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  • Jefferson Adams
    Jefferson Adams

    Gluten-free Food Making an Appearance in Korea

    Reviewed and edited by a celiac disease expert.

    Celiac.com 09/27/2013 - Will Korea become the next player in gluten-free food production?

    In addition to rapidly expanding international demand for gluten-free products, Koreans concerned about ailments, such as celiac disease, seen as arising from a western diet, seem to be priming the spread of gluten-free and wheat-free trends to the Korean market.


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    This May, the Korean Society for Food Engineering organized a the country's first gluten-free product symposium.

    Two months earlier, in March, major food service company OURHOME launched three varieties of gluten-free pasta. Another company, ORGA Whole Foods, an eco-friendly groceries business, currently sells six imported, gluten-free products.

    Gluten-free products are increasingly found in department stores, and Shinsegae Department Store’s bakery might be jumping into the gluten-free baked goods market in the near future.

    Though the bakery does not produce or carry gluten-free goods at the moment, Shinsegae Department Store bakery buyer Cho Chang-hee said, “With increasingly info-savvy, health- and diet-conscious consumers giving gradual rise to the need for gluten-free products we have future plans to develop such goods.”

    All of this signals the potential for the growth of the market for gluten-free and wheat-free, food.

    The Korean Society of Natural Medicine president Seo Jae-gul also pinpoints a Western diet as one of the reasons behind the gluten-free diet.

    Seo, chief doctor at Pomona Clinic, feels that western diet, and the consumption of gluten, in particular, act as contributing factors to the increase in autoimmune diseases like type 1 diabetes and lupus. Seo encourages a gluten-free diet any of his patients diagnosed with such illnesses.

    OURHOME product manager Jung Soon-ah says that interest in gluten-free foods has grown from nearly zero, and is rapidly rising. Until recently, in order to obtain gluten-free foods, Korean consumers had to purchase them from overseas sites and other specialty shops.

    Jung predicts that current “well-being” and “healing” trends will further spur the growth of Korea’s gluten-free market.

    Source:

     


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    It's true that there are finally some gluten-free products entering the market, but just a warning to anyone living in Korea: learn how to read the labels in Korean. Most 'rice' products contain wheat (밀) and/or barley malt (물엿).

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  • About Me

    Jefferson Adams is Celiac.com's senior writer and Digital Content Director. He earned his B.A. and M.F.A. at Arizona State University, and has authored more than 2,000 articles on celiac disease. His coursework includes studies in biology, anatomy, medicine, science, and advanced research, and scientific methods. He previously served as SF Health News Examiner for Examiner.com, and devised health and medical content for Sharecare.com. Jefferson has spoken about celiac disease to the media, including an appearance on the KQED radio show Forum, and is the editor of the book "Cereal Killers" by Scott Adams and Ron Hoggan, Ed.D.

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