Let’s face it, sometimes the gluten-free diet can be complicated. Add to this the issue of common ingredients that never seem to disappear from lengthy lists of “things to question,” and it’s no wonder that confusion still exists about what is safe to eat. The good news is that many ingredients don’t contain gluten, including this list of ingredients you can stop worrying about today!
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1. Caramel coloring, maltodextrin and glucose syrup
Why they’re on the worry list in the first place: Ingredients such as caramel coloring, maltodextrin and glucose syrup may be made from wheat, but this is not that common. These ingredients are frequently found in packaged foods.
Why you don’t need to worry: In the U.S., these ingredients are usually made from corn. On the off-chance that wheat was used, the Food Allergen and Consumer Protection Act (FALCPA) requires that wheat is noted either in the ingredients list or in a Contains statement. Even then, gluten-free experts say that if wheat is used to make any of these ingredients, they are so highly processed that they are considered safe on the gluten-free diet.
2. Modified food starch
Why it’s on the worry list in the first place: While most commonly made from corn or potato, modified food starch can be made from wheat.
Why you don’t need to worry: If modified food starch is made from wheat in any food that is regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), FALCPA requires the word “wheat” to be clearly listed either in the ingredients list or in a Contains statement. In short, if you don’t see the word “wheat,” the modified food starch is considered gluten free.
In foods regulated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), such as meat, poultry, liquid eggs and products made with them, it’s not required to list wheat as a source of modified food starch, although most manufacturers do it voluntarily. In these cases, let the gluten-free label be your guide. If there is no gluten-free label, it’s wise to check with the manufacturer about whether wheat is the source of the modified food starch.