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Magnum Ice Cream
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We found some Magnum ice cream on sale today so we picked up a couple boxes, but I'm having trouble finding info on whether or not they are really gluten-free here in the U.S. The ingredients of the ice cream itself look fine, but the chocolate coating lists carageenan with wheat in parentheses after it. The other components of the ice cream bar also list carageenan but without the wheat after it. I don't know whether this is a typo or if they somehow derived the carageenan (doesn't it come from seaweed??) from wheat just for the coating.

I can only search for so long on dial-up without going crazy, so I am appealing to the tried-and-true method of asking the experienced majority here in the forum: Has anyone tried it yet? If it's not safe, that just leaves more for my mom, but I was really looking forward to ending my day with some good ice cream.

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I've had the white chocolate bars without a problem, and they don't list wheat. I bought the chocolate/caramel bars before too for my husband and they didn't list wheat either. I'm super sensitive, and generally will have a problem from products that are produced on the same lines. I haven't had a problem from these, but if the box lists wheat, I wouldn't touch it. Maybe it is a different bar than the ones I'm thinking of?

I bought the Magnum Ice Cream bars, they are 3 to a box, advertised as being covered in belgian chocolate?

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You noted, "The other components of the ice cream bar also list carageenan but without the wheat after it."

Under US law (and Canadian as well), once an allergen has been mentioned in the ingredient list it does not have to be repeated. Ingredients after the one listed as having wheat could also contain wheat.

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If I see the words wheat in the ingredients personally I avoid the item.

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I've had the white chocolate bars without a problem, and they don't list wheat. I bought the chocolate/caramel bars before too for my husband and they didn't list wheat either. I'm super sensitive, and generally will have a problem from products that are produced on the same lines. I haven't had a problem from these, but if the box lists wheat, I wouldn't touch it. Maybe it is a different bar than the ones I'm thinking of?

I bought the Magnum Ice Cream bars, they are 3 to a box, advertised as being covered in belgian chocolate?

These sound like the same ones you bought: box of 3 with Belgian chocolate. I'll avoid them tonight and give Magnum a call in the morning. It didn't list any allergens so if I hadn't read the word wheat I would have gone ahead and eaten one. I haven't been able to find anything on their website aside from an ingredient list and nutritional info identical to those listed on the box.

Thank you both for your replies! I'll let you know what I am able to find out.

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I bought the double caramel chocolate bars last month. They did not list wheat as an ingredient and I did not get sick from them. I am super sensitive and react to small amounts of cross-contamination. I just went to the Magnum USA website and none of the six ice cream bars on the site contain wheat in the ingredients. Where did you buy yours?

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Huh, I live in Canada and on the packages of the individuals it says "may contain/come in contact with wheat". So I've avoided all Magnum products... Now I want to go back and double check but I'm not sure if I'd eat them if it didn't say that. I'd email the company to be sure though.

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Jwhale: I bought these at Walgreen's; they had a good deal on them this weekend. They only had the double caramel variety.

I compared the label on the box to the online listing:

Website- INGREDIENTS: ICE CREAM: MILK, CREAM, SUGAR, WHEY, MONO AND DIGLYCERIDES, LOCUST BEAN GUM, VANILLA BEAN SPECKS, CARRAGEENAN, NATURAL FLAVOR, ANNATTO EXTRACT (COLOR), CARAMEL COLOR. BELGIAN MILK CHOCOLATE COATING: SUGAR, CHOCOLATE LIQUOR, COCOA BUTTER, MILK, MILK FAT, PGPR (EMULSIFIER), SOY LECITHIN (EMULSIFIER), NATURAL FLAVOR. CARAMEL SAUCE: WATER, SUGAR, CORN SYRUP, HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP, NONFAT MILK SOLIDS, COCONUT OIL, MODIFIED CORN STARCH, CARAMEL COLOR, SALT, MONO & DIGLYCERIDES (EMULSIFIER), CARRAGEENAN, SOYBEAN OIL, SODIUM CITRATE, POTASSIUM SORBATE (USED TO PROTECT QUALITY), NATURAL FLAVOR. CHOCOLATEY COATING: COCONUT OIL, SUGAR, COCOA, SOY LECITHIN (EMULSIFIER), VANILLA EXTRACT.

