Contamination, G/F Foods

Hidden Sources of Gluten

1 Comment 28 July 2009

Hidden Sources of Gluten

Since going gluten and casein free I have done everything I knew how to avoid these sneaky little proteins. But even after careful research and label inspections of the foods I eat, I am still occasionally shocked by some of the unexpected sources.

A few months ago I was shocked to learn that many wines are fined with casein. And just last week I learned that some teas are not gluten-free.

When I posed the question to gluten-free people like you and me via Twitter, I was amazed by some of these very unsuspecting sources of gluten:

Beano has gluten. -@NANCYEMILLS

Weirdest gluten source: as a carrier for mono- and di-glycerides in heavy cream. I found out the hard way. -@othergretchen

On a piece of grilled chicken. The chef didn’t declare it because it was “only used to keep it from sticking to the grill.” -@ChristianPlante

It’s in some lipsticks. -@GeekPornGirl

For me it was finding out that my lipstick was what was accidentally glutening my hubby. -@MelissaMeek

Emerald brand honey roasted peanuts. -@pinkraygun

In a box of lentils that had “flour” as an ingredient . . . lentils don’t need flour so I don’t understand. I also found “gluten” as an ingredient just now in an old bottle of Vitamin C. -@S_Shan_Shan

Pancake syrup . . . Mrs. Butterworth’s. Barley malt flavoring is included in “natural flavors”. -@kbouldin

Honestly? Twizzlers. I can’t for the life of me figure out why they have wheat flour in them. -@jesh

I don’t understand why there is gluten in licorice. But the most frustrating was when they added wheat to Lays BBQ chips, because it wasn’t there before. -@CeliacMom

Chocolate chips (wish I could remember the brand). They made me so sick and I had no idea. You live, you learn. -@LifeProsper

In a fruit smoothie at Starbucks. -@mlvlatina

Unfortunately, eating gluten-free, careful as you may be can always be an experiment of sorts. After I was glutened on our cross-country drive to North Carolina, a quick online search for “Garden of Eatin’, gluten” was all I needed to confirm that I, like others had been glutened by the chips which are supposedly gluten-free, but not specifically tested for gluten.

My advice is to always ask. Having a smart phone with instant online access helps, so while shopping you can run a quick search to see if others have complained about a food containing hidden gluten. Stick with the brands that have reputations for high quality, gluten-free products, if a company has a large gluten-free following, chances are they take precautions to be sure not to lose those loyal customers.

If all else fails, you can always pose the question on Twitter!

Click here to follow Gluten Free Fox on Twitter.

- who has written 101 posts on Gluten Free Fox.

When Kristen and Taylor created The Gluten-Free Search Engine years ago, they never dreamed that just a few years later they would be sharing their lives with a beautiful, gluten-allergic dog named Waylon. Not too long after adopting their new "dog child," they headed closer to home and found themselves in the mountains of North Carolina. It was here that Kristen realized her lifelong dream of creating healthier, gluten-free beauty products and launched Gluten Free Beauty. Having shared her finds for the safest and best natural, g/f beauty products via her first-ever website,, she is thrilled now to be putting out products that she can enjoy and that she knows are safer than alternatives!

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  1. Anne says:

    I understand why licorice has gluten in it; it’s to give the candy a chewy texture. That said, not all licorice has gluten in it. “Scotty Dogs” shaped licorice USUALLY (that I’ve found) is wheat-free. There may or may not be cross contamination, but I’ve never had an issue with them.

    There are also several European (usually hard) licorices that don’t contain wheat as an ingredient.

    Cost Plus World Market can be a great place to find these candies. My mom really, really, really wanted some licorice, but it wasn’t until I went there that I found some that she could eat.

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