How to read food labels
Label reading may seem daunting when on the gluten free diet. The first thing you want to look for is gluten free certification. Since the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) doesn't require food to be tested for gluten even when it's labeled gluten free, stick to brands that test their products for gluten such as Schär.
When shopping for foods that aren’t gluten free certified, exercise caution. Look for “contains wheat” or “may contain wheat” claim. The FDA requires food to be labeled with an advisory statement if it contains wheat. Keep in mind that even if food isn’t labeled as containing wheat, it may be manufactured in a wheat processing facility. For more on the FDA regulations, click here.
The next step when verifying if the food contains gluten is reading the ingredient list. Wheat, barley, and rye should be eliminated first. Other popular grains to watch out for are oats (unless gluten free certified), spelt, durum (semolina), and triticale. The hardest to identify are ingredients that are considered to be a hidden source of gluten. Depending on the original source, these ingredients may include (but are not limited to):
- Modified food starch
- Hydrolyzed protein
- Natural and artificial flavors and colors
- Caramel color and flavoring
If you're not sure whether a particular ingredient is gluten free, call the manufacturer. If they can't confirm with absolute certainty that their product is gluten free, don't buy it! All Schär products are tested for gluten and manufactured in gluten free certified facilities. You should expect the same from all manufacturers of gluten free foods. If we can do it, so can they!
This article has been written by our in-house Dietitian. If you have any nutrition-related inquiries, please contact us.