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How to shop gluten-free

Living gluten-free doesn’t have to be a hassle, if you know what to be on the lookout for. Here’s a quick guide.

1. Check for ‘gluten-free’ stamps, labels, stickers or badges

Manufacturers will usually tell you on the front of their packaging if they have gone to the trouble to make their product gluten-free.

2. Check ingredients lists. Avoid products containing…

  • rye, rye flour
  • triticale, triticale flakes
  • oats, oatmeal, oat bran, oat flour, rolled oats
  • wheat flour, wheat starch, wheat bran, wheatgerm, enriched wheat flour, bulgar, spelt, durum, couscous, semolina
  • barley, barley flour, barley flakes
  • cereal, flour, bran, some types of hydrolysed vegetable protein, starch, hydrolysed plant protein (often found in stock cubes), modified food starch, cornflour made from wheat

3. Check for small print

You may see words like ‘this product was produced in a plant that also processes nuts, wheat and dairy’, or ‘may contain traces of wheat (or nuts, dairy, etc.)’. If you see this, it doesn’t necessarily mean the food contains gluten, but it might.

4. Check the additives

Most food additives (the numbers on packaged foods) do not contain gluten, but modified starches (1400-1450) may do; if they contain gluten it should be specified elsewhere on the label.

Good sources of gluten-free related information:

www.coeliac.co.nz

These products may or may not contain gluten, depending on different brands, so it pays to check.

  • baked beans
  • baking powder
  • beer, lager
  • canned vegetables
  • cocoa, drinking and cooking chocolate
  • coffee substitutes
  • cornflour (check it comes from corn not wheat)
  • creamed corn
  • crumb coatings for meat, fish or poultry
  • curry powder
  • custard powder
  • dressings/mayonnaise
  • gravies
  • maltodextrin (this may be made from wheat starch or other ingredients)
  • mustard
  • processed meats
  • products containing malt • sauces
  • sausages
  • some beverages
  • some modified starches
  • soups
  • soy sauce
  • stock cubes/powder
  • taco shells
  • tofu
  • vinegar
  • amaranth anti-caking agents
  • arrowroot
  • baby rice cereals
  • buckwheat
  • caramel*
  • corn
  • corn breakfast cereals
  • dextrose*
  • fructose*
  • glucose*
  • hyrdolised vegetable
  • protein
  • malitol
  • millet
  • plain popcorn
  • plain rice crackers/cakes
  • polenta
  • potato flour
  • quinoa
  • rice
  • rice bran
  • rice breakfast cereals
  • rice flour
  • rice noodles
  • sago
  • sorbitol*
  • sorghum
  • soy flour
  • taco shells tapioca
  • vegetable gums
  • white vinegar
  • wild rice

*Gluten is not detectable in these ingredients, even if derived from wheat.

First published: Mar 2009



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