In maintaining a gluten free diet, one needs to be aware there are various other names for gluten that food manufacturers do not clearly mention on their label.
New to a gluten free life?
Living with celiac disease or gluten intolerance means having to closely reading and understanding the labels of everything you eat meticulously. Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, rye, and spelt and it’s often lurking in unexpected places, such as soy sauce, malt vinegar, personal care products such as skin and hair lotions and even certain medicines. Unfortunately, gluten is not always listed plainly as “gluten” on ingredients lists. To maintain a gluten-free diet, you need to be aware of the various other names for gluten, as well as the potential sources of gluten that may not be explicitly mentioned on the label.
Identifying Gluten on Labels
In the United States, food labeling regulations require manufacturers to declare the presence of major food allergens, including wheat. However, this does not cover all sources of gluten, as barley and rye and other ingredients that contain barley or rye do not fall under this regulation. Therefore, it is crucial to be aware of the other names for gluten and to check the entire list of ingredients for any hidden gluten.
If you have a question whether a product is 100% gluten free, then call or email the manufacturer. They will be able to share that information with you. Most manufacturers have a contact number or email on their product or you can google them.
Some common terms that indicate the presence of gluten include:
- Flour: flour is the highly processed form of a grain. Most familiar flour is wheat and all its other varieties listed below.
- Wheat flour: breads, pastas, pastries, most desserts/baked goods, cereals, crackers, tortillas, matzo, pita bread, couscous
- Wheat gluten
- Seiten, a vegan and plant-based meat alternative AKA wheat gluten
- Hydrolyzed wheat protein ( found in a lot of personal care products: hair and body
- Malt (often made from barley)
- Brewer’s yeast (can be a byproduct of beer production, which usually contains gluten)
- Semolina (a type of wheat)
- Farro (a type of wheat)
- Spelt (a type of wheat)
- Kamut (a type of wheat)
- Triticale (a cross between wheat and rye)
These are just a few examples of the many ingredients that may indicate the presence of gluten. It is important to familiarize yourself with the various gluten-containing grains and their derivatives to avoid unintentional consumption of gluten.
A peak into the gluten free flour world!
There’s been a lot of creative juices flowing in the gluten free flour market! Today you’ll find a plethora of new gluten free and grain free flours on the shelves and on-line. Flour that’s made from gluten free grains and grain free options have grown: rice, quinoa, sorghum, cassava, nuts ( almonds and coconut) and seeds (flax), beans (fava) even vegetables, (cauliflower).
I do however have a caveat for those new to this gluten free world of baking. As for some of the more creative flours I’ve listed, you must know they will not all give you the “normal” result when baking a cake, bread, cookies or muffins. I would highly recommend sticking with the traditional gluten free cup for cup flour blend. The brands I mention below are companies who’ve thoroughly recipe tested their products taste and consistency to resemble a bread, cake or muffin. For tips on gluten free baking, Pegs wrote a blog sharing her tips and tricks for gluten free baking, check it out ☺.
Even if a product does not contain any gluten-containing ingredients, it may still be contaminated with gluten due to shared processing facilities, equipment and rotating farming methods. This is especially common in oats, which are naturally gluten-free but are often processed in facilities that also handle wheat, barley, or rye or a rotated crop with wheat. To avoid cross-contaminated oats, look for oats that are specifically labeled as gluten-free. We love using Bob’s Red Mill certified gluten free oats for baking.
Eating Out and Processed Foods
Eating out or consuming processed foods can be particularly challenging for individuals with celiac disease or gluten intolerance. Soysauce, for example, typically contains wheat and is a common ingredient in many restaurant dishes. Wheat flour is commonly used to thicken sauces. Most Mexican restaurants use 100% pure corn tortillas however, we’ve had experiences where they use a combination of wheat flour and corn. Maltvinegar, another hidden source of gluten, is often used in salad dressings and sauces.
Whendiningout, it is essential to inform the server about your gluten intolerance or celiac disease and ask about the ingredients in the dishes you are considering. You can also call ahead and check with the chef to further insure that you will not be exposed to gluten at their restaurant. Additionally, many restaurants are now way more aware and accommodating by offering gluten-free menus or gluten-free options.
Maintaining a gluten-free diet can be challenging, but it is necessary for those with celiac disease or gluten intolerance. To successfully avoid gluten, it is essential to read the labels of all products you consume, be aware of the other names for gluten, and understand the potential risks of cross-contamination. When dining out or consuming processed foods, it is crucial to not be bashful when asking about the ingredients and any potential gluten-containing additives in the meals you are ordering.
For more information about living a gluten-free lifestyle check out these resources: Curry Girls Kitchen’s How to Go Gluten Free, Dr. Mark Hyman’s guide to gluten, the Mayo Clinic’s gluten free guide book and a full list of Hidden Sources of Gluten.
If you’re looking to avoid other names for gluten and for some truly delicious time-tested gluten free desserts check out our Curry Girls Gluten Free Dessert Edition! A catalog of delicious gluten free desserts!
Pegs, Megs and sister Sam love to bake! Check out the many gluten free desserts we have in our blog! A few favorites we have on repeat for any occasion: Cookie Crust Lemon Pie, Chocolate Chip Banana Cake or Chocolate volcanoes… But there are cookies, cakes and pies, OH MY!!! Peg’s Damn Good Gluten Free lifestyle cookbook has an entire chapter dedicated to treats!
Are oats gluten-free?
Oats are naturally gluten-free. However, they are often processed in facilities that also handle gluten-containing grains, which can lead to cross-contamination. It is essential to purchase oats labeled as gluten-free to ensure they have not been cross-contaminated.
Is soy sauce gluten-free?
Typically, soy sauce contains wheat and is not gluten-free. However, gluten-free soy sauce options are available. It is essential to check the label or ask the server when dining out.
What are some common hidden sources of gluten?
Some common hidden sources of gluten include soy sauce, malt vinegar, salad dressings, sauces, beer, and certain processed foods. It is essential to read labels carefully and ask about the ingredients when dining out.
What are some hidden gluten ingredients names?
Non-food item ingredients that may contain gluten:
- Amino peptide complex (from barley)
- Avena sativa (oat starch, extract, flour or oil.
- Barley (extracts, lipids)
- Beta glucan (from oats)
- Cocodimonium hydroxypropyl hydrolyzed.
- Fermented grain extract.
- Hordeum distichon (barley extract)
What are the 3 Types of gluten?
In this blog we share the common gluten grains are wheat, and all it’s varieties, rye and barley.
What is the medical term of gluten?
A protein found in wheat or related grains and many foods that we eat.
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