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Confused About Nuts

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I've gotten really confused about nuts. I'm pretty sure I'm not allergic/intolerant to tree nuts or peanuts. I can eat Larabars, Kind bars, gluten-free baked goods and mixes with nuts, peanut butter, and Blue Diamond almonds all I like.

When I buy containers of mixed nuts or cashews at Costco or the grocery store though, I sometimes get run-down and sick. I got sick a month ago and I think I narrowed it down to some Planter's dry-roasted peanuts but it's hard to be sure because the reaction was delayed. Kraft says nothing about processing Planter's on equipment used for wheat, which is even more confusing. I've also had occasional trouble with the Nature Valley Nut Crunch bars, which again have no gluten ingredients and say nothing about wheat on the equipment.

I keep reading bits and snippets on forums about processors dusting conveyor belts with flour or wheat starch to absorb nut oils. This would explain my problems but I can't find any authoritative information to confirm it. I'm wondering if that's how gluten sneaks into the General Mills and Kraft products and I'm to the point where I'm afraid to buy nuts that aren't in the shell or from a brand like Blue Diamond that makes reasonable attempts to clean their lines.

Is the processing info true? How widespread is gluten cross-contamination on commercial nut products? Are there safe brands other than Blue Diamond (and is Blue Diamond reliably safe)?

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I have a hard time finding packaged nuts sometimes that don't say "may contain wheat", but I don't know about them dusting the lines.

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I quit buying nuts at Costco because of the warnings. I can't remember now if it was a "may contain" or "run on shared lines". I don't know about the Planters.

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I have been at this for ten years. I have never found credible evidence for this claim of dusting lines with wheat flour. Wheat flour is sticky! You would not use it as an anti-stick agent. When these agents are used (which is not common), they are cellulose, typically a byproduct of the pulp and paper business--in other words, derived from trees.

Lines dusted with wheat flour is a myth, in my opinion.

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I've also had occasional trouble with the Nature Valley Nut Crunch bars, which again have no gluten ingredients and say nothing about wheat on the equipment.

This stuck out at me. Nature Valley makes no claims about being gluten free. Commercially grown oats are contaminated with wheat. Try gluten free granola or oats and see if that makes a difference. But then there is those of us who react to pure oats too which is appx 10-15% of celiacs I think. I eat blue diamond products all the time and do fine with that brand.

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I have been at this for ten years. I have never found credible evidence for this claim of dusting lines with wheat flour. Wheat flour is sticky! You would not use it as an anti-stick agent. When these agents are used (which is not common), they are cellulose, typically a byproduct of the pulp and paper business--in other words, derived from trees.

Lines dusted with wheat flour is a myth, in my opinion.

I do agree that it is most likely a myth that the lines are dusted, but I do have a hard time finding packaged nuts where the package doesn't read "may contain wheat" and I never eat out of the bulk bins..which nuts do you eat?

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Thanks Peter. I was trying to figure out why I couldn't find any real information about flour or starch on production lines. It's hard to separate urban myths sometimes. I was wondering about gluten because I just can't make sense of the reaction otherwise. I've eaten nuts all my life with no signs of allergy or sensitivity.

The Nature Valley nut bars I'm talking about have no oats or grains, and no wheat on the allergy information. I don't know how carefully General Mills was managing CC on the Nature Valley lines. I reacted to them a little unpredictably, and finally stopped buying them. I might try again now that they're labeling them gluten-free.

The other thing that gives me trouble are jars of Kirkland brand mixed nuts or cashews. They should be fine as they're just nuts and salt. Weird huh? I think all the nuts in the Kirkland mixes show up in my Larabars and Kind bars and I have no trouble. It's possible I was getting other foods at Costco that caused problems. I know I can't eat the supposedly gluten-free taquitos. Or maybe I'm back to my idea that too many cashews is a bad idea for me. A tree nut allergy should be more "all or none" though.

