We often receive enquiries from customers with respect to allergens that may be in various herbs and spices. The most common requests are with respect to nuts, gluten, organic and low sodium.
A useful feature on our website, is that when searching Herbs & Spices, you can select a box the exclude the ingredients you don’t want. For example; when you select the Salt box in the Spice Blends that do not Contain: All the blends that are shown will be ones without salt. Just click the box again if you want to see everything.
While our best efforts have been made to provide accurate nutritional information, we are not registered nutritionists or dieticians and data is provided for guide purposes only.
At Herbie’s Spices we maintain a strict regime of quarantining our nut products (hazelnuts and pistachio nuts) and sesame seeds, so they do not come into contact with other spices. We also thoroughly clean equipment after the nut products and sesame seeds have been packed. We have no peanuts on the premises.
We also operate an audited food safety management system called HACCP, and have obtained additional data from our suppliers as to the allergen status of the materials we purchase from them. Some of the sources of spices are relatively primitive by our standards, making absolute guarantees difficult. For this reason, if we are at all unsure about the chances of cross contamination with other crops, some of our products may bear the statement “May contain traces of nuts due to agricultural practices”.
While the easy way out for our business would be to put the “has been packed on the same equipment that is used for nut products” or “may contain traces of nuts and sesame seeds” on all our labels, we do not believe this is the responsible approach, as it limits consumer’s options to an unreasonable degree.
The situation with respect to gluten is similar to nuts. Gluten (in the form of wheat starch) is not added to any Herbie’s spices. If it ever is, it will be clearly stated within the ingredient listing on the label. However, in some instances we cannot guarantee that products don’t contain traces of gluten, due to cross contamination during harvesting, transportation or processing. These products will contain traces of gluten.
Therefore, you will see that some of our labels and product descriptions on the website may carry the statement “Contains traces of gluten due to manufacturing practices”.
Lupins have now been added to mandatory allergen labelling in Australia.
At Herbie’s Spices we do not handle Lupins, or stock them in our manufacturing premises. Should the situation occur where a commodity may become contaminated with traces of lupins, this will be declared on our website, and on the labels of any products that may be effected.
Organic spices and herbs are becoming more readily available, however they are only worth buying if the flavour quality is as good as, or better than, non-certified organic material.
Being organic is no guarantee of quality if post-harvest processes are not stringent. Although some Herbie’s Spices have been grown organically, we do not place organic statements on the label, as we chose not to pay the fees for organic certification. Spices are also consumed in relatively small amounts, 20g or less in a meal, making their organic status far less significant than when one consumes whole vegetables, a chicken or a steak.
Should you have any questions with respect to allergens in spices, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Low Sodium Options
We receive many inquiries about using herbs and spices to reduce the levels of salt in cooking.
Although we have not developed specific low sodium recipes, we do have a large number of Spice Blends that have no added salt. A great way to start is to follow this here for a complete list.
Every pack has a suggestion for use and/or a recipe, so making dishes with minimal sodium should be easy.
Just keep in mind that there are no herbs or spices that could really be called salt substitutes. The secret is in making the meal so tasty that salt becomes less necessary, and after a while you don’t crave that salty hit. Ras el Hanout rubbed on a piece of chicken or fish will make salt redundant, as will a sprinkle of Baharat on a steak before grilling or barbecuing.
Vegetarian and Vegan Diets
All Herbie’s spices and spice blends are suitable for vegetarians and vegans. This is because we do not use any animal items in our herbs, spices and spice blends. We don’t even use honey powder as a sweetener!