Unsafe for Gluten-free diets

The following list contain the ingredients which are unsafe for a Gluten free diet; bearing in mind this is a comprehensive/scientific list, so we have highlighted in green the ones which you are more likely to encounter for ease of tracking. The most important thing is to remember to avoid the basics which are typically used in restaurants and prepared foods: wheat, flour, pasta, bread, crackers, baked goods, soy sauce and horseradish (typically contains soy).

Like all of us have at one point or another, you’re likely to have a cross contamination or hidden gluten moment; don’t worry, you will feel the effects for a few days, but they will pass for those of us lucky enough to just be gluten sensitive. For our Celiac friends, your reaction might land you in the hospital as you know, so please be extra careful when eating out. While preparing your own meals and avoiding the “middle aisles” of the grocery stores is your safest bet to avoid any contamination issues, we know its not always realistic. So take this list with you when you eat out and refer to it as often as possible. Many restaurants now a days will know if an item contains gluten, but if not, you can always hand this list to your server and ask them to confirm with the chef. When all else fails, ask them to bake your meat of choice with salt and pepper only and order with a side salad (oil and vinegar are ok, unless its malt vinegar) and you will be ok. Other safe options are steamed veggies with butter or oil.

Not to worry, you will figure  it out quickly, and will soon have your “go to” restaurants which you know are safe. Here’s to happy, delicious and safe eating!

The Short List:

Foods Containing Gluten: The following foods are not allowed on a gluten-free diet (this is not a complete listing)
Barley
Bran
Bulgar
Couscous
Durum
Einkorn
Farro
Kamut
Malt and Malt Extract
Rye
Semolina
Spelt
Triticale
Wheat
Wheat Germ
Wheat Starch

The Not-So-Short List (thanks to the helpful team at Celiac.com)

UNSAFE for Gluten Free Diets

Abyssinian Hard (Wheat triticum durum)
Alcohol (Spirits – Specific Types)
Amp-Isostearoyl Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein
Atta Flour
Barley Grass (can contain seeds)
Barley Hordeum vulgare
Barley Malt
Beer (most contain barley or wheat)
Bleached Flour
Bran
Bread Flour
Brewer’s Yeast
Brown Flour
Bulgur (Bulgar Wheat/Nuts)
Bulgur Wheat
Cereal Binding
Chilton
Club Wheat (Triticum aestivum subspecies compactum)
Common Wheat (Triticum aestivum)
Crumbs
Cookie Dough
Cookie Dough Pieces
Couscous
Crisped Rice
Dinkle (Spelt)
Disodium Wheatgermamido Peg-2 Sulfosuccinate
Durum wheat (Triticum durum)
Edible Coatings
Edible Films
Edible Starch
Einkorn (Triticum monococcum)
Emmer (Triticum dicoccon)
Enriched Bleached Flour
Enriched Bleached Wheat Flour
Enriched Flour
Farina
Farina Graham
Farro
Filler
Flour (normally this is wheat)
Fu (dried wheat gluten)
Germ
Graham Flour
Granary Flour
Groats (barley, wheat)
Hard Wheat
Heeng
Hing

Hordeum Vulgare Extract

Hydrolyzed Wheat Gluten
Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein
Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein Pg-Propyl Silanetriol
Hydrolyzed Wheat Starch
Hydroxypropyltrimonium Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein
Kamut (pasta wheat) 
Kecap Manis (Soy Sauce)
Ketjap Manis (Soy Sauce)
Kluski Pasta
Maida (Indian wheat flour)
Malt
Malted Barley Flour
Malted Milk
Malt Extract
Malt Syrup
Malt Flavoring
Malt Vinegar
Macha Wheat (Triticum aestivum)
Matza
Matzah
Matzo
Matzo Semolina
Meringue
Meripro 711
Mir
Nishasta
Oriental Wheat (Triticum turanicum)
Orzo Pasta
Pasta
Pearl Barley
Persian Wheat (Triticum carthlicum)
Perungayam
Poulard Wheat (Triticum turgidum)
Polish Wheat (Triticum polonicum)
Rice Malt (if barley or Koji are used)
Roux
Rusk
Rye
Seitan
Semolina
Semolina Triticum
Shot Wheat (Triticum aestivum) 
Small Spelt
Spirits (Specific Types)
Spelt (Triticum spelta)
Sprouted Wheat or Barley
Stearyldimoniumhydroxypropyl Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein
Strong Flour
Suet in Packets
Tabbouleh
Tabouli
Teriyaki Sauce
Timopheevi Wheat (Triticum timopheevii)
Triticale X triticosecale
Triticum Vulgare (Wheat) Flour Lipids
Triticum Vulgare (Wheat) Germ Extract
Triticum Vulgare (Wheat) Germ Oil
Udon (wheat noodles)
Unbleached Flour
Vavilovi Wheat (Triticum aestivum)
Vital Wheat Gluten
Wheat, Abyssinian Hard triticum durum
Wheat amino acids
Wheat Bran Extract
Wheat, Bulgur
Wheat Durum Triticum
Wheat Germ Extract
Wheat Germ Glycerides
Wheat Germ Oil
Wheat Germamidopropyldimonium Hydroxypropyl Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein
Wheat Grass (can contain seeds)
Wheat Nuts
Wheat Protein
Wheat Triticum aestivum
Wheat Triticum Monococcum
Wheat (Triticum Vulgare) Bran Extract
Whole-meal Flour
Wild Einkorn (Triticum boeotictim)
Wild Emmer (Triticum dicoccoides)

