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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 What if my doctor won't listen to me? An Open Letter to Skeptical Health Care Practitioners Gluten-Free recipes: Gluten-Free Recipes Where can I buy gluten-free stuff? Support this site by shopping at The Celiac.com Store.

Labeled gluten-free But Had Caramel Coloring
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18 posts in this topic

I bought rice cakes at the store which had a gluten-free label. When I can home I notice they have Caramel coloring. Should I trust that what ever the caramel coloring is derived from is not wheat?

TIA I'm a newbie!

Erin

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I bought rice cakes at the store which had a gluten-free label. When I can home I notice they have Caramel coloring. Should I trust that what ever the caramel coloring is derived from is not wheat?

TIA I'm a newbie!

Erin

Caramel color is not a concern for people with Celiac. If an ingredient was derived from wheat, it must be listed on the lable.

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Lisa,

Does this include drinks as well? For example, teas?

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Caramel color is safe for celiacs. Period.

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good to know, thanks for the info!

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Lisa,

Does this include drinks as well? For example, teas?

Yes, it does Kim :)

For those learning the twists and turns of the diet, I would recommend www.CeceliasMarketplace.com, a Gluten Free Grocery Guide that is published annually.

After that first year, you will learn to read labels, which is the best way to purchase food and eat safely.

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Yes, it does Kim :)

For those learning the twists and turns of the diet, I would recommend www.CeceliasMarketplace.com, a Gluten Free Grocery Guide that is published annually.

After that first year, you will learn to read labels, which is the best way to purchase food and eat safely.

Wow Lisa! thanks for the website... Very inforamtive and helpful!

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Yes, it does Kim :)

For those learning the twists and turns of the diet, I would recommend www.CeceliasMarketplace.com, a Gluten Free Grocery Guide that is published annually.

After that first year, you will learn to read labels, which is the best way to purchase food and eat safely.

Wow Lisa! thanks for the website... Very inforamtive and helpful!

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I avoid it unless I call and find out what it is made from. From the Unsafe list on this website:

http://www.celiac.com/articles/182/1/Unsafe-Gluten-Free-Food-List-Unsafe-Ingredients/Page1.html

The problem with caramel color is it may or may not contain gluten depending on how it is manufactured. In the USA caramel color must conform with the FDA standard of identity from 21CFR CH.1. This statute says: the color additive caramel is the dark-brown liquid or solid material resulting from the carefully controlled heat treatment of the following food-grade carbohydrates: Dextrose (corn sugar), invert sugar, lactose (milk sugar), malt syrup (usually from barley malt), molasses (from cane), starch hydrolysates and fractions thereof (can include wheat), sucrose (cane or beet). Also, acids, alkalis and salts are listed as additives which may be employed to assist the caramelization process.

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I avoid it unless I call and find out what it is made from. From the Unsafe list on this website:

http://www.celiac.com/articles/182/1/Unsafe-Gluten-Free-Food-List-Unsafe-Ingredients/Page1.html

The problem with caramel color is it may or may not contain gluten depending on how it is manufactured. In the USA caramel color must conform with the FDA standard of identity from 21CFR CH.1. This statute says: the color additive caramel is the dark-brown liquid or solid material resulting from the carefully controlled heat treatment of the following food-grade carbohydrates: Dextrose (corn sugar), invert sugar, lactose (milk sugar), malt syrup (usually from barley malt), molasses (from cane), starch hydrolysates and fractions thereof (can include wheat), sucrose (cane or beet). Also, acids, alkalis and salts are listed as additives which may be employed to assist the caramelization process.

http://www.glutenfreeliving.com/ingredient.php

Caramel color

Corn is used to make caramel color in the U.S. The FDA does permit use of barley malt but all major caramel color producers say corn makes a better product.

http://celiacdisease.about.com/od/celiacdiseasefaqs/f/Caramel_Coloring.htm

BUT registered dietitian Shelley Case, who is on the medical advisory board of the Celiac Disease Foundation, the Gluten Intolerance Group, and the Canadian Celiac Association, told me that gluten-containing ingredients are no longer used to make caramel coloring in North America, and from my own correspondence with major manufacturers of caramel color that indeed seems to be the case. While gluten-containing ingredients can be used in the production of caramel color, North American companies are now using glucose from corn, or sometimes sucrose (table sugar). In Europe, Shelley says, companies use glucose syrup that's derived from wheat starch, but the caramel color is highly processed and contains no gluten.

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http://www.glutenfreeliving.com/ingredient.php

Caramel color

Corn is used to make caramel color in the U.S. The FDA does permit use of barley malt but all major caramel color producers say corn makes a better product.

http://celiacdisease.about.com/od/celiacdiseasefaqs/f/Caramel_Coloring.htm

BUT registered dietitian Shelley Case, who is on the medical advisory board of the Celiac Disease Foundation, the Gluten Intolerance Group, and the Canadian Celiac Association, told me that gluten-containing ingredients are no longer used to make caramel coloring in North America, and from my own correspondence with major manufacturers of caramel color that indeed seems to be the case. While gluten-containing ingredients can be used in the production of caramel color, North American companies are now using glucose from corn, or sometimes sucrose (table sugar). In Europe, Shelley says, companies use glucose syrup that's derived from wheat starch, but the caramel color is highly processed and contains no gluten.

Scott got his info straight from the FDA website (I just checked to be sure). At no place in the FDA website does it say that corn is the most common source but it of course could be.

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In addition, as mentioned in the above quote, caramel color is so highly processed, any gluten, regardless of the source, is removed during that process.

Caramel color should be safe the the general Celiac community to consume.

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Caramel Coloring in FOOD must be labeled if it was derived from wheat. In other products, I call just to be on the safe side. But, if it is a food item, labeled gluten free (with caramel coloring) but no mention of wheat, I would not worry. :)

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Here is Shelley Case's take on it, from Gluten-Free Diet A Comprehensive Resource Guide:

Although gluten-containing ingredients (barley malt syrup and starch hydrolysates) can be used in the production of caramel color, North American companies use corn as it has a longer shelf life and makes a superior product. European companies use glucose derived from wheat starch, however caramel color is highly processed and contains no gluten.
[Emphasis in original]
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Caramel color is safe for celiacs. Period.

I disagree, at least as far as my own system is concerned. I've had several reactions that were tied back to caramel coloring.

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I disagree, at least as far as my own system is concerned. I've had several reactions that were tied back to caramel coloring.

Same for me. I avoid all sugars/starches and all their derivates unless their origin is clearly stated on the label. "Better safe than sorry" is my motto when it comes to eating processed food. For the same reasons I avoid vinegars - I don't believe white vinegar is any safer than grain vodka or whisky (both make me sick).

But as for the original question, I wouldn't worry about caramel colour if it's labelled gluten-free.

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I have terrible pain in the middle of the night if I consume anything with caramel color, labelled gluten-free.

 

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This is an old discussion, but nothing has changed. I'm sorry you had a bad reaction to something containing caramel color, but is gluten-free. Perhaps you reacted to phosphoric acid, which is frequently found in products that also contain caramel color. It is a stomach irritant under some conditions.

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