The Planters Dry Roasted Peanut reaction was just bizarre. I eat peanut butter all the time, and yet that jar of peanuts gave me stomach aches and asthma. No wheat allergy information or gluten on the label and Kraft doesn't give any indication that they would be significantly cross-contaminated. You can see why I'm grasping at straws here. I have no idea what happened, but I can live just fine without Planters.

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I cannot eat the Blue Diamond nuts. I eat planters frequently (just plain) with no issue and I'm fairly sensitive to CC. However, that said, I'm quite intolerant of refined corn. Corn-starch, corn-syrup, high-fructose corn syrup, etc. So many of the 'flavoured' nuts I cannot eat at all. I also can't eat some brands of nuts for no apparent reason (like Blue Diamond). I don't know why, the only thing I can think of is that while their facility may be gluten-free, there is CC somewhere else along the way before they get the nuts into the facility.

Remember there is an entire transportation, bagging, harvesting, and processing system outside of just the actual wholesale manufacturer.

Edited by Korwyn

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Hi,

I am insanely sensitive to cc (which I learned the hard way because at first I thought it was ridiculous to imagine- Karma can stink....) and eat Planter's South Beach diet mix almost daily and have for years. If there were gluten, I would be reacting for sure. Over 5 years in, I eat VERY few processed foods but this is one I trust.

My two cents... good luck.

lisa

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I cannot eat the Blue Diamond nuts. I eat planters frequently (just plain) with no issue and I'm fairly sensitive to CC. However, that said, I'm quite intolerant of refined corn. Corn-starch, corn-syrup, high-fructose corn syrup, etc. So many of the 'flavoured' nuts I cannot eat at all. I also can't eat some brands of nuts for no apparent reason (like Blue Diamond). I don't know why, the only thing I can think of is that while their facility may be gluten-free, there is CC somewhere else along the way before they get the nuts into the facility.

Remember there is an entire transportation, bagging, harvesting, and processing system outside of just the actual wholesale manufacturer.

Hey, I just thought I would mention that as of a month ago the Blue Diamond facility was not gluten free (I guess they could have changed since then, but I doubt it). I called them and asked specifics and was told that they clean their equipment very well, but their Wasabi flavored nuts contain gluten and are produced on the same lines as all the other nuts that they process. I was a bit disappointed by this, because they seem to advertise that they are completely safe. After drilling them a bit (nicely of course B) ), I got the rep to confirm that they could not guarantee that there was no CC.

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Hey, I just thought I would mention that as of a month ago the Blue Diamond facility was not gluten free (I guess they could have changed since then, but I doubt it). I called them and asked specifics and was told that they clean their equipment very well, but their Wasabi flavored nuts contain gluten and are produced on the same lines as all the other nuts that they process. I was a bit disappointed by this, because they seem to advertise that they are completely safe. After drilling them a bit (nicely of course B) ), I got the rep to confirm that they could not guarantee that there was no CC.

For what it's worth, I spent hours online researching nuts I could eat (I've got other allergies in addition to gluten), and found nutsonline.com

They are certified gluten-free nuts (and other stuff, too). Their nuts are processed in dedicated gluten-free facility, which is important to me. However, their nuts are on shared lines with dairy, egg, and soy (I believe), which are some of my other allergens. But it's the gluten that most concerns me, so at least I know I'm not getting glutened with their nuts. I soak and rinse the heck out of the nuts to (hopefully) reduce the other allergens, if they are present.

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I just received a detailed response from Trader Joe's regarding their nuts. Please note that in addition to gluten, I am allergic to soy, dairy, and egg, which are the other allergens they are referring to below.

Hope this helps someone!

Our Trader Joe's Raw Almonds are made on shared equipment with wheat,

milk, peanuts, tree nuts and soy.

Our TJ'S California Walnut Halves and Pieces do not have any of your

allergins in the same facility.

Our TJ'S Organic Thompson Raisins also do not have any of your allergins

in the same facility.

Our TJ'S Raw Sunflower Seeds also do not have any of your allergins in

the same facility.

