I am grateful that your magazine is available. I am not yet officially diagnosed, but may need to follow a gluten- free diet. Right now I have a question about soft drinks. Are regular ginger ale, Coke and Pepsi gluten free? What about other soft drinks or sodas in general? Thank you for any guidance you can provide.
Most sodas are gluten free. The ingredient that raises questions most often is the caramel color. Although caramel color can be made from barley, it is most often made from corn. The Pepsi- Cola Company said there is no gluten in any carbonated soft drink produced by the company in North America. The caramel color used in Pepsi beverages is not derived from wheat, oats, barley, rye, spelt or triticale, the company said. Diana Garza Ciarlante, a spokeswoman for the Coca- Cola Company, said the caramel color used in Coke products is derived from either corn or cane sugar. If an ingredient contains wheat, barley or rye it is labeled as such in the ingredient statement. Consumers can also check the gluten- free status of Coke products by calling the 1–800 number on the product’s package. A list provided by Ciarlante included, but is not limited to, the following sodas: Barq’s root beer (regular, diet, caffeine free, and diet red crème), Coke (regular, diet, diet plus, caffeine free diet, diet sweetened with Splenda, diet with lime, cherry, diet cherry, cherry zero, diet, vanilla, vanilla zero), CocaCola (regular, caffeine free classic and zero), and Sprite (regular, diet zero). Coke makes a number of fruit drinks, teas, bottled waters and other drinks that are also gluten free.