Get email alerts Get Celiac.com E-mail Alerts  




Celiac.com Sponsor:
Celiac.com Sponsor:




Ads by Google:






   Get email alerts  Subscribe to FREE Celiac.com email alerts

Hidden Gluten In Processed Food?how Do I Spot It, Or Is It A Myth?
0

9 posts in this topic

Hi! I started eating gluten free about a month ago and have some questions about avoiding gluten in processed foods. I know, avoiding processed food is a good idea in general, but when I do partake, is a food safe if it doesn't say "wheat" "barley" or "rye" in the ingredient list, or is it really more compicated than that? My understanding is that any product with wheat MUST include in on the ingredient list on the label or with a "contains wheat" or, if cross contamination is a concerned, a warning to the effecgt that it may contain traces of wheat. And though I understand that barley and rye don't have to be listed so clearly, they typically are. Does that all sound right?

With this in mind, two products have me wondering in the past few weeks "Where's the gluten":

I read that Resse's peanut butter cups are gluten free, but holiday items (like the trees) have gluten. I bought some of the trees for my kids stockings, and I don't see any wheat in the ingredients or warning that it is there. Is there really gluten there, and if so, where is it hiding on the label? It's bothering me that I can't identify it...

I liked to eat oatmeal for breakfast, but I heard cross-contamination is a problem with most brands, so I've been planning on getting some that was certified gluten free. But I have noticed that there is no warning on regular containers of oatmeal, not even a statement saying it may contain traces of wheat. If cross-contamination is so common, how can they not say that on the label? When I mentioned this to my Gastroentronologist a couple week ago, he said that oatmeal was fine and I shoudn't worry about it at all. Is that right? Is croos contamination of oatmeal just a concern for people super sensitve to gluten? Or is my gastroentronologist misinformed?

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


Ads by Google:

No. All the Celiac organizations recommend gluten-free oatmeal. In fact, it is usually recommended that a person with Celiac not eat oatmeal for at least 6 months as a small percentage react to it like gluten.

There is no law in the US that forces a company to say if something may accidentally have a gluten ingredient in it. If they add wheat, they must disclose this. Rye is rarely on anything except rye bread. Barley ( malt) is usually disclosed because it is a distinct ingredient.

Remember, your GI has had no diet training and, unless he is in a Celiac Center or has a child with Celiac, has no idea about gluten in food. A sad fact of life.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When it comes to processed foods, if "gluten-free" isn't stated on the package, I call the company if I truly want to eat it. It's just not worth getting glutened.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My digestive disease doctor didn't know about any connection between oatmeal and wheat either. Until you can get some glutenfree oats there are substitutes for hot cereal...for a similar consistency to oatmeal you might try Kasha which is roasted Buckwheat Groats or else Cream of Buckwheat (don't be intimidated by the name since buckwheat is actually a fruit and you should see the words glutenfree on the boxes). I am a big fan of quinoa flakes as a hot cereal which also should say glutenfree on the box...for a thicker consistency add less water to it but it does thicken up quite a bit on standing with the water amount recommendation on the box.

In regards to hidden barley there is a product called Rice Dream milk which uses a barley enzyme and doesn't mention it on the containers. You wouldn't know it because it says Gluten Free on it, and the ingredient involving use of the barley in it is partially milled brown rice. The company says they extract the barley and test but barley testing can supposedly be very inaccurate. I suggest you never use this product as I have heard of quite a few people (including myself) having reactions to it.

Best to read everything on all packages. Quite a few times I checked all the ingredients while in the store then got home and later saw some little small writing on it that says processed on equipment which also processes wheat.

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In Canada I'm fairly certain cross contaminates don't have to be mentioned. If they knowingly put in wheat or other glutinous grains the law says that have to label it as containing them in an obvious way.

So while you might look at 2 different packages of, oh, nuts, and one says 'May contain traces of wheat' while the other one doesn't, that doesn't mean the one package is necessarily safe.

My GI told me to not even try oats, saying my intestines were too bad to even risk the gluten free ones. My sister has noticeable issues with oats but not wheat, (her blood test for celiac is negative...lets not get into testing and families etc here, just explaining my background), and I don't have a discernable gluten reaction, so it's a no-brainer for me to avoid them completely, at least until my intestines show healing. I have wondered about oat cross contamination in otherwise gluten-free flours though. I've seen at least one post in the forums about someone blaming traces of oats for their reactions to gluten free flours.

"The company says they extract the barley and test but barley testing can supposedly be very inaccurate."

I know this is off-topic, but I've wondered if this were a possibility myself when I started to wonder about how gluten is measured. Barley's 'gluten' doesn't have the same exact structure as wheat gluten. Do you have a reference or anything about that?

