The Troublesome Twenty: Hidden Gluten Ingredients

March 26th, 2013

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The Troublesome Twenty – Hidden Gluten Ingredients

Gluten is a protein found in many grains such as wheat, semolina, spelt, kamut, rye, and barley.

Gluten (Latin word ‘glue”) is what gives bread its airy and fluffy texture and dough it’s sticky texture.  Having gluten intolerance myself, I am hyper-aware of how many different products contain gluten.

Gluten is found in almost everything!

It’s so ubiquitous that our government does not require that it be labeled on packages and it is often hidden under names such as hydrolyzed vegetable protein, modified food starch or vegetable protein.

To help you navigate the world of hidden gluten I have come up with ‘The Troublesome Twenty”, these are ingredients you should avoid in order to ensure you are not eating gluten or wheat by another name.


The Troublesome Twenty

  •  Artificial color
  • Baking powder
  • Caramel color/flavoring
  • Citric acid (can be fermented from wheat, corn, molasses or beets)
  • Coloring
  • Dextrins
  • Diglycerides
  • Emulsifiers
  • Enzymes
  • Fat replacers
  • Flavorings
  • Food starch
  • Glucose syrup
  • Glycerides
  • Maltodextrin
  • Modified food starch
  • Natural juices
  • Stabilizers
  • Starch
  • Wheat starch

I encourage you to print out this list and carry it with you in your wallet.

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Related Articles

  • How does baking powder have gluten in it?

  • it usually contains a starch so it doesn’t clump and the starch can be from corn or wheat

    • GFRestAdventures

      Or Potato

  • What if the product is labeled as ‘gluten-free’, but has some of those ingredients?

    • does it say cerified gluten-free with the seal on it?

  • This is a great list! As someone who was diagnosed with a gluten intolerance, I’ve learned to search labels for these ingredients. However I’ve found that baking powder is almost never a problem in the United States. All the mainstream brands (that I’m aware of) are GF, so I don’t worry when I see it listed on a label. 🙂

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  • Kelly Bonanno

    A few of these really surprised me. Thank you for sharing this vital information! So helpful.

  • Frances Petryshyn

    I have found it usually easier to just make everything myself. Sometimes it is a bit of a pain, but at least there is no danger of missing something. The gluten free foods are so often made with potato, corn or rice starch. The vegetable oils are probably canola, and there are so many other ingredients that end with ‘cide’ or ‘ate’. If the organic fruit of vegetable comes from outside Canada or the US it may have been sprayed at the border (by law). Even the baking powder that doesn’t contain wheat, it usually contains aluminum. Besides, the amount of sugar in prepared foods is completely unnecesary.