Purbread Gluten Neutralized Bread: If you have a gluten-related disorder do not eat this bread!

Purbread Gluten Neutralized Bread: If you have a gluten-related disorder do not eat this bread!

Product Alert: Gluten Free Watchdog tested Purbread and not surprisingly it tested well above 20 ppm gluten. It contains as ingredients: Sour dough starter, Gluten neutralized white winter wheat, Raw pure honey, Pure maple syrup, Pure canola oil, Sea salt. Please do not eat this bread if you have celiac disease or non celiac gluten sensitivity.

Purbread is made and sold in Pennsylvania. We are aware of two stores that carry it–Westtown Amish Market and Martindales in Springfield.

The baker of this bread has been notified about the test results via email. We have also notified the FDA but it is unclear what if anything will be done. It sounds like this may be an intra-state issue. If you live in PA and are familiar with either of these markets, please keep an eye out for these products and use the comment section to let us know if Purbread products continue to be available. If you are willing to help get this bread removed from store shelves please let us know. This bread also may be sold at farmers markets.

Thank you to those of you who alerted GFWD to this product, took photos, and sent a loaf of the bread to GFWD for testing.

NOTE: If you live in PA and would like to help, the number for the FDA Consumer Complaint Coordinator in PA is 877-689-8073 (toll-free). Please call and report this bread. Please let them know that test results have been reported to FDA headquarters but that this may be a state issue (product appears to be made and sold in PA only). Please also contact the stores–Martindales in Springfield and the Westtown Amish Bakery and let them know that this bread was tested for gluten by Gluten Free Watchdog and tested very high for gluten. It is wheat bread and should not be promoted as an appropriate product for folks with CD/NCGS.

UPDATE: According to Martindales this bread has been removed from store shelves.


Share this post

Comments (79)


    great job here—reminiscent of Bob’s Bread affair—-ingredient label lists sourdough starter; do you think Purbread is using same misinterpretation of celiac/sourdough literature to support their claims of celiac “neutralization” as did Bob’s—where did they come up with that term anyway? Did you ask what their “neutralization” process was? To me this clearly seems to be a case of misleading the public even if the product is not labeled GF and would certainly hope FDA acts on it (by the way what happened what Bob’s Bread?)

    April 4, 2016 at 9:23 pm
    • Tricia Thompson Reply

      The bread we investigated previously through GFWD is Dan the Baker sourdough bread. After login you can read the follow-up at https://www.glutenfreewatchdog.org/product/dan-the-baker-country-sour-bread-not-labeled-gf/333 (or type “Dan the Baker” into the search engine). And yes, it appears to be the same issue. Some bakers seem to believe that sourdough bread is safe for people with celiac disease. They do not seem to understand that there is a difference between what can be accomplished in the laboratory using sourdough lactobacilli and fungal proteases and what can be achieved in a kitchen.

      April 5, 2016 at 12:33 pm
      • Barbara Warren Reply

        Linvilla Orchards, Middletown, PA., is carrying this bread. I just bought one today. Thanks for the heads up.

        April 16, 2016 at 10:21 pm
        • Tricia Thompson Reply

          Oh my. Thanks for letting me know. Martindales removed the bread from the store. I was hoping everyone else had done the same.

          April 18, 2016 at 1:24 pm
          • Joan

            This bread is sold frozen at Solanco Market, an Amish owned store on Rt. 272 in Southern Lancaster County, Pennsylvania

            July 31, 2020 at 7:11 pm
          • Tricia Thompson

            Thanks for letting me know. Is it being sold with “literature” suggesting it is safe for folks with celiac disease?

            August 2, 2020 at 5:31 pm
          • Dan

            It seems a bit odd that you would take down posts that are clearly not intending to mislead people ,but to give them facts about their circumstances. You seem to be taking this personally and preventing those of us who have had good experiences from posting shows something afoot. In that your website and service is a for profit venture, perhaps you are just trying to protect your own business model?

            August 2, 2020 at 10:46 pm
          • Tricia Thompson

            There are now 74 comments on this post but yes, I am no longer posting (not removing) misinformation about this bread. We’ve tested it. It contains above the highest standard using 2 assays: > 84 ppm using the sandwich R5 ELISA (tests for intact gluten); > 283 ppm using the competitive R5 ELISA (detects gluten protein fragments). There is nothing magical about this bread. The gluten is not “neutralized.” If anyone with celiac disease (or a medically diagnosed gluten related disorder) is eating this bread they should let their gastroenterologist know so that they can receive the appropriate follow-up medical care.

            August 2, 2020 at 11:26 pm
          • dan

            Thanks for the reply. So if I’m reading the whole thread correctly the fact that someone is feeling ok may be just surface? The gluten can still cause underlying issues? How serious? I know so many people who live this bread from when I had a small produce shop 5 yrs ago. It was astounding. Is there somewhere online u recommend I can read more to understand the underlying potential issues? I love science and this circumstance is very intriguing. Thanks.

            August 3, 2020 at 8:44 am
          • Tricia Thompson

            Correct. Not everyone with celiac disease experiences symptoms or experiences symptoms in the same way. If someone with celiac disease continues to eat wheat bread (e.g., Purbread) the results can be very serious. All you have to do is google signs and symptoms of untreated celiac disease. Here is a good place to start https://www.uptodate.com/contents/celiac-disease-in-adults-beyond-the-basics

            August 3, 2020 at 12:29 pm
          • Crysta

            I just bought this bread on 7/31/20 at the Amish Market in West Chester, PA. It is still being sold – I have it in my fridge now. Thank you for letting posting about this! It’s being sold for $9.99 with $2 off coupon. I specifically asked if this was safe for a gluten free diet and was told yes.

            August 3, 2020 at 10:56 pm
      • Jean Marie Dolloff-Haubert Reply

        I have a severe gluten intolerance and when eaten in large quantities I go into anaphylactic shock.
        Yesterday a coworker gave me a loaf of “Purbread Gluten Neutralized Cran Apple Bread Baked by Kate’s Bakery in GAP PA for PURBREAD of West Chester PA. Co-worker bought this at Kimberton Whole Foods in Kimberton PA ( NOT associated with the Wholefoods Chain stores) . Unfortunately this morning I ate a thick slice before looking up what the heck “Gluten Neutralized” meant. I’ll let you know if this amount makes me sick later. ( Diareah, stomach ache, intestinal cramps, malaise vomiting sweating etc.) I will take your advice and call and report the sale of this to the FDA.

        January 7, 2017 at 6:21 pm
      • Concetta Burns Reply

        Thank you for the information. Just bought a loaf of this bread at Kaufman’s at Bird in Hand in Lancaster County two days ago. I am not concerned with gluten and bought to taste out of curiosity. However, if someone has an issue with gluten, it could make they sick.

        December 5, 2018 at 5:42 pm
      • Carol Sutton Reply

        I received a loaf of Gluten Neutralized Banana Choc. Chip Bread as a gift from a friend who purchased it from KImberton Whole Foods in Dowmingtown, PA on Saturday, June 29, 2019. I do not have gluten issues but as I was slicing a piece for breakfast today I became curious as to what “Gluten Neutralized” means and what additives are used to accomplish this. I have been reading the comments and am surprised that this is an issue for over 3 years! They are still selling it – and for $7.99! It is made by Kate’s Bakery in Christiana, PA for PUREBREAD, of West Chester, PA. For questions call 610-333-3931.

        July 5, 2019 at 12:31 pm
  • Andrea Reply

    There’s a local baker in Winter Park, FL that tried to tell me the same thing about their sourdough!

    April 5, 2016 at 5:59 pm
    • Tricia Thompson Reply

      Ugh! Does the baker label the product “gluten-free” or publicly promote the bread as “safe” for people with gluten-related disorders?

      April 5, 2016 at 6:52 pm
      • Melanie Reply

        My mother in law just purchased this at KIMBERTON Oct 2020 and she has recently been diagnosed as celiac and a rash that is related to her condition came back after eating a few pieces. We googled the term “neutralized gluten” and this article popped up.

        October 13, 2020 at 6:33 pm
  • Katie Reply

    Have you sent your results to the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture? They regulate food safety within the state. I would think this falls under that umbrella.

    April 5, 2016 at 8:25 pm
    • Tricia Thompson Reply

      No, test results have not been sent to them. Do you have a contact person and email address? Thank you!

      April 5, 2016 at 8:27 pm
  • z Reply

    Google Paul Seelig in North Carolina. He got 11 years.

    April 6, 2016 at 1:50 am
    • Tricia Thompson Reply

      This is not quite the same situation. From what I understand, Mr Seelig (or someone acting on his behalf) was removing regular wheat bread from its original packaging and placing it in gluten-free packaging. Purbread products are not labeled gluten-free. Regardless, this bread should not be eaten by folks with CD/NCGS and it must be removed from store shelves.

      April 6, 2016 at 11:45 am
  • Melissa Belser Reply

    It is beyond frustrating to see this kind of labeling going on. It is hard enough for new Celiacs/NCGS to do the diet in addition to having to wade through this type of labeling confusion. Thank you for doing what you do!

    April 7, 2016 at 3:10 pm
  • Amy Reply

    I understand the concern over the bread’s label, but why must it be “removed from store shelves”?? Why can’t they just change the label? People who don’t have celiac should still be allowed to purchase and eat sourdough bread.

    April 8, 2016 at 10:28 am
    • Tricia Thompson Reply

      Removing product from store shelves refers to current inventory.

      April 8, 2016 at 1:30 pm
    • Tracy Reply

      I totally agree. Why witch hunt these poor people. No where on label does it say gluten free. I can’t eat the hybridized American wheat but I can eat this. I’d be sad to see it taken off shelves. The sour dough culture eats whatever in the bread I can’t eat. It is lovely to be able to go to a store and buy an awesome tasting loaf of bread. It’s been a long time since I’ve been able to do that. I’d hate to see people run them out of business. If you are a celiac don’t eat it as wheat is listed as the second ingredient. But why ruin it for everyone. Some personal responsibility has to be taken for just not being stupid. If you are allergic to wheat then don’t eat something that has wheat in the ingredient list. Duh.

      October 31, 2018 at 12:07 pm
      • Tricia Thompson Reply

        Hi Tracy, The folks at Purbread should stop labeling this bread as “gluten neutralized.” They should also stop promoting it as “safe for those with gluten allergies” which they recently stated on their Facebook page.

        October 31, 2018 at 12:16 pm
  • Carol Reply

    My daughter is not able to eat gluten, however, we were traveling through PA last week and saw this bread for sale. We purchased it and she has eaten it with NO problems! I was actually online tonight trying to find out if we can have it shipped to us and came across this.

    April 20, 2016 at 2:48 am
    • Tricia Thompson Reply

      Hi Carol, If your daughter can not eat gluten for medical reasons then she should not eat this bread. The bread tested > 84 ppm gluten using the sandwich R5 ELISA and > 283 ppm gluten using the competitive R5 ELISA.

      April 20, 2016 at 1:44 pm
  • Marianne Reply

    I purchased this bread and after trying it and feeling the side effects decided to do a google search. I suppose should have conducted a search prior to consumption-

    April 20, 2016 at 6:57 pm
  • Erica Reply

    I just bought this bread at the Wayne Farmers Market yesterday. They told me the gluten was removed, and that the bakery making it had been working on that process for years. As I look at the bread label more closely now it says “not recommended for Celiac”, but I’m pretty sure that the Bakery I purchased it at had a sign that said “Gluten Free”. I’m very happy that I found this website. Thank you!

    June 12, 2016 at 1:55 pm
    • Tricia Thompson Reply

      Hi Erica, My apologies for not responding to your comment earlier. Does the label itself state “not recommended for celiac” or is this statement included in a leaflet provided with the bread? Also, does the ingredients list include the word “wheat” or just “flour.” Thanks for any additional information.

      June 19, 2016 at 9:33 pm
  • David Pusey Reply

    Hmmmm…that’s weird. My mom has Celiac and I have a strong gluten intolerance and this is the first time I’ve been able to eat something made from wheat. Neither myself or my mom have any symptoms from eating PurBread’s loaves. We love them. I only eat maybe 2 to 4 slices of bread since I don’t typically eat sandwiches, but man this stuff if better than anything glute-free I’ve ever had. I think I’m confused by the test results because the bread isn’t advertised as gluten free but gluten neutralized, so it makes sense that it is still in the bread, right?

    August 7, 2016 at 12:08 am
    • Tricia Thompson Reply

      If your mom has celiac disease she should not eat this bread. If you have medically diagnosed NCGS you should not eat this bread. This bread tastes “better” to you than other gluten-free breads because it is not gluten-free. Gluten neutralized has no meaning–it is a made-up term. It is being used in this sense to indicate (wrongly) that the sourdough has broken down the gluten in the wheat.

      August 9, 2016 at 12:56 pm
  • Carl Reply

    I do have Celiac and I usually have a bad reaction even with a small amount of contamination so I was surprised when I found this post (i guess I should have searched before I ate it). I just purchased this bread at the new Westtown Amish Market on 926 in Westtown PA yesterday and ate some this morning. So far, no issues. At the Amish Market they have a one page handout explaining the process and stating that it’s safe for Celiac’s. The handout also explains that they don’t remove the gluten so, to me, it makes sense that your testing shows gluten. Their pitch is that the fermentation process over 2 days (as it was done prior to 1950) changes the gluten from bad to good (in so many word). Is this possible? Are you just relying on the gluten tests or have you done more research?

    I don’t want to get sick so I will hold off on eating more until I find more info on this product.

    August 12, 2016 at 8:19 pm
    • Tricia Thompson Reply

      Carl, If you have celiac disease you should not eat this bread. It is a wheat-based bread. Can you please take photos of the label on your loaf of bread and the handout you picked up at the store and email them to me? There is no such thing as “neutralized” gluten. When we test for gluten, we are testing for certain sequences of amino acids found in gluten-containing grains. If gluten is detected it is in the product. There is no such thing as changing gluten from bad to good. Gluten is gluten period. For more information please read the information at https://www.glutenfreewatchdog.org/product/dan-the-baker-country-sour-bread-not-labeled-gf/333

      August 15, 2016 at 6:45 pm
  • brigid Reply

    Its now at booths corners farmers market in bethel township, pa

    August 27, 2016 at 11:12 pm
  • Tricia Thompson Reply

    D. Ann, In response I refer you back to my reply to Carl. The manufacturer of this bread should not be marketing this product to folks with a gluten-related disorder and this bread should not be promoted as gluten neutralized. This bread contains gluten–and a lot of it.

    September 16, 2016 at 1:24 pm
    • shirley r shea Reply

      I have a serious gluten intolerance and have been able to eat this. Whatever the magic is it works for me

      October 13, 2019 at 12:51 am
      • Tricia Thompson Reply

        Folks with medically diagnosed gluten related disorders should not eat this bread. It contains both intact gluten protein and gluten protein fragments. There is nothing magical about this bread.

        October 16, 2019 at 2:46 pm
  • Mike S Reply

    This bread is also being sold at Lancaster County Farmer’s Market in Wayne, PA. $12/loaