test on the batch that I had doubts of it being gluten free. Until now I got no reply back. I can’t consume Alpro products anymore if you cannot prove your products are gluten free. Like I said, a batch test 4 years ago mean nothing, now you have Oats in your production line and I bet many other changes happened.
Alpro: 11/04/2018
Sorry for the delay in our response, we can confirm that we are still looking into this, and will get back to you with the desired information as soon as possible!
My e-mail: 24/06/2018
Already 3 months and no replies. I’ve not been consuming alpro products since then.

I have sent other 2 emails and I have got no replies until now 06/09/2018.

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