Lollies, chocolate and ice-cream are one of the things sweet-tooth coeliacs miss the most on a gluten free diet. Interestingly wheat glucose is gluten free due to the nature of the process in which it is made. Many of those without coeliac disease don’t know this though so we are often faced with a flat out ‘no’ when asking at a cafe if the ice cream is gluten free...no long awaited iced coffee.

Some good news though for those of you who are being skilled up on reading labels to be gluten free. Even when derived from wheat, rye, barley or oats - dextrose, glucose, glucose syrup, caramel colour and colour (150) contain no detectable gluten. The end product is very pure and contains no protein from the original source which is where gluten is found.

Tip: Anything ending with -ose on a label is actually gluten free. This includes dextrose, glucose and glucose syrup.

An example

Ice cream label reading
Ingredients: water, cream (15%), sugar, milk solids, glucose syrup (wheat), maltodextrin, vegetable origin emulsifiers [477, 471, (soy)], flavour, vegetable gum (412).
Contains milk, wheat and soy.

As you can see all of the allergens listed at the bottom in the contains clause are also highlighted throughout. This means that the wheat in the contains clause is reflective of the glucose syrup that references wheat in brackets next to it. In other words because glucose is safe for those on a gluten free diet this particular ice cream is okay.

What about the maltodextrin you scream? If any allergen is present in food in Australia it must clearly state it on the label. If the maltodextrin was in fact produced from a gluten containing grain it would have state it in brackets after the ingredient, as with the glucose syrup, the face that it doesn’t means this particular form must be derived from rice, corn or potato starch. Read our post on understanding the derivatives of gluten containing grains for more information.