Box- INGREDIENTS: ICE CREAM: MILK, CREAM, SUGAR, WHEY, MONO AND DIGLYCERIDES, LOCUST BEAN GUM, VANILLA BEAN SPECKS, CARRAGEENAN, NATURAL FLAVOR, ANNATTO EXTRACT (COLOR), CARAMEL COLOR. BELGIAN MILK CHOCOLATE COATING: SUGAR, CHOCOLATE LIQUOR, COCOA BUTTER, MILK, MILK FAT, PGPR (EMULSIFIER), SOY LECITHIN (EMULSIFIER), NATURAL FLAVOR. CARAMEL SAUCE: WATER, SUGAR, CORN SYRUP, HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP, NONFAT MILK SOLIDS, COCONUT OIL, MODIFIED CORN STARCH, CARAMEL COLOR, SALT, MONO & DIGLYCERIDES (EMULSIFIER), CARRAGEENAN (wheat), SOYBEAN OIL, SODIUM CITRATE, POTASSIUM SORBATE (USED TO PROTECT QUALITY), NATURAL FLAVOR. CHOCOLATEY COATING: COCONUT OIL, SUGAR, COCOA, SOY LECITHIN (EMULSIFIER), VANILLA EXTRACT.

Their helpline says that any allergens will be clearly labeled on the box. I'm having trouble getting to their contact info on the website and could only get a recording from the phoneline but I will probably avoid this variety just to play it safe. I might pick up the original (no caramel sauce) next time I'm out and give that a try.

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It says Wheat. It doesn't have to have the allergen info, it just has to spell out the word "Wheat". That is clearly labelling an allergen.

Wouldn't touch them!

Don't bother the poor company help line. They have already clearly disclosed this info to you.

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That is really strange. The box I bought last month definitely did not list wheat in the ingredients. But, I agree that I would not risk eating the box that you bought, and I am not going to risk eating them again either. It is frustrating to have such inconsistent labeling!

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That is really strange. The box I bought last month definitely did not list wheat in the ingredients. But, I agree that I would not risk eating the box that you bought, and I am not going to risk eating them again either. It is frustrating to have such inconsistent labeling!

Maybe the ingredients recently changed. The box/packaging info may be more up-to-date than the website...thus we go back to Label Reading 101. :P

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It says Wheat. It doesn't have to have the allergen info, it just has to spell out the word "Wheat". That is clearly labelling an allergen.

Wouldn't touch them!

Don't bother the poor company help line. They have already clearly disclosed this info to you.

Yes, it is clear and reading that would normally make me put them right back on the shelf and move on, but I had to question it since everything else I had read said they were safe.

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I found a box of the original flavor ice cream bars yesterday (just vanilla ice cream with the Belgian chocolate coating) and the label looked safe. No reaction :D As long as Magnum doesn't change the ingredients of this one like they presumably did with the double caramel, it's going to be a good, ice cream filled summer B)

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I discovered this ice cream recently at Harris Teeter. I looked twice at the ingredients and decided it looked safe so I bought it (not cheap!). I've since bought two more boxes. I do see Carrageenan as an ingredient, but I don't see carrageenan (wheat).

Why do they put wheat in parenthesis? Does anyone know.

I guess I could call Magnum, Unilever, but it doesn't sound like others have had success trying to call.

It's good ice cream, I like it.

But I know there's a question about carrageenan, both from a gluten POV and a general health one.

Plumbago

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Why do they put wheat in parenthesis? Does anyone know.

Short question, but it needs a long answer.

The ingredient list is a legal document subject to strict rules. In an ingredient list, each ingredient is delimited by a comma. Between consecutive commas is the name of an ingredient, which may be more than one word. When it is more than one word, the entire phrase is key to the meaning.

Here are a couple of examples from US rules (in both cases, Canadian rules are the same):

The single word "starch" is corn starch. If other words appear in the ingredient name, then it may not be corn. "Potato starch" is an ingredient which is very different from "starch." "Modified food starch" might be corn, but is more likely to be tapioca. If it is wheat, the word wheat will appear somewhere on the label.

The single word "vinegar" is distilled white vinegar. In the US, it must be made from apple cider. "Malt vinegar" is a different ingredient (and is not gluten-free).

When an ingredient is comprised of other ingredients, or can come from multiple sources, the details *MAY* be provided in parentheses following the the main ingredient name within the same comma delimitation. "Dextrin (wheat)" means that the dextrin in this particular product is derived from wheat. This disclosure satisfies the requirements of FALCPA. If wheat is present, it must be disclosed, but an equally valid alternative is to state "Contains: Wheat" below the ingredient list.