Our TJ'S Raw Pepitas are made on shared equipment with peanuts, tree

nuts and soy.

Our TJ'S Raw Pecan Halves do not have any of your allergins in the same

facility.

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Thanks for all the info! I'll check out nutsonline and print out the Trader Joe's lists.

I might have figured out the Planters. Dried yeast is an ingredient in the dry roasting flavor and yeast is on a lot of celiac "don't eat" lists unless because the culture medium can contain wheat. If that's yet another urban legend there's still MSG to wonder about, which has nothing to do with gluten but has never been a good thing for me to eat in quantity. I'll just buy plain peanuts next time!

I don't like being this sensitive. :blink: It was much easier when I didn't react to trace amounts of gluten.

Blue Diamond's website says they clean shared lines between batches under GMP. That probably means I'm playing roulette with them. (Wanders off to check nutsonline...)

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Many of Costco's nut products have the, "produced on equipment with wheat..." statement on it, so I avoid those products from Costco. I think the Costco trail mix and mixed nuts packets both have that warning if memory serves me correctly. I've seen similar statements on Planters, so I avoid those. (Although, no troubles from the Spanish/Redskin sea salt ones by Planters at all).

The Nut Crunch baffles me. My ubersensitive Celiac eats those with no trouble at all.

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Many of Costco's nut products have the, "produced on equipment with wheat..." statement on it, so I avoid those products from Costco.

I was SOOOO ticked off today when I read that line on my individual bag of cashews from a Kirkland's box I bought at Costco. I thought I had been SO careful when shopping to make sure I was buying a simple product w/no wheat and no cross-contamination possibility, but the warning on the box itself is printed inside an offset white square with black letters (while the rest of the ingredient stuff was on the black box with white letters) and I guess I stopped reading when I got to the end of what appeared to be the ingredient list and allergy warnings. But I saw in on the bag after I opened it and I was so mad, I went ahead and ate that one bag (the rest will be for my kids and husband and friends, I guess b/c it's not worth the risk to me -- especially when I may have no recognizable digestive symptoms and still be hurting myself). So far, no problems, but as I've said, my digestive symptoms seem to be mild at best, so that doesn't necessarily anything. Probably shouldn't have eaten them anyway but I didn't want to waste them and was just so IRRITATED about it. I think the text was actually "packed on equipment that also packages products containing... wheat..." -- not even processed, just packed, but WHY???!?!?!?!?!?!?!

Grr...

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Has anyone here who is REALLY sensitive to CC tried the Nutsonline.com nuts yet? I have been searching EVERYWHERE for nuts free of cross-contamination and these were the only ones I could find, but I'm still afraid to order and try them because I've gotten glutened by other nuts so many times before.

If someone who has already tried them can report back with the results of their own experiment then that would be super helpful. Thanks!

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nuts confuse me too.

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I've gotten really confused about nuts. I'm pretty sure I'm not allergic/intolerant to tree nuts or peanuts. I can eat Larabars, Kind bars, gluten-free baked goods and mixes with nuts, peanut butter, and Blue Diamond almonds all I like.

When I buy containers of mixed nuts or cashews at Costco or the grocery store though, I sometimes get run-down and sick. I got sick a month ago and I think I narrowed it down to some Planter's dry-roasted peanuts but it's hard to be sure because the reaction was delayed. Kraft says nothing about processing Planter's on equipment used for wheat, which is even more confusing. I've also had occasional trouble with the Nature Valley Nut Crunch bars, which again have no gluten ingredients and say nothing about wheat on the equipment.

I keep reading bits and snippets on forums about processors dusting conveyor belts with flour or wheat starch to absorb nut oils. This would explain my problems but I can't find any authoritative information to confirm it. I'm wondering if that's how gluten sneaks into the General Mills and Kraft products and I'm to the point where I'm afraid to buy nuts that aren't in the shell or from a brand like Blue Diamond that makes reasonable attempts to clean their lines.

Is the processing info true? How widespread is gluten cross-contamination on commercial nut products? Are there safe brands other than Blue Diamond (and is Blue Diamond reliably safe)?

