Pudology goes all out for British Science Week…
British Science Week runs from the 10th – 17th March and the thought of this got us thinking about why we do what we do.
No, we don’t mean eating delicious desserts all day, although that is a pretty big part of what we do and we do it because there is chocolate involved.
We are talking why we make delicious desserts for those who can’t consume gluten or dairy. It is a topic that we find people have very little awareness of, so we decided to dip into the science behind it, in all its juicy detail, to give all our pudding connoisseurs an insight into the reason behind the company.
A rapidly increasing number of people in the UK are being diagnosed with Coeliac Disease every day. Eating gluten (a protein found in wheat, barley or rye) for those with this autoimmune disease could cause terrible pain for several days. The disease can impact any area of the body – from the stomach to the skin.
In this case, the body mistakenly considers parts of the gluten protein to be a threat and so attacks them, leaving the surface of the small intestine badly damaged and leading to poor absorption of nutrients through the intestinal wall.
This means that if the person continues to eat gluten, they could develop a deficiency in B12 or iron (anaemia) due to not being able to absorb nutrients from food. Unfortunately, there is no current cure for the disease, and those who suffer are advised to simply avoid foods that contain gluten in order to prevent further damage.
Gluten sensitivity (non-coeliac)
Coeliac disease is in no way an allergy or intolerance to gluten. Those with such gluten sensitivities may find they have similar symptoms. However, their immune system is not directly involved in the reaction to gluten, and the research is still unsure on how gluten sensitivities develop. People with non-coeliac gluten sensitivity are generally advised to avoid gluten in their diets as there is no specific treatment for the body’s reaction in this case.
Our desserts also cater to those who avoid dairy due to lactose intolerance. This occurs when the body is unable to digest lactose, which is a sugar found in dairy products such as milk and cheese. The body breaks this sugar down with lactase so that it can be more easily absorbed into the bloodstream. However, many adult humans don’t produce enough lactase to break down the lactose in dairy products. (There are many theories about why which we won’t get into here.)
Symptoms vary and range from severe vomiting to mild bloating, usually depending on the amount of dairy that has been consumed. The best option for those with this intolerance is to avoid dairy altogether.
The allergy is different to the intolerance because those with an allergy generally can’t consume even the smallest amount without the body reacting with coughing or wheezing. Their immune system is essentially attacking the lactose in the body. Again, those with an allergy are advised to avoid dairy altogether.
Life can be difficult for those who suffer with one of the above. It’s not easy to give up the foods we have eaten all our lives and substitute them for who-knows-what?! And that’s why we create our desserts. It’s about more than the delicious chocolate (crazy, we know).
It’s so that people can enjoy familiar tastes while knowing that they aren’t going to put themselves in danger. It’s so people can feel like they fit in at the dinner party and can eat just as decadent a dessert as anyone else at the table.
It’s so people can indulge in something that tastes as good, if not better, than their favourite pudding from the life before their body began reacting to gluten or lactose.
It’s also to raise awareness – there are people out there who suffer through these symptoms and struggle with creating an interesting, or even palatable, free-from diet. It’s not easy, but we are here to make it much more interesting.