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I found a box of the original flavor ice cream bars yesterday (just vanilla ice cream with the Belgian chocolate coating) and the label looked safe. No reaction :D As long as Magnum doesn't change the ingredients of this one like they presumably did with the double caramel, it's going to be a good, ice cream filled summer B)

Hi Bridget, I was just at my local Target yesterday and they had the double caramel Magnum bars in the freezer case. I checked the ingredient label and it was the same as the one you had originally asked a question about, in the ingredient list for the caramel it stated carraggean (wheat). This was the same Target where I had bought the double caramel bars for the first time in April and at that time wheat was not listed in the in ingredients....just wanted to share!

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Hi Bridget, I was just at my local Target yesterday and they had the double caramel Magnum bars in the freezer case. I checked the ingredient label and it was the same as the one you had originally asked a question about, in the ingredient list for the caramel it stated carraggean (wheat). This was the same Target where I had bought the double caramel bars for the first time in April and at that time wheat was not listed in the in ingredients....just wanted to share!

I wish their hotline offered a direct line to customer service. Two things bother me about this label:

1) As you noticed, the label has changed in just the last month and they haven't updated all of their listed (box and website) up to date.

2) I don't understand how carageenan could be listed as a wheat ingredient in the first place. Carageenan comes from seaweed and nothing I've read shows that it can also be derived from, or processed with, wheat. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carrageenan

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I wish their hotline offered a direct line to customer service. Two things bother me about this label:

1) As you noticed, the label has changed in just the last month and they haven't updated all of their listed (box and website) up to date.

2) I don't understand how carageenan could be listed as a wheat ingredient in the first place. Carageenan comes from seaweed and nothing I've read shows that it can also be derived from, or processed with, wheat. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carrageenan

If you think they are confused on the ingredients, then don't eat them. I wouldn't. If they list something as being made from wheat but it isn't, then what else might they be mislabelling. There are plenty of ice cream treats you can eat.

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Well this doesn't make me happy. I have a coupon I was going to use for these. Daughter is allergic to wheat so they would be out of the question if in fact there is wheat in them. :(

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Honestly, I think that there is a mistake in the label. I cannot for the life of me imagine how carageenan could contain wheat. It does, however, make me wonder about how accurate the other information on the label is.

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I ate three in one day (Hey! It was one of those days!) and had no issues.

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Well this doesn't make me happy. I have a coupon I was going to use for these. Daughter is allergic to wheat so they would be out of the question if in fact there is wheat in them. :(

Just avoid the caramel. I ate the original ones with no problems (just ice cream covered in Belgian chocolate) though I should note that I'm not super sensitive. Depending on your daughter's sensitivity and reactions, maybe you should stick with something you know. I have a coupon too; I might check out the double chocolate next time I'm out.

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Honestly, I think that there is a mistake in the label. I cannot for the life of me imagine how carageenan could contain wheat. It does, however, make me wonder about how accurate the other information on the label is.

That was my thinking too. I didn't have any problems with the original bars, but I'll probably make these only an occasional indulgence until they get their labeling figured out. They're a bit pricey anyway so I was going to find something cheaper and more reliable to stock in my freezer.

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As with all food additives bought on the international market from mutiple suppliers, the requirements of labeling may be lost in translation.

I attended a food course in hydrocolloids (which included carrageenan, in its three ismoeric forms). A fellow student was a native of PRC. On reading the labels of the different hydrocolloids, she repeatedly said the items were products of China and the translations for repackaging were inaccurate.

Though I cannot say that the professional article I link below is definitely relevant, the article does show that to increase certain properties of a certain food additive, it may be combined with another item. In the article, the emulsification properties of carrageenan are increased by its combination with hydrolysate of gluten.

http://www.ftb.com.hr/44/44-25.pdf

And I hate to say it, but certain companies in recent memory were guilty of increasing protien content reading of infant formula by adding melamin, a toxic plastic.

Unfortunately, a seemingly natural food may be adulterated by another natural or unatural item to increase its desirable properties; reading labels may not be enough. It seems one has to know the origin of a food additive and the industrial practices.

But of more immediate relavance to this thread see this ad at Hannaford Dairy and its listing of allergens:

http://www.hannaford.com/product/Frozen/Ice-Cream-Frozen-Novelties/Novelties/Magnum-Double-Caramel-Ice-Cream-Bars/c/28219/sc/46373/ssc/46377/868858.uts?refineByCategoryId=46377#

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