Wednesday, June 1, 2011


Heinz Convinces US Gov to Overturn Gluten-free Italian Pasta Import Tax
by Emily K., May 23, 2011

An interesting piece of news flitted across my screen the other day. The US decided to revoke the countervailing duty (CVD) on a certain type of Italian pasta: gluten-free. The change in rules came at the request of Heinz.

Obviously, my first thought was, “pasta!” I’m not actually the biggest fan of pasta, but still. Sometimes a girl’s got an itch that only a big bowl of spirals with tomato sauce and cheese can scratch. And more choices is certainly never a bad thing.

My second thought was, “huh?” Why would Heinz care enough about my access to gluten-free pasta to petition the government on my behalf? I put on my sleuthing hat and found the answer.

Heinz owns a line of gluten-free pasta called BiAglut. BiAglut’s been making gluten-free pasta in Italy since 1964; it’s unclear to me when the line became a part of Heinz or if it’s been a Heinz brand since the beginning.

The pasta is made in Italy but has fairly wide European distribution. BiAglut also makes cookies, fresh/soft breads, even pudding. Many of their lines are egg and/or dairy free as well. These products will not be affected by the ruling.

It’s worth noting that a company called Maplegrove Gluten Free Foods objected to the overturned tariffs. Because they represent “substantially all” domestic production (more than85%), their objection wasn’t supported. Maplegrove is apparently North America’s largest producer of gluten-free pasta, which seems odd since their Pastariso and Pastato brands aren’t particularly well-distributed. However, they make a good deal of gluten-free private-label pasta for other brands (and a good deal of pasta that gets included as an ingredient in other gluten-free things).

Back to BiAglut’s gluten-free pasta, though. I’d be surprised if we didn’t all start seeing it on supermarket shelves over the next few months – which begs the question: have you had a chance to try BiAglut’s products? What did you think?

-Triumph Dining Gluten-free Publishing