TWO Knutsford-based food businesses have been shortlisted in a prestigious contest.

The shortlist for the 2015 FreeFrom Food Awards – celebrating the best in gluten-free, dairy-free, nut-free and all ‘freefrom’ foods – has been released with two Knutsford firms featured.

After two weeks of heavy-duty tasting and arguing the merits of raw chocolate truffles over Rosemary & Olive Oil Focacette, the FreeFrom Food Awards judges have chosen nearly 270 products to shortlist.

Marianne Evans, owner of Mummy Bakes, has been nominated in the Tea Time category and is up against industry giants, including Asda, Tesco and Sainsbury's for her gluten-free Italian almond biscotti.

In the Breakfast: Milks and Yoghurt' section, Bexton Lane-based Delamere Dairy are in with a chance of a top price thanks to its goats butter.

Marianne, of Greenfield Way, told the Guardian she was 'thrilled' with being shortlisted.

"It's really exciting to be in with such big players, the 'Tea Time' category covers so much, and I knew there would be a lot of competition, but thought, why not give it a go," she said,

"Gluten-free biscotti is not common which should help but I was also thrilled to be listed as an overall highlight of the entries."

Michelle Berriedale-Johnson, director of the FreeFrom Awards who chairs the judging sessions, said: "With entries up by nearly 30 per cent this year our 65 judges really had their work cut out.

"But, with their usual expertise they managed to tease out the really exciting products that are currently pushing the boundaries of what you can successfully make ‘freefrom’."

The winners of the 2015 FreeFrom Food Awards will be announced and presented with their certificates by Antony Worrall Thompson at an invitation-only party in central London on April 22.