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      Frequently Asked Questions About Celiac Disease   09/30/2015

      This Celiac.com FAQ on celiac disease will guide you to all of the basic information you will need to know about the disease, its diagnosis, testing methods, a gluten-free diet, etc.   Subscribe to FREE Celiac.com email alerts What are the major symptoms of celiac disease? Celiac Disease Symptoms What testing is available for celiac disease? - list blood tests, endo with biopsy, genetic test and enterolab (not diagnostic) Celiac Disease Screening Interpretation of Celiac Disease Blood Test Results Can I be tested even though I am eating gluten free? How long must gluten be taken for the serological tests to be meaningful? The Gluten-Free Diet 101 - A Beginner's Guide to Going Gluten-Free Is celiac inherited? Should my children be tested? Ten Facts About Celiac Disease Genetic Testing Is there a link between celiac and other autoimmune diseases? Celiac Disease Research: Associated Diseases and Disorders Is there a list of gluten foods to avoid? Unsafe Gluten-Free Food List (Unsafe Ingredients) Is there a list of gluten free foods? Safe Gluten-Free Food List (Safe Ingredients) Gluten-Free Alcoholic Beverages Distilled Spirits (Grain Alcohols) and Vinegar: Are they Gluten-Free? Where does gluten hide? Additional Things to Beware of to Maintain a 100% Gluten-Free Diet Free recipes: Gluten-Free Recipes Where can I buy gluten-free stuff? Support this site by shopping at The Celiac.com Store.

Natural Flavors
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While "natural flavors" can contain gluten, they very rarely actually do. The most likely source would be barley malt, and that is a relatively expensive ingredient, so it is usually explicitly declared as "malt flavor."

If there were wheat in it, in the US it would be required by law to be disclosed as just that, "wheat."

Shelley Case on flavorings:

It would be rare to find a "natural or artificial flavoring" containing gluten (a) because hydrolyzed wheat protein cannot be hidden under the term "flavor." and (B) barley malt extract is almost always declared as "barley malt extract" or "barley malt flavoring." For this reason, most experts do not restrict natural and artificial flavorings in the gluten-free diet.

Gluten-Free Diet - A Comprehensive Resource Guide, published 2008, page 46

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Because some natural flavoring, depending on what it is and where it was manufactured, can be gluten product derived.

A lot of people seem to find "natural flavors" in things they react to - when all other ingredients are clean, and it is assumed "natural flavors" are the culprit.

Personally, I avoid them because I have a problem with things like MSG - which IS a natural flavor.

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Grated cheese is dusted with flour and not declared because it is on, not in the cheese. That can be a tricky one. So that is one way they can get around declaring wheat in something.

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Grated cheese is dusted with flour and not declared because it is on, not in the cheese. That can be a tricky one. So that is one way they can get around declaring wheat in something.

No way this can be true or it would have to be declared. Anti-caking agents are used on shredded cheese to prevent sticking but they're not made from gluteny flours.

ETA: If you are concerned about this, you can buy a chunk of cheese and shred it yourself.

Edited by sa1937
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Grated cheese is dusted with flour and not declared because it is on, not in the cheese. That can be a tricky one. So that is one way they can get around declaring wheat in something.

Please don't spread rumors like that on the board. Wheat that can trigger allergic reactions, like flour dust on cheese, has to be declared in the US or the food is mislabeled and the FDA will recall it. If you have a letter from a manufacturer stating this is true, please share.

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I wonder if we could get Scott to put a footnote on the natural flavors in the lists explaining what you just did, Peter?

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Grated cheese is dusted with flour and not declared because it is on, not in the cheese. That can be a tricky one. So that is one way they can get around declaring wheat in something.

The purpose of dusting shredded cheese is to keep it from clumping & sticking together, right? Wheat flour would not work. When wheat flour get moist (from the cheese) it gets gummy.

That said, I like the home shredded cheese better. :)

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Cheese aside, we need to remember there are people on this board (quite a few, actually) and site who are not in the U.S. Rules are different for other countries. I assume that's why it's on the list.

Sometimes other countries have better rules, sometimes not.

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Cellulose, not wheat, keeps grated cheese from clumping. Wheat would clump. It should be a relief that those worrying about this can now drop it from their list of concerns.

