October 04, 2011
I just noticed for the first time yesterday on a label it said, “de-glutenized wheat.” The same for corn. What does this mean? The label also said it was gluten-free.
Hi Joyce. Yes, you are likely to start seeing the term “de-glutenized wheat” and “de-glutenized wheat starch” on product ingredient labels. This means that the wheat or wheat starch ingredient used in the product has been refined to remove the gluten from it.
However, buyer beware: this doesn’t necessarily mean that the product is safe to eat, as gluten can be present from other ingredients or cross-contamination.
You should still do the following:
1) Read the remainder of the ingredient statement to see if all ingredients are gluten-free
2) Determine if the product has been certified gluten-free by a third-party certifier
3) Call the manufacturer to determine if they test for safe gluten levels of less than 20 ppm. If the company tests for gluten levels at less than 20 ppm or they use a third party gluten-free certifier you can feel confident that the product is safe. However, if the company doesn’t test for gluten levels on its own or through a third party certifier, you should be wary of the product’s safety. Many companies make a “gluten-free” claim very loosely, meaning the ingredients may not contain gluten, but they don’t test for gluten that may have entered the product through the shipping and manufacturing process.
Rachel Begun, MS, RD