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites




Neither the US nor Canada require "may contain" warnings. Canada has a policy that says they may be used only if, despite best efforts to clean/separate, a real risk still exists.

Contamination can happen at any point on the supply chain, not just at the final production facility. In the case of oats, this happens at every step of the way, because oats and wheat are grown on the same farms, harvested with the same equipment, etc. Commercial oats may contain as much as 1% wheat from unintentional sources.

In the US, look for oats labeled gluten-free. In Canada, look for "certified pure oats," or "uncontaminated oats." There are no "gluten-free" oats in Canada, as Health Canada considers oats to be a gluten grain.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

REESE'S Peanut Butter Trees Ingredients

Peanuts, Milk Chocolate (Sugar, Cocoa Butter, Chocolate, Nonfat Milk, Milk Fat, Lactose, and Soy Lecithin, PGPR, Emulsifier), Sugar, Dextrose, Chocolate, Nonfat Milk, Contain 2% or Less of: Vegetable Oil (Cocoa Butter, Palm, Shea, Sunflower and/or Safflower Oil), Salt, Whey (Milk), Milk Fat, Soy Lecithin, TBHQ (Preservative), Vanillin, Artificial Flavor.

Purely guessing: I would say the dextrose - nothing else contains gluten .. unless it is manufactured in a gluten facitity/uses gluten starch to stop it sticking in/on the machinery/contaminated by not being separated ..

... If they say it is there, you can only accept it ..

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I would say the dextrose - nothing else contains gluten

Dextrose is pure sugar and is gluten-free. Other gluten-free sweeteners include aspartame, brown sugar, corn syrup, fructose, glucose, lactose, maltitol, maltose, mannitol, saccharin, sorbitol, stevia, sucralose, sucrose, and xylitol.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ingredients can vary by country also, so it is important verify the ingredients for the country where they are bought.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
0

  • Forum Statistics

    • Total Topics
      104,344
    • Total Posts
      920,486
  • Topics

  • Posts

    • What's an " iodine test"?  Haven't heard doctors doing that to diagnose DH.
    • Hello! I've just been given my blood results and told they are highly suggestive of coeliacs but will have to wait till next month to see the gastroenterologist and who knows how much longer for a biopsy. My igA, igG and tissuetrans igA were all over 250 and tissuetrans igG was the only one that was normal. These results don't mean much to me yet but I'm told they are very high. I'm now quite fearful of how much damage I've gone to myself. I've had stomach problems for 25 years (just turned 40) and have often steered clear of too much bread and pasta for how bloated it made me feel but the symptoms were always vague and inconsistent so I kept eating. I had a couple of boats of gastro in the past few months (thanks kids) which I took a lot longer than normal to recover from which looking back may have been related. Then last Friday I had a blowout with wine, cheese, crackers, pizza and chocolate cake. I'm sure I've probably had blowouts like that before but I have never felt so sick before and am still slowly recovering. This is what finally prompted me to go back to my GP after being fobbed off so many times over the years. So I guess my question and my concern is whether there is still  chance of a false positive with levels like this? I worry what else it might be if not coeliac. I'm also worried that I may have done so much damage to myself that I will have several disorders going on! I'm also still recovering from last Friday and wondering when I'm going to feel better. I've stayed off gluten and dairy since my blood result a couple of days ago but feel like I'm allergic to food in general.  Thankyou!!    
    • Here's what the Klondike Bar makers say on the FAQ page of their website (August 2016): Are your products gluten free? Nope. They are not. We have not validated for gluten free. We do not operate allergen-free manufacturing sites, however we do have allergen management programs in all our facilities. The intent of these programs is to avoid unintentional cross-contamination of allergens between products. Our product labels adhere to the FDA’s strict regulations regarding declaration of ingredients and allergens. We do not use the terms “Natural” or “Artificial Flavorings” to hide the existence of any allergens. RECIPES CAN CHANGE. We strongly recommend that allergic consumers refer to ingredient declarations EVERY TIME they purchase processed foods.
    • I tried the iodine test but couldn't leave it on very long because it itched too much. I left it on maybe 30 minutes lol. Did anyone try it and have the same response??
    • Had my scope today. Dr said my esophagus is damaged and stomach inflamed. Waiting on biopsy results. Taking protonic and flagyl and he said to go ahead and try cutting gluten out to see if that helps. Thanks for the feedback everyone! 
  • Upcoming Events

  • Blog Entries

  • Recent Status Updates

  • Who's Online (See full list)

  • Member Statistics

    • Total Members
      61,414
    • Most Online
      1,763

    Newest Member
    Vic40
    Joined