It seems like it was yesterday, nevertheless twenty years have already passed since we launched our first organic gluten free biscuits, choosing, this way, to combine our passion for organic food to the world of “gluten free”. We have been one of the first companies to invest in the production and commercialization of gluten free certified organic food: from breakfast products, to lunch and dinner food.
At the time, it was almost revolutionary: the companies that used to produce gluten free food were increasing their range, but organic was still not conceived in that sector. Always keep in mind that, in the past, celiac disease was considered a rare disease, with an average in Europe of 1 person on 2000-3000 people, and was diagnosed mostly during the first ages of life. To the few information on this topic, we also have to add the fact that gluten free products were considered not tasty and unpleasant. A preconception that we decided to dismiss, transferring the tastiness of organic food into our gluten free products, thanks to a careful selection of the raw material and to a newer and more balanced recipe.
“We had to work with passion on the first trials, because as you know, many ingredients cannot be used in the organic products because they do not come from natural sources, and without these ingredients, preparing gluten free cakes and biscuits is not that easy! In fact, gluten gives the batter more strength and makes the biscuits crunchier and the cakes softer. Nevertheless, we won this challenge too! It was 1997 and Probios presented to the market the first organic gluten free biscuits”, explains Fernando Favilli, CEO of Probios.
An important turning point was, then, the launch of the first gluten free pasta, the 100% Corn Spaghetti from Viva Mais: a unique product that combines innovation and tradition, and that is still extremely appreciated, also by those who do not have to follow a gluten free diet for medical reasons. About one year later, the launch of the first 100% rice based pasta from Probios, which is now available both white and whole grain and in many shapes. In September 2000, the birth of the brand Rice&Rice, and many new launches: Italian rice vegetable drinks (natural and with calcium) and 1kg Italian rice, all of them gluten free certified. After a few more years, in 2003, the launch of Mayorice, an excellent and innovative rice-based sauce, similar to mayonnaise, 100% plant based. Thanks to its recipe and taste, this product also won the innovation award in 2004 at Biofach in Nurnberg, a prestigious prize for an Italian company in the first organic products consumer country in Europe. In the end, in 2005, the launch of our range of product for breakfast and snacks, with Rice&Rice’s bakery products.
“Through the years, thanks to the constant investments on innovation and research next to our selected suppliers, we managed to increase our range of products, that nowadays counts about 450 gluten free certified products, with crossed ear logo on their pack. Now, we can definitely say that we are the first company in Italy for its high number of reimbursable gluten free products”, confirms Lorenzo Tonini, R&D manager from Probios.
An important goal, that makes us really proud and represents for us the first step of a longer journey that we decided to take 20 years ago, and that we still want to continue in favor of our consumers.