GLUTEN-FREE DIET: INGREDIENTS
Alcohol - Vinegar Questions:
Commercially-prepared pickles, catsup, mustard, mayonnaise, steak sauce and other condiments are usually made with distilled grain vinegar. Similarly, alcohol in flavorings may be grain based. Through the process of distillation, there should be little or trace amounts of residual gluten left. Some celiacs may have inherent sensitivities to vinegars. You may try condiments and other vinegar-containing items one at a time in your Foundation Diet-Step 1.
Artificial & Natural Flavorings: According to flavoring experts and researched by Ann Whelan, editor of "Gluten-Free Living" newsletter, it is unlikely that wheat is used in most flavorings. However, meat bastings and flavors should be suspect. Flavors are also used in small amounts. McCormick & Adams brands pure spices and extracts are gluten free. McCormick has full disclosure on its labels.
Autolyzed Yeast: No gluten. However, autolyzed yeast and its extract contain MSG.
Caramel Coloring: Two companies produce most of the caramel color used the U.S., and neither uses a gluten grain in the preparation. Corn, they say, makes a better product. We don’t need to worry about caramel color on labels.
Dextrin: Can be from a gluten source. Questionable.
Dextrose, glucose, maltose, sucrose: These are all sugars.
High Fructose Corn Syrup: A sweetener from corn – gluten free.
HVP, HPP, TVP: HVP (hydrolyzed vegetable protein), according to the FDA, should now have the source clearly marked on labels. Protein hydrolysates must be declared by their common and usual names. Textured vegetable protein (TVP) or hydrolyzed plant protein(HPP) may not have the source listed; check these out.
Malt flavoring or extract: Usually from barley, which contains gluten and is not safe in any amount. Malt is typically found in most grocery store cereals, which inclusion makes these cereals not safe for celiacs.
Maltodextrin: Usually from corn.
Modified food starch is one of the major nebulous terms to look for on labels. However, if the food label states the single word "starch," it is supposed to be cornstarch,(if it is manufactured in the U.S.), according to the FDA. At this time there does not seem to be a source of pure wheat starch, although in theory it could be made gluten free. Avoid wheat starch.
Mono- and Di-Glycerides: These are fats that inherently do not contain gluten.
Roquefort and Bleu Cheese: Although some bleu cheese/roquefort has been produced from mold on bread in the past and would be contaminated, most bleu cheese and roquefort is now started with chemicals, not bread mold.
Soy Sauce: Soy sauce is produced from soybeans and other ingredients, and sometimes wheat. Some soy sauces list wheat on labels and some do not Of course, Kikkoman’s is the common brand that contains wheat. San-J Tamari and La Choy seem to be gluten free at this time. Soy sauces in oriental restaurants should be suspect because they are usually imported and you don’t know the ingredients. Note that meats/poultry could be marinated in soy sauce in the kitchen, although the final dish does not contain soy sauce; ask. Oriental restaurants are difficult to eat in.
Soy sauce in many Thai restaurants could be made in Thailand and be free of gluten because wheat is not grown in Thailand. Ask the manager if the soy sauce is directly from Thailand and ask to see the bottle label.
CROSS CONTAMINATION: Cross contamination of gluten may inadvertently occur in your home kitchen or when eating out in a restaurant.
We advocate using a separate flour sifter for gluten-free flours. Also, using a separate butter dish and toaster oven that can be cleaned easily between uses would be recommended in order not to get bread crumbs accidentally onto the celiac’s special food. Remember to use two clean utensils when dipping into peanut butter, jelly, mayonnaise, etc., that everyone uses; use one for dipping and one for spreading. A helpful hint is to regularly mark GF food with a colored sticker in the refrigerator and freezer to help the whole family distinguish the special food.
Even though a manufacturer may state that a certain product is gluten free, it may not recognize that cross contamination can be a problem in processing: i.e., a conveyor belt dusted with flour, etc. This would be an additional question to ask a manufacturer. FDA labeling requirements do not address cross-contamination issues as yet.
COMMUNION WAFERS are another source of gluten. It is most critical in the Catholic church where communicants are not generally allowed to have the wine but only the host. It has been documented that celiacs can get sick by regularly ingesting the communion wafers. Just drinking the wine is an alternative, but don’t drink it if the wafers or bread are dipped in the wine (contamination). Ener-G Foods have gluten-free communion wafers. But your own church might allow a small cup of GF cracker pieces to be substituted. Hol-Grain crackers are easy to break into pieces.
SOUPS: Most commercial soups are NOT gluten free. An easy dry mix to substitute for "cream based’ soups is the following: 2 cups nonfat dry milk; 1 cup cornstarch; 2 TBSP dried onion flakes; and ½ tsp. black pepper. Combine and mix well. Store in an airtight container. This mix equals 9 cans of cream soup. (Mark ingredients and directions on container.) To make the equivalent of 1 can of condensed cream soup, combine 1/3 cup milk mix and 1-1/4 cups water. Cook and stir until thick. Since this is fat free, it adds flavor to sauté a chopped onion, and/or mushrooms in a little margarine/butter before adding the soup mix. Any other seasons may be added to taste. You may use the liquid from canned mushrooms for part of the water. V-8 juice makes a great tomato soup or vegetable soup base.
SOME SOURCES OF HIDDEN GLUTEN
Go to web site: www.celiac.com for further information on acceptable and "forbidden" ingredients.
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