Gluten Free Labels: What to Watch Out For!

Reading labels can get confusing!

No matter where you are in the world when you’re celiac reading product labels becomes a necessity. Being able to understand the language the label is written in is only the first hurdle. Next comes the challenge of figuring out what ingredients such as ‘flavourings’, ‘colouring’ or ‘spices’ actually mean. These ingredients can mean different things in different countries and even from company to company making the experience of reading labels a very confusing one. If we know what to look out for and which ingredients could be a hidden source of gluten we will be less likely to make gluten mistakes and in turn feel happier and healthier.

The following is a list of ingredients found on product labels which generally require further investigation and clarification before assuming they are safe for celiacs. Products which contain these ingredients may or may not contain gluten for a variety of reasons. These ingredients are extremely vague and we don’t usually know the source these ingredients have been derived from. I never eat a product containing one of these things before double checking with the company whether it could be a source of hidden gluten. If I’ve missed out any possible hidden gluten containing ingredients please let me know and I”ll add them to the list!

  • Natural flavours/flavourings
  • Artificial flavours/flavourings
  • Colourings
  • Food starch/Modified Starch
  • Spices
  • Emulsifiers
  • Seasonings
  • Vinegar (if Malt Vinegar)
Some companies if they use these ingredients will make it clear whether or not they are gluten containing. If not then contacting the company that made said product is probably your best bet.  When you reach out to a company generally they will provide consumers with information on how to read their product labels, including guidance on the source their ingredients such as ‘flavourings’, ‘seasonings’ and ‘spices’ are derived from.
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