Unfortunately, labels don’t always just say “Gluten” and that’s the end of it. Gluten comes in all shapes, sizes, and names. Labels don’t always say whether something is gluten-free or not. So here is a list of things that contain gluten that you don’t want on the label.
Maltodextrin (I’ve had mixed notes on maltodextrin. It’s made from starch, and often the starch used is wheat. Some people say, however, that maltodextrin is so processed that the gluten content is processed right out of it. Also, on some labels you will see ‘Wheat Maltodextrin,’ and on others it will just say ‘Maltodextrin’. Just because it doesn’t have wheat before it does not necessarily mean that the maltodextrin is not made from wheat. See here for more on this).
Vinegar (really, this one depends on which kind of vinegar. Malt vinegar is definitely a no-go. White vinegar can be made from a number of starches, including gluten, and so it is not guarenteed safe. Apple cider vinegar, wine vinegar, balsamic vinegar, and cane vinegar are gluten-free. See here for more).
Modified Food Starch
CHECK AND DOUBLE CHECK
Some things don’t seem like they should contain gluten…but they do. Double check these:
Canned Soups/Stews/Prepackaged Meals
Play-Dough (Usually contains wheat)
The words Gluten Free (This means you are good to go)
The Words Wheat Free (This doesn’t always mean that the item is gluten-free!)
List of Allergens (May tell you straight off if it contains wheat. If it says that, then obviously, don’t buy it)
Processed In Facility (Below the “ingredients” list, there is a list which tells whether or not the item is processed in a facility containing wheat. If it is processed in a facility containing wheat, it may have been cross-contaminated!)
Oats (These may have been contaminated with gluten…oats are not always safe!)
ALWAYS AVOID UNLESS LABELED GLUTEN FREE
You should avoid these unless, yes, labeled gluten free OR, for some, you have checked them and they appear to have no gluten. If you are in doubt about whether or not it contains wheat, don’t eat it. Don’t risk feeling sick for a week.
Cakes and Pies
Cookies and Crackers
Vegetables in Sauce
Seasoned Snack Foods (such as potato and tortilla chips).
Processed Lunch Meats (we always ask the person at the counter if we can see an ingredient list. They are usually very helpful).
Soups and Soup Bases