Does chocolate have gluten?

In this brief article, we will address the query,”Does chocolate have gluten?” We will explain what gluten is and discuss some common foods that may contain gluten. We will explain how products that do not contain gluten ingredients may become cross-contaminated by gluten.

Does chocolate have gluten?

No, in its purest form chocolate does not contain gluten in different variants such as milk, dark and white. However, chocolate does contain a lot of ingredients which sadly may be gluten-based or the chocolate may be produced in a factory that also makes products with gluten.

Some of the ingredients that may be added to chocolate that contain gluten are wheat flour, barley malt and dextrose or glucose syrup which have wheat.

 Therefore people that have celiac disease or gluten intolerance should always ensure that they check the list of ingredients in the label to ensure that they do not consume chocolate with gluten.

What is gluten?

Gluten is a term that refers to proteins that are found in various types of grains such as wheat (durum, wheat berries, farina, semolina, graham), rye, barley and triticale (cross between wheat and rye)

Gluten assists foods in maintaining their shapes functioning as some sort of glue to hold the foods together. 

Some people are not able to digest gluten and this can result in side effects for people with celiac disease or gluten intolerance (sensitivity to gluten)

If someone with celiac disease consumes foods that contain gluten, it triggers an immune response that results in the body attacking the healthy tissues and symptoms such as diarrhea, nutrient deficiency and tiredness.

People that are sensitive to gluten may also experience side effects such as gas, bloating and nausea after consuming foods that have gluten.

Which products may contain gluten?

As previously mentioned, pure chocolate has no gluten but a lot of chocolate products contain other ingredients so as to improve the texture and taste of the final product and these ingredients may contain gluten.

For instance, products such as crispy chocolate candies are manufactured using barley malt or wheat which both contain gluten.

Also, some chocolate bars such as cookies and pretzels are also made using ingredients that contain gluten and are therefore to be avoided by people that follow a gluten-free diet.

Additionally, baked goods that are made using chocolate such as cakes, brownies and crackers contain ingredients such as wheat flour and other ingredients that may contain gluten.

Some ingredients that are commonly used in the making of chocolate and other products that may point out that it contains gluten are:

  • barley
  • barley malt
  • brewer’s yeast
  • bulgur
  • durum
  • farro
  • graham flour
  • malt
  • malt extract
  • malt flavoring
  • malt syrup
  • matzo
  • rye flour
  • wheat flour

Can products that don’t contain gluten ingredients become cross-contaminated with it?

Yes, there is a risk of gluten-free products being cross contaminated by gluten and you should therefore be cautious of this if you follow a gluten-free diet.

This can be a result of chocolates being produced in a facility that also produces other products that contain gluten.

The gluten particles can move from a surface or item to another surface and thus increases the risk of cross contamination and side effects for people that do not tolerate gluten.

It is therefore recommended that people that have celiac disease or sensitivity to gluten stick to products that have been duly certified as ‘gluten-free’.

This is because such products adhere to stringent manufacturing practices to eliminate any risk of gluten contamination in order to be certified and are thus safe for people with celiac disease as well as those that are sensitive to gluten.

Conclusion

In this brief article, we have addressed the query,”Does chocolate have gluten?” We have explained what gluten is and discussed some common foods that may contain gluten. We have explained how products that do not contain gluten ingredients may be cross-contaminated by gluten.

We hope you have enjoyed reading this blog and found it to be insightful. In case of any queries, please leave a comment down below.

Citations

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/is-chocolate-gluten-free#cross-contamination

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