Myth: Wheat Cannot Be Used to Make an Ingredient in a Food That Is Labeled Gluten Free

It would be logical to assume this is correct because wheat is prohibited in gluten-free foods. But Food and Drug Administration rules allow the use of ingredients made from a gluten-containing grain that has been processed to remove gluten.

This includes wheat starch, citric acid, dextrose, glucose syrup and maltodextrin, which is found in both food and medications and is always gluten free. A cereal chemist we asked about these kinds of products said they are so processed that if gave you him a sample and he tested it, he would not be able to tell the source of starch used to make it.

Around the world, maltodextrin has been tested for gluten. In Canada the most sensitive tests available were used and no gluten was found. The European Food Safety Authority exempts maltodextrin made from wheat from allergen labeling requirements based on testing results.

Researchers in Finland have studied the use of glucose syrup by those who have celiac disease and concluded it can be used safely on the gluten-free diet. The ingredient itself has been tested and found to be free of harmful levels of gluten. Even more important, a clinical study showed that patients who consumed glucose syrup for 24 weeks showed no symptoms, changes in blood tests or signs of damage when biopsied. The researchers concluded wheat base starch hydrolosates, glucose syrup and maltodextrins do not have a harmful effect on celiac disease patients.

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