I know this is an old post, but I too, suspect that I'm getting cc from the Kirkland brand nuts. I was recently diagnosed gluten intolerant with severe malabsorption, so am currently on the elimination diet to find other sensitivities. I eat a lot of nuts. Mainly, because I've recognized that grains bother me, so need another source of protein etc.. So, I 'm on this diet and still feeling crummy when I happened to glance at the Costco allergen label, and I see the bad news..wheat, soy, milk. etc. Ahhhhhh!! I've been Gluten-free Casein-free for weeks..uh...I thought. Anyway, glad I found out now. That was yesterday. I feel markedly better today.

Coincidence? We'll see. It's hard for me to get my mind around the cc issue, I'm I that sensitive? Oh well, I'll carry on and find what works and what doesn't, as we all have to.

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I eat a lot of nuts, and I shell them myself to be safe. Recently I seem to be reacting even to them. I don't know if it is just nuts. I don't react to macadamia which I get from a place which only deals in them. The other nuts I get from nutsonline which sell lots of things. Maybe though separate lines, it isn't a separate facility and that is enough for me as I am very sensitive. Maybe stuff on the outside gets transferred to the inside of the nuts during my shelling them. I'm going to try washing after shelling to see if that does it. If not, I guess I'll have to give up all nuts except macs.

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I got really sick a couple months ago and the only thing I ate that was unusual were some Trader Joe's shelled macadamias. I can usually eat them. It's so confusing. The bag did have a "shared facilities" label but the only ingredients were macadamia nuts and salt.

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I'm bringing this post back to light because I'm wondering what brands of nuts are safe?!?!? I am having all kinds of problems with eating nuts lately and I love them...they fuel my mtn bike rides etc when I make my own trail mixes and well I'm probably just addicted.

I've tried the Target Archer Farms mixed nuts...no allergy information that should indicate a wheat cc and still seem to have a problem.

The bags of almonds from Costco, the roasted peanuts from Costco...both labels should be safe. I can't eat Kirkland brand mixed nuts already discovered that.

 

What about whole foods or sprouts bulk products...not just nuts but any of those including veggie chips. Anyone have experience with these? 

 

Thanks!!!!

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Really - has anyone found a brand of nuts that are safe? I've reacted to Trader Joe's in the past. There was one brand that I bought at the grocery store, and it's label listed off other allergens. Just to be safe, I called the company and they said that it is not gluten free. Then why wasn't it listed with the other allergens?!?!?! 

 

I need 1/2 cup almonds for my Christmas cookies this year. I may have to order from nuts dot com and buy a whole pound if I can't find a small bag to buy locally. :(

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Hi Winter Song, 

Check with your local stores. There are a lot of nut companies that use gluten with their nuts or process nuts in a place that processes gluten. A "Safe" brand, which I use in my products is Mariani. Also, Diamond of California Culinary Nuts are gluten free, but their other products are not gluten free . 

If you're buying nuts in a store, check the back of the bags for warnings such as "Produced in the a factory that processes gluten". It generally means that they are using the same machines for processing gluten and other products, but it could also mean that gluten is processed in the same facility, but not on that machine. But, if they are using the same machine for gluten and gluten-free they have to clean the machine thoroughly each time they change because to be gluten free by government standards say that to be gluten free the product has to have less than 20 Ppm (parts per million) of gluten.

 

Hope this helps!

Jason

 

 

Really - has anyone found a brand of nuts that are safe? I've reacted to Trader Joe's in the past. There was one brand that I bought at the grocery store, and it's label listed off other allergens. Just to be safe, I called the company and they said that it is not gluten free. Then why wasn't it listed with the other allergens?!?!?! 

 

I need 1/2 cup almonds for my Christmas cookies this year. I may have to order from nuts dot com and buy a whole pound if I can't find a small bag to buy locally. :(

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Hi Winter Song, 

Check with your local stores. There are a lot of nut companies that use gluten with their nuts or process nuts in a place that processes gluten. A "Safe" brand, which I use in my products is Mariani. Also, Diamond of California Culinary Nuts are gluten free, but their other products are not gluten free . 

