Crumbs! Gluten-free green light is a giant step for Ickleford experts

Bowman Ingredients

Bowman Ingredients - Credit: Archant

A firm with a long Hitchin heritage which now specialises in the production of coating systems for customers in the global food processing industry has announced plans for a multi-million pound investment in the United Kingdom’s first dedicated production facility for gluten-free products.

Bowman Ingredients, based on Arlesey Road, Ickleford, are behind the country’s first faculty dedicated solely to the development and production of gluten-free crumb systems.

Bowman Ingredients chief executive Rory Bowman said: “This investment marks a major step in our global business growth strategy.

“Gluten-free crumb systems already account for a significant share in our total breadcrumb business, and we are forecasting that this substantial growth story will continue.

“Major supermarkets and restaurant chains are currently driving gluten-free products further into the mainstream in the UK and Europe to meet consumer demand.

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“We believe that the gluten-free sector presents food processors with a massive opportunity.

“A key focus is on the development of gluten-free crumb coatings and batters for fish and poultry, with no compromise on quality compared to standard coatings, while maintaining a clean label declaration.

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“Bowman Ingredients is a major player in the supply of gluten-free crumb systems and food coatings for the food processing industry worldwide, with our headquarters, and two production facilities in Hitchin, and manufacturing sites in South Africa, Australia and Thailand.”

Bowman began operating in Hitchin in 1857, a year after the end of the Crimean War, with founder Samuel Bowman passing the business onto his son James.

During the First World War the firm was milling flour on three sites, including one opposite the town’s railway station.

The company moved into heat-treated products in 1963 and opened a new mill out of town to Ickleford in 1969.

The town centre plant closed in 1980, and the site is now a discount superstore.

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