‘Gluten’ – it’s a word which is almost sacrosanct nowadays. And so, as with any term which is over-represented.
Unfortunately, the reality is that we are still relatively uninformed when it comes to which foods actually contain gluten.
From pasta sauces to salty snacks, here we look at some of the most surprising ‘gluten-filled’ foods on supermarket shelves.
1. Crisps (Potato Chips)
Many (good quality) crisps are simply sliced potatoes which are fried in sunflower oil and finished off with a touch of salt. So far, so gluten-free. However, what the ingredients list don’t tell you is that crisps are often packaged in factories where cross-contamination is common – and, as such, gluten could be present. This is one of the main reasons leading crisp brands, such as Walkers, can’t claim their crisps are gluten-free.
We hate to break it to you, but no, sausages are not 100 per cent sausage meat. In fact, the minimum meat requirement in sausages – and many other processed meats – is a miserly 42 per cent!
Unfortunately, this means a good majority of their contents are actually salt and fillers, such as rusk, which often contain gluten. The same applies for veggie sausages, as they are loaded with wheat protein gluten. Some companies do, however, offer gluten-free rusk in their sausages, so they are safe for celiacs to eat.
You might think you’d be safe with innocent chocolate – it’s only cocoa butter and sugar, after all.
While it is technically true that chocolate contains no gluten in its ingredients, chocolate is often manufactured in factories where other products, such as biscuits, are made. Oftentimes, this is on the same product line and could compromise a batch of plain and simple milk chocolate, so it’s always worth checking the label before you chomp.
If you’ve never read the ingredients list on a ketchup bottle, you’re among the majority. It’s only a sauce, right?
Sadly, while you might only be consuming a little bit of the red stuff, there is enough gluten in there to make any celiac incredibly ill. That’s because gluten is often used as a stabiliser and thickener in many sauces, including ketchup, mustard and pasta sauce. It’s also sometimes used in BBQ sauce in the form of barley malt flavour; this is how it gets its signature smoky flavour.
5. Ice Cream
While good quality ice cream typically contains no gluten in its ingredients, many low-grade desserts, such as soft scoop varieties, use wheat flour as a thickening agent.
And while delicious mix-ins, such as cookie dough and candy pieces, might help to jazz up a boring scoop of vanilla, be aware that these will contain gluten, and should be avoided by celiacs.
Which seemingly harmless products have you been shocked to learn contain gluten? Let us know in the comments, below.