The following items may or may not contain gluten depending on where and how they are made, and it is sometimes necessary to check with the manufacturer to find out:

Artificial Color4
baking powder4
Caramel Color1, 3
Caramel Flavoring1, 3
Clarifying Agents4
Coloring4
Dextrins1,7
Dextrimaltose1,7
Dry Roasted Nuts4
Emulsifiers4
enzymes4
Fat Replacer4
Flavoring6
Food Starch1, 4
Food Starch Modified1, 4
Glucose Syrup4
Gravy Cubes4
Ground Spices4
HPP4
HVP4
Hydrolyzed Plant Protein4
Hydrolyzed Protein4
Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein4
Hydrogenated Starch Hydrolysate4
Hydroxypropylated Starch4
Maltose4
Miso4
Mixed Tocopherols4
Modified Food Starch1, 4 
Modified Starch1, 4
Natural Flavoring6
Natural Flavors6
Natural Juices4
Non-dairy Creamer4
Pregelatinized Starch4
Protein Hydrolysates4
Seafood Analogs4
Seasonings4
Sirimi4
Smoke Flavoring4
Soba Noodles4
Soy Sauce4
Soy Sauce Solids4
Sphingolipids4
Stabilizers4
Starch1, 4
Stock Cubes4
Suet4
Tocopherols4
Vegetable Broth4
Vegetable Gum4
Vegetable Protein4
Vegetable Starch4
Vitamins4
Wheat Starch5


  • 1) If this ingredient is made in North America it is likely to be gluten-free.
  • 3) The problem with caramel color is it may or may not contain gluten depending on how it is manufactured. In the USA caramel color must conform with the FDA standard of identity from 21CFR CH.1. This statute says: the color additive caramel is the dark-brown liquid or solid material resulting from the carefully controlled heat treatment of the following food-grade carbohydrates: Dextrose (corn sugar), invert sugar, lactose (milk sugar), malt syrup (usually from barley malt), molasses (from cane), starch hydrolysates and fractions thereof (can include wheat), sucrose (cane or beet). Also, acids, alkalis and salts are listed as additives which may be employed to assist the caramelization process.
  • 4) Can utilize a gluten-containing grain or by-product in the manufacturing process, or as an ingredient.
  • 5) Most celiac organizations in the USA and Canada do not believe that wheat starch is safe for celiacs. In Europe, however, Codex Alimentarius Quality wheat starch is considered acceptable in the celiac diet by most doctors and celiac organizations. This is a higher quality of wheat starch than is generally available in the USA or Canada.
  • 6) According to 21 C.F.R. S 101,22(a)(3): [t]he terms natural flavor or natural flavoring means the essential oil, oleoresin, essence or extractive, protein hydrolysate, distillate, or any product of roasting, heating or enzymolysis, which contains the flavoring constituents derived from a spice, fruit or fruit juice, vegetable or vegetable juice, edible yeast, herb, bark, bud, root, leaf or similar plant material, meat, seafood, poultry, eggs, dairy products, or fermentation products thereof. Whose significant function in food is flavoring rather than nutritional.
  • 7) Dextrin is an incompletely hydrolyzed starch. It is prepared by dry heating corn, waxy maize, waxy milo, potato, arrowroot, WHEAT, rice, tapioca, or sago starches, or by dry heating the starches after: (1) Treatment with safe and suitable alkalis, acids, or pH control agents and (2) drying the acid or alkali treated starch. (1) Therefore, unless you know the source, you must avoid dextrin.

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