Free from gluten not from taste
The gluten free market is growing fast. In 2018, 12 million consumers regularly opted for these products according to LSA. Thomas Teffri-Chambelland, a professor of biology who moved into bakery, is a pioneer in rice flour bread.
As a true enthusiast Thomas founded the ‘École Internationale de Boulangerieschool (only school in Europe to propose training in organic bakery). He was the first in France to knead breads using rice flour: ‘Bread is an unbelievable universe, unfortunately today part of the customers are moving away from traditional wheat and rye products due to issues related to gluten absorption. This encouraged me to create breads that are naturally gluten free’. The flour is produced directly in their own mill house in Malijai in the Alpes de Haute-Provence, where miller Stéphane Pichard transforms rice sourced from Camargue and the plain of river Po into flour. The mill is exclusively dedicated to the cereal so as to avoid any risk of contamination. The flour is then sent to Paris, to Chambelland, bakery that is 100% gluten free and organic.
Although production of rice flour is still marginal – 300 tonnes per year compared with 5 millions of tonnes for soft wheat – the market is booming. Twenty two jobs have been created thanks to rice bread. Thomas Teffri-Chambelland is adamant: ‘today if you have the passion and energy you can set up a sustainable quality organic project’.