I agree with Peter on the natural flavors, at least in the U.S. It used to be that natural flavors could hide wheat. No longer. It COULD possibly still hide barley, but would be extremely rare.

richard

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Thank you, everyone.

So would you agree that, if I live in the US, and all the label says is "Natural Flavors" (not "Malt Flavoring" or something clearly wheat related), that it's safe to eat?

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Also, the footnote on the Unsafe Foods list states:

"

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The US law requiring wheat to be clearly disclosed is the Food Allergy Labeling and Consumer Protection Act, commonly refered to as FALCPA.

Here is a good summary of FALCPA.

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Thank you, everyone.

So would you agree that, if I live in the US, and all the label says is "Natural Flavors" (not "Malt Flavoring" or something clearly wheat related), that it's safe to eat?

Personally I never assume something is safe because my reactions are too severe. If I doubt I call the companies 800 number or will do a search for the companies product labeling practices. Some companies are very good at labeling all gluten ingredients and with them I know that there is nothing hidden in natural flavors. Kraft and Unilever are two examples of that.

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I have a little book that has numbers in it. "The Chemical Maze" is the name of it. The book shows all the numbers on the back of the pack then tells you where they come from/ what they may contain/ what reaction they may cause.

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I have a little book that has numbers in it. "The Chemical Maze" is the name of it. The book shows all the numbers on the back of the pack then tells you where they come from/ what they may contain/ what reaction they may cause.

This poster is in Australia. Additives listed by code numbers are on labels there, and in Europe, but not in North America.

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Also, the footnote on the Unsafe Foods list states:

"

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*** Why couldn't wheat leaves fall into this "Natural Flavors" category?

*** Finally, if I turn out to be Gluten Intolerant, and not actual Celiac Disease, could consuming "Natural Flavorings" that *do* contain wheat be okay....as they are in such small quantities?

Thanks again, to all!!

Wheat leaves??? Sorry but you gotta use a little common sense here. Hay is not used as flavoring! You can find wheat grass in supplements but it's always listed as a big, exciting ingredient, not buried in the natural flavors list. There is no gluten in wheat grass, but most of us avoid it for fear of cross-contamination since it's sprouted from wheat grains.

If you're 100% sure you're not celiac (and I don't know how anyone can be 100% sure given the false negative rate on tests), consume wheat according to your personal tolerance.

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Grated cheese is dusted with flour and not declared because it is on, not in the cheese.

I wonder if you might be thinking of cornstarch? I know that is often used to dust the outside of grated cheese and cheese blocks. Just got an email from Tillamook today confirming that for their cheese, actually.

If you buy a lot of local cheeses, you may want to take extra care, though.

Does FALCPA apply to local companies making local store brands?

The law applies to all food products regulated by the FDA that are required to have ingredient statements. While the FDA technically only has jurisdiction over products that are introduced into interstate commerce, it is difficult to imagine a product that is manufactured locally that would not be subject to the FDA’s jurisdiction. Notwithstanding the FDA’s broad interpretation of “interstate” commerce, it is possible that locally made foods may not be in full compliance with the FDA labeling requirements, including FALCPA. You should carefully read the ingredient statements of all foods and contact the manufacturer if you have questions. (http://www.foodallergy.org/page/falcpa-faq#Question%2014 )

Something I've run across from a local cheese maker is beer-washed cheese. The beer is part of the aging process, not an ingredient, so the one I ran into didn't list it in the ingredient section on the label. We were lucky and happened to read the card next to the basket holding the cheese, which did mention the beer washing.

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This poster is in Australia. Additives listed by code numbers are on labels there, and in Europe, but not in North America.

Yeah sorry I'm in Australia. Is there maybe a way like that to work it out in America?

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The purpose of dusting shredded cheese is to keep it from clumping & sticking together, right? Wheat flour would not work. When wheat flour get moist (from the cheese) it gets gummy.

That said, I like the home shredded cheese better. :)

Not only better but also cheaper! :)

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Please look at that list again, and you will see that there is a footnote, and that it is under the section: "The following items may or may not contain gluten depending on where and how they are made, and it is sometimes necessary to check with the manufacturer to find out:"

Take care,

Scott

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