Gluten Can Be In Products But Not Listed on Product Labels
Much of the population suffers from gluten sensitivity and many of the foods produced today are starting to include gluten-free wording on food packages to make it easier to shop for people who have celiac disease or sensitivity to wheat or gluten. Wheat, oats, rye and barley are the main sources of gluten and they are pretty easy to identify on a food label. When those glutens are processed and made into other ingredients it can be confusing to figure out what contains gluten and that is what we hope to explain here.
Because gluten is chemically modified and used as a stabilizing agent, a preservative and a binding agent in many food products gluten is not listed as an ingredient on some food labels. There are varied degrees of sensitivity to gluten so it is important to know what other ingredients contain gluten.
Look out for these ingredients that may have gluten in them:
Modified Food Starch - a good percentage of the food starches in the US are made from corn, rice or potato starch but they can also be made from wheat or a mixture of grains that contain gluten. According to the FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration) if a label contains the wording "modified food starch" then it is probaly made from corn. Starches from other sources should be designated by some non-misleading term that indicates the source of such starch, for example, "potato starch," "wheat starch," or "tapioca starch." 1.
Rice, corn and potato starch do not contain gluten.
Malt - malt is made from barley and contains gluten. Malt vinegar that has not been distilled contains gluten (distillation removes the gluten protein). Malt flavoring, malt extract and malt syrups are made from barley and contain gluten.
Carmel Color - in the U.S. carmel color is made from corn. In other countries barley malt is used in carmel coloring so check product origin.
Soy sauce- most soy sauce contains wheat which is not always listed on the label.
Teriyaki sauce - most teriyaki sauces contain soy sauce.
Wheat Starch - made from wheat contains gluten.
Natural Flavorings - the natural flavorings word is used to mask what it is really made from. It can be made from wheat, corn or soy so if it does not say it may be made from wheat.
Spices - again another way to mask what is really in that ingredient…you just don't know.
Hopefully this list is helpful in identifying some of the ways gluten is used in our foods but not listed on food labels. You can print off this list and take it with you when you go shopping but it's always a big help when the manufacturers list that a product is gluten-free on the label.