If you're buying nuts in a store, check the back of the bags for warnings such as "Produced in the a factory that processes gluten". It generally means that they are using the same machines for processing gluten and other products, but it could also mean that gluten is processed in the same facility, but not on that machine. But, if they are using the same machine for gluten and gluten-free they have to clean the machine thoroughly each time they change because to be gluten free by government standards say that to be gluten free the product has to have less than 20 Ppm (parts per million) of gluten.

 

Hope this helps!

Jason

Hi Jason,

 

Actually, I've been gluten free for two and a half years, so I know about reading labels. 

 

This specific product I found said something to the extent of "Produced on the same equipment as peanuts, other tree nuts, and soy". It said nothing about wheat, so some would think that it is "safe". However, when I called the company they told me that it is not gluten free. The package didn't list wheat as an issue. So how can we trust food from labels alone?

 

And I must correct you on your statements about government standards. Yes, the FDA has said that anything labeled gluten free is required to be tested under 20 ppm. HOWEVER, that ruling just passed, and the companies still have quite a lot of time to test their products and update their labels. You cannot shop today for products labeled "gluten free" expecting everything to test under 20 ppm. The industry isn't there yet. Anyone attempting to make a gluten free product can put "gluten free" on their packaging without regard to CC or testing. And I've never seen a package of nuts in stores labeled "gluten free" anyway.

 

It seems like you assume that any products made on shared equipment is safe because you assume that all companies follow good cleaning practices? I wouldn't trust that. It takes very little to not clean shared equipment properly if the staff is not educated or the proper precautions are not set up. I would only trust it if it is certified gluten free. 

 

This is why I asked if anyone knows of a safe company. You don't always know from the labels alone.

 

Now I'm curious - have you specifically contacted the two companies you mentioned to talk with them about possible CC issues and if so, what precautions they take in order to assure their products are gluten free? I cannot find that information on either of their websites. 

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That is true, there is a year time to do so.

The two companies I mentioned I have been in contact with. If you like I can send your their contact info and you can contact them yourself. I use nuts primarily in my products and having family and friends who are allergic to gluten has pushed me to double check with every manufacturer I use to make sure.

Also, foods being shared with the same machines as gluten aren't 100% safe from gluten getting onto the gluten free product, but the companies are suppose to take every measure possible to reduce it. I do stay away from products like that and go for products that are gluten free and then check with the manufacturer to make sure.

Hi Jason,

Actually, I've been gluten free for two and a half years, so I know about reading labels.

This specific product I found said something to the extent of "Produced on the same equipment as peanuts, other tree nuts, and soy". It said nothing about wheat, so some would think that it is "safe". However, when I called the company they told me that it is not gluten free. The package didn't list wheat as an issue. So how can we trust food from labels alone?

And I must correct you on your statements about government standards. Yes, the FDA has said that anything labeled gluten free is required to be tested under 20 ppm. HOWEVER, that ruling just passed, and the companies still have quite a lot of time to test their products and update their labels. You cannot shop today for products labeled "gluten free" expecting everything to test under 20 ppm. The industry isn't there yet. Anyone attempting to make a gluten free product can put "gluten free" on their packaging without regard to CC or testing. And I've never seen a package of nuts in stores labeled "gluten free" anyway.

It seems like you assume that any products made on shared equipment is safe because you assume that all companies follow good cleaning practices? I wouldn't trust that. It takes very little to not clean shared equipment properly if the staff is not educated or the proper precautions are not set up. I would only trust it if it is certified gluten free.

This is why I asked if anyone knows of a safe company. You don't always know from the labels alone.

Now I'm curious - have you specifically contacted the two companies you mentioned to talk with them about possible CC issues and if so, what precautions they take in order to assure their products are gluten free? I cannot find that information on either of their websites.

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