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Wednesday, November 25, 1998 Published at 13:23 GMT


Delia's flour power

Omelette pan: Last product to get the star's endorsement

Delia Smith backs miracle white flour
Be it cranberries or omelette pans, when celebrity chef Delia Smith says it is in, sales rocket.

The latest ingredient to get the star's endorsement is flour, but not any ordinary flour.

[ image: Miracle flour: For lump-free sauces]
Miracle flour: For lump-free sauces
In her new BBC programme, How to Cook, viewers saw Delia lavish praise on a special type of new flour - guaranteed to take the fat and the lumps out of white sauces.

The celebrity cook called it "a huge step forward" and this affirmation by the top chef means that the product may go down in history as the amateur cooks' saviour.

The Delia effect

Few people knew the merits of the humble cranberry before Delia revealed its secrets back in 1995. The result was a national cranberry shortage.

[ image: Cranberries were subjected to the Delia effect in 1995]
Cranberries were subjected to the Delia effect in 1995
Delia power has also worked for lemon zesters and liquid glucose.

More recently there has been a stampede for white eggs since they appeared on the cover of her latest book and an omelete pan became an overnight success when Delia gave it her blessing.

Shops have become wise to the Delia effect as Michael Schneideman of cook shop Divertimenti explains: "She has enormous power because anything she talks about on television and in her books has a reaction on our sales, like the aluminium omelette pan which is a very old fashioned product that she has in a sense relaunched."

Science of cooking

David Lines on the science of flour
Now Carr's Flour Mills, producers of the miracle flour are bracing themselves for a massive increase in demand.

The new flour came into being after production director David Lines and his four-man development team watched a previous episode of Delia's programme and witnessed her failed attempts to make a smooth sauce without using fat.

"We applied science to the wheat and grains available and were then able to choose the perfect sauce flour.

"We developed this lump resistant flour, sent a sample to Delia and she said `Yes, it works'."

To anticipate the expected influx of orders the company has trebled its production capacity at Silloth, west Cumbria by putting its 50-strong workforce on a 24-hour three shift rota.

Mr Lines is unfazed by the promise of great returns after this endorsement, saying: "I'm not worried about the money at my age.

"If it is good for Silloth and the people of Silloth then that is good enough for me."

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