When you first start living gluten-free, you learn the importance of reading every label pretty quick. The next step to that, is knowing what words to look for. Knowing what ingredients do and do not contain gluten is the real challenge. We’ve put together this Complete List of Gluten Sources (AKA What Foods to Avoid) to help you be able to identify the gluten in products so you can safely enjoy your food without repercussion.
No one expects you to remember or memorize all these terms immediately (although you will become familiar with the more common sources quickly). If you can keep this post handy on your phone, you can quickly locate the word you are looking for or you can view/download The Complete List of Gluten Sources infographic by clicking/tapping the button below:
Keep in mind, that some labels will make it easy for you and clearly state “Contains Wheat” as a way of alerting people to the fact that the allergen is present. We appreciate those manufacturers.
Other labels can also say “May Contain Wheat”. This generally means wheat is not in the ingredient list, but there is a possibility of cross contamination. You have to proceed with caution with these products. You have to consider the extent of your personal condition and whether “allowable” trace amounts of gluten will have an effect on you. You may want to involve your doctor if you are unsure of how to proceed. Better to be safe.
The Complete List of Gluten Sources in Food AKA What to Avoid
Atta: It is a wholemeal flour primarily used in flatbreads.
Binder or binding: An additive used to hold food together. Unless labeled gluten-free, assume it is derived from wheat. Common gluten-free binders include Sprouted wheat: Sprouted grains have less gluten, but are not gluten-free.
Barley (flakes, flour, malt, pearl): A major cereal grain. It is used in the making of alcohol.
Barley grass: A major cereal grain.
Bran: It is the hard outer shell of cereal grain.
Breadcrumbs: Assume they are derived from wheat, unless otherwise stated.
Brewer’s yeast: It is a by-product in beer making and contains barley malt.
Bromated: It is when flour has been treated with potassium bromate to improve the elasticity of wheat flour.
Bulgar: it is cracked, parboiled groats, that can be made from different varieties of wheat.
Couscous: Made from made from semolina, which is a granule of durum wheat.
Cracker meal: It is made from flour.
Dextrin: Assume this is made from wheat, unless a gluten-free alternative is named.
Dinkel: This is another name for spelt.
Durum: This is a type of wheat very commonly used for pasta.
Einkorn: A type of wheat.
Emmer: A type of wheat.
Enriched flour: Enriched flour with added vitamins and minerals.
Farina: Is a fine flour.
Farro: Is a mix of three varieties of wheat Spelt, Einkorn, and Emmer.
Filler: Unless stated from a gluten-free source, assume fillers are wheat based.
Flour: It’s ground wheat or other cereal grains.
Freekeh or farik: A cereal “ancient grain” made from green durum wheat.
Fu: A Japanese meat substitute made from wheat gluten.
Gluten: Wheat proteins.
Graham flour: A course ground wheat protein.
Groats: The hulled kernels of cereal grains.
H – J
Hordeum vulgare (barley): A type of barely that is a gluten-containing substances to watch out for in skin care products.
Hulled barley: Minimally processed barley.
Hydrolysed wheat protein: A liquid made from wheat germ.
K – L
Kamut: A species of wheat.
Khorasan wheat: Is an ancient grain and a type of wheat.
M – N
Maida: A white flour primary found on the Indian subcontinent.
Malt (malt extract, malt syrup, malt vinegar, malt flavoring): A germinated cereal grain.
Matzo (flour/meal): Contains wheat, rye, and barley.
Oats (Oatmeal, oat bran, oat flour, whole oats): This is a tricky one as oats in their pure form are gluten-free. However, oats are usually processed with or near wheat. There is a high chance of cross contamination, so if you are celiac or very sensitive, you should stick to oats that are labeled gluten-free. If you don’t have a sensitivity, you may be fine with oats not specifically labeled gluten-free.
Orzo: Can be listed as risoni– it is a short pasta derived from wheat.
P – R
Panko: They are a Japanese type of breadcrumb and are derived from wheat unless otherwise stated.
Pasta: Derived from wheat unless an alternative flour is listed.
Pearl barley: Whole barley with the outer haul removed and it has been polished.
Rye: This is a grain related to both wheat and barley.
Secale cereale: Another name for rye.
Seitan: A meat substitute made from wheat gluten.
Semolina: A derivative of durum wheat.
Soft wheat: This contains less gluten, but it is still wheat.
Spelt: Can also be known as dinkel wheat.
Sooji/Suji: Another name for semolina.
Sprouted wheat: Sprouted grains have less gluten, but are not gluten-free.
Thickener or thickening agents: Unless it is from a listed gluten-free source, assume that it is derived from wheat.
Triticale: This is a cross between wheat and rye.
Triticum spelta: Another name for spelt.
Triticum vulgare: Another name for wheat and a gluten-containing substances to watch out for in skin care products.
U – V
Udon: A thick Japanese wheat noodle.
Vital wheat gluten/Vital gluten: An additive to add more gluten to flours.
W – Z
Wheat: A cereal grain.
Wheat berries: A whole wheat kernel.
Wheat bran: The hard outer shell of a wheat kernel.
Wheat germ (oil or extract): A byproduct of milling grains.
Wheat protein: A liquid made from wheat germ.
Wheat Starch: A simple starch extracted from wheat.
Whole wheat flour: Made from milling the whole grain of wheat berry.
We hope this The Complete List of Gluten Sources helps you navigate your way through label reading and being able to quickly identify gluten in the ingredients.
Download/view The Complete List of Gluten Sources infographic by clicking the button below.
Please let us know if you come across a common product ingredient that contains gluten but IS NOT already on this list so we can add it. Thank you kindly.