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ARTICLES > ASK PENNY

SPOTTING WHEAT-DERIVED INGREDIENTS

Why are there wheat-derived ingredients in gluten-free products? Accredited Practising Dietitian and health expert Penny Dellsperger explains.

By Penny Dellsperger
Why are there wheat-derived ingredients in this gluten-free food product? Some ingredients are highly processed that they are safe.
There are some wheat-derived ingredients safe for a gluten-free diet.

WHY ARE THERE WHEAT-DERIVED INGREDIENTS IN THIS GLUTEN-FREE FOOD PRODUCT?

It can be confusing when you find a wheat-derived ingredient in a product that claims to be gluten free. This happens because: 

  • Some wheat-derived ingredients – such as glucose, and caramel colour – are so highly processed that they’re suitable for a gluten-free diet.
  • It is possible for a gluten-derived ingredient (that we would normally advise be avoided) to be present in a gluten-free product if the ingredient is diluted to a significant degree and the level of processing results in no gluten being detectable in the final product.

THE WHEATS YOU CAN EAT!

Some ingredients are so highly processed that even though a wheat source is indicated, they are suitable for a gluten-free diet. If you see these ‘exceptions’ on the list, it’s still okay for you to eat the product: 

  • Wheat-derived glucose 
  • Caramel colour (150) from wheat 
  • Dextrose from wheat 
  • Fructose (wheat) 
  • Maltose (wheat) 
  • Sorbitol (wheat) 
  • Maltitol 965 (wheat) 
  • Glucono delta-lactone 575 (wheat)
  • Glutamate based flavours 620-625 (wheat)

Note: Manufacturers are not required to declare when glucose syrup is wheat-derived if detectable gluten levels in the glucose syrup do not exceed 20ppm. Coeliac Australia considers wheat-derived glucose to be suitable for the gluten-free diet.

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We know living gluten free comes with changes and sometimes a lot of questions – share yours for some good advice from Penny.

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