28 Mar 2019
finding gluten on food labels

If you were recently diagnosed with celiac disease, you already understand how important it is to properly read a food label. The key is to stay gluten-free, and that begins by finding gluten on food labels. 

While it may seem straight forward, there are a few sneaky instances where gluten in a food product may not be so obvious. For example, “wheat-free” does not necessarily mean “gluten-free.” Additionally, someone with celiac disease should consider the possibility of cross-contamination. 

Tips for Finding Gluten on Food Labels

To help you fully understand and complete the transition to stay gluten-free, we created a guide on finding gluten on food labels.

Learn the basics on how to tell if a packaged food product is gluten-free.

Identify the sources of gluten

You will never find “gluten” listed as an ingredient when reading a food label. The most common sources of gluten are wheat, barley, and rye. But aside from those, there are various forms of wheat and wheat-based ingredients that you need to identify – there are also some ingredients derived from barley and rye.

Here’s a quick list of hidden sources of gluten you need to know:

  • Wheatberries
  • Durum
  • Emmer
  • Semolina
  • Spelt
  • Farina
  • Farro
  • Graham
  • KAMUT® khorasan wheat
  • Einkorn wheat
  • Triticale
  • Malt
  • Brewer’s Yeast
  • Wheat Starch

So if you see any of these listed in the ingredients list for a food product, it is not safe to consume if you are on a gluten-free diet.

Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act (FALCPA)

In 2004, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued guidelines that manufacturers must follow for labeling foods “gluten-free.”

In order for a product to be labeled “gluten-free,” the FDA requires that it’s either naturally gluten-free or free from ingredients that are:

  1. A gluten-containing grain such as spelt wheat
  2. Derived from a gluten-containing grain that has not been processed to remove gluten such as wheat flour
  3. Derived from a gluten-containing grain that has been processed to remove gluten with less than 20 parts per million of gluten

Even if the food label identifies the product as gluten-free, you should also keep in mind that of products that test up to 20 ppm gluten are legally allowed to carry the gluten-free label so if you are extremely sensitive to gluten, even a food that is labeled gluten-free might cause a reaction on your body.

Look for packaged products that have been certified gluten free by organizations such as The Gluten-Free Certification Organization (GFCO). 

Learn more about certification here: Gluten Free Product Compliance: What It Takes to Bear the Label

Finding gluten-free substitute

Gluten-free alternatives are widely available in most grocery stores, which make living gluten-free much easier. You don’t need to completely eliminate your favorite foods containing gluten on your diet because there are several manufacturers that offer a gluten-free version of your favorite comfort foods such as pizza, breads, and cookie snackers.

Keep in mind, that it is still important to base your diet on food that is naturally free from gluten such as beans, eggs, dairy products, fish, seafood, fruits, herbs and spices, nuts, and vegetables. 

RELATED:  Eating Gluten Free in 2019 – Here’s Our Celiac Disease Food List

But if you’re looking for a food manufacturer that offer a gluten-free version of your favorite breads, buns, rolls, pizza, and stuffing mix, you can always check out Three Bakers in your favorite grocery stores.  We ensure you that our products are 100% certified gluten-free and can satisfy the pickiest of eaters!

Disclaimer: This information is not intended to treat, diagnose, cure or prevent any disease. All material provided on this Site is provided for information purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you have regarding a medical condition, before undertaking any diet, exercise, other health program, or other procedure set out on this Site.

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