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Erica Rodman

Enriched Rice - Really gluten-free?

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Hi everyone,

I am pretty new at this...still waiting on a dx confirmation (had blood tests and biopsy). Last week I started a gluten-free diet (heavy label reading - I am aware of hidden gluten, etc). To the best of my (little) knowledge, I am doing pretty well. I am feeling much better. Symptoms I have had for years are subsiding.

I made dinner two nights this week in a crockpot. They were stew and chili so most of the ingredients were fresh. I became ill (GI, itchy, neuro problems) after both dinners.

The common denominators from both dinners are:

canned diced tomato and paste

HerbOx packet of bouillon

McCormick spices (not mixes, individual ones ie: thyme, etc)

All of these things were confirmed gluten free by the companies, but I know that I can't always go by that.

I did, however, eat a bowl of Minute rice (white, enriched) with each dinner. A friend with dx Celiac told me to avoid enriched products, but didn't say why. I called the rice company this morning (Riviana Foods) and was told they use a corn-based binding for the enrichment, but had recently switched manufacturing plants and would call me back with more info. I haven't heard back from them, and I'm not sure if I will.

Any thoughts about this? I should have my test results tomorrow as my GI doctor is supposed to call, but perhaps I have an intolerance to a different food as well.

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I don't know how the enrichment process works with Minute rice, but I do know that enriched foods tend to be pretty terrible for you. "Enriched" means they stripped out all the nutrients in processing, and then inserted them back in as stabilizers/preservatives, but they aren't nutrients you can absorb, because they wouldn't survive the heating process, let alone digestion. Every time you see "enriched," in breads and other products, it means "highly processed." If they're using wheat-based stabilizers that would certainly do it, but could you switch to brown rice and see if that helps?

Good luck!

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The other common denominator from both dinners is the crock pot. If it is ceramic and has pores it maybe contaminated if it was used for glutened foods in the past. My old crock pot was a ceramic that had pores. I have new ones now.

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I don't know how the enrichment process works with Minute rice, but I do know that enriched foods tend to be pretty terrible for you. "Enriched" means they stripped out all the nutrients in processing, and then inserted them back in as stabilizers/preservatives, but they aren't nutrients you can absorb, because they wouldn't survive the heating process, let alone digestion. Every time you see "enriched," in breads and other products, it means "highly processed." If they're using wheat-based stabilizers that would certainly do it, but could you switch to brown rice and see if that helps?

Good luck!

If there were any wheat at all in the box of rice, it would have to be listed as an ingredient to adhere to the labeling laws. Enriched foods are generally enriched with vitamins and minerals to replace what was lost in the processing of the food. I have never heard of wheat being an issue in the enrichment process and it is not an issue which you see on any reputable medical information having to do with Celiac Disease.

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If there were any wheat at all in the box of rice, it would have to be listed as an ingredient to adhere to the labeling laws. Enriched foods are generally enriched with vitamins and minerals to replace what was lost in the processing of the food. I have never heard of wheat being an issue in the enrichment process and it is not an issue which you see on any reputable medical information having to do with Celiac Disease.

I agree, it would be on the label. I just wonder if there's something about the over-processing required for enrichment that bugs her. I don't do well at all with processed foods, never have.

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I don't think the minute rice would be a problem. I eat the name brand and a couple store brands frequently and I am pretty sensitive.

My thoughts also went to the crockpot.

HerbOx bouillon is gluten free but it does have soy. You may want to keep a food log to see if other soy products bother or if you see any other pattern. It isn't uncommon for us to have other intolerances.

Keep at the diet even if the test results are negative. Give it a bit of time and see if it helps. It can take some time for us to heal and we can have some ups and downs at first.

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Thanks, guys. So would it be "normal" to fluctuate from really good days to really bad days at first? Of course it's possible it's soy, corn, etc that is also the culprit. Not sure at this point. All I know is that something I am eating is making me sick.

My question with the enrichment has to do with the binding process. In order to get the coating to "stick", starch is used. It is possible that the starch is wheat-based or has wheat in it.

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Thanks, guys. So would it be "normal" to fluctuate from really good days to really bad days at first? Of course it's possible it's soy, corn, etc that is also the culprit. Not sure at this point. All I know is that something I am eating is making me sick.

My question with the enrichment has to do with the binding process. In order to get the coating to "stick", starch is used. It is possible that the starch is wheat-based or has wheat in it.

If it was wheat based it should have to be listed on the label according to FDA regs. I am supersensitive and if they did use wheat for that I would be constantly ill as I eat Minute Rice a couple times a week.

It is normal for us to have good and bad days early on. What are you typically eating? Have you checked all toiletries, shampoos, craft materials like glues etc?

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I would guess either the crock pot or the herbs/spices. Does your crock pot have a teflon surface, some do. Also did you replace your herbs/spices or are they from pre gluten free? If so it is possible they could be contaminated from before. What were your utensils?

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Some foods are "enriched" for ... social purposes. Rice is one of the foods typically enriched with folic acid to reduce birth defects in the population. But it is also to replace the iron, niacin, thiamin, and other vitamins/minerals stripped out when removing the bran and germ. (One good alternative here - just eat brown rice, which is more nutritious than enriched white rice. You can make a big pot of it, and freeze it if you want quicker rice during the week. Of course, that wasn't the question. :) As for the question, no - I've never seen an enriched rice that had wheat.)

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What are you typically eating? Have you checked all toiletries, shampoos, craft materials like glues etc?

Well for breakfast, gluten free toast, waffle, fruit if I can. Lunch is a sandwich with fresh deli meat (turkey, ham). They use a different slicer for gluten-free stuff. Dinners are a meat, vegetable, potato or rice, pasta, etc.

The shampoo I was using up until last week did have wheat germ oil in it. I replaced with a different one (Shikai). My deodorant had barley in it, replaced that too.

Also did you replace your herbs/spices or are they from pre gluten free? If so it is possible they could be contaminated from before. What were your utensils?

I did not replace the herbs/spices. So it is possible they are contaminated. My eating utensils are stainless steel, but some of my cooking utensils are that black plastic-like material. The crockpot is ceramic, but it is brand new. My cookware has that teflon coating on it. Would it need to be replaced? Rubber spatulas too?

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Well then I guess you can rule out your crock pot. Your eating utensils are fine. I had two pans with teflon, a wok and griddle, and I quit using the griddle since it had some scratches. I still use the wok. Most things I cooked in it were fine and it was still in excellent shape. My other pots/pans are caflon with no coating, but there is one I don't use anymore because it is pitted. My husband uses those for gluten stuff only. I did get new plastic utensils, and rubber spatulas for gluten free items, again keeping the old for when hubby makes something. I got a new colander for gluten free pasta. I got rid of my baking stone and waffle iron and I replaced my wood cutting boards, cake pans, muffin tins, and bread pans. I still use all of my glass bake/cookwear and most of my tupperware if in good shape. I replaced some of my herbs/spices that I thought would be suspect to cross contamination, sugar(white/brown/powdered), and anything else baking wise I was suspicious of. I thought I would be allright with playdoh in the house, but realized I was in la la land and banned it first of this year. I replaced it with soyer dough and scrubbed all of the toys. Now I can play without problems. I'm still working out some bugs on possible cross contamination in my house. My husband is pretty good, but it's hard to change overnight. The kids are another story. If I'm getting cc'd I'd bet it's the kids (I'm not symptomatic, but gliadin antibody IgG was still slightly elevated). I've been working on that too. When I am home I don't let them eat stuff but dad does. He needs to be more aware of where they are eating things and what they are touching. I make them sit at the table and when done, immediatly to wash their hands. Hope this helps.

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Thank you, yes that helps. It seems I am going to have to be more stringent. I want to wait until I know for sure what's really going on. It's expensive to have to replace everything if it's really not necessary.

Thanks so much for the advice and guidance everyone.

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Thank you, yes that helps. It seems I am going to have to be more stringent. I want to wait until I know for sure what's really going on. It's expensive to have to replace everything if it's really not necessary.

Thanks so much for the advice and guidance everyone.

"To the best of my (little) knowledge, I am doing pretty well. I am feeling much better. Symptoms I have had for years are subsiding."

Since you are feeling much better and symptoms are subsiding please don't let a negative test result convince you that gluten isn't an issue. It is tough at first but your body is giving you the best answer. No matter what the test results it is telling you that you are doing the right thing. There is such a high rate of false negatives with testing that sometimes we have to listen to our bodies as a last resort and yours seems to be telling you that the gluten-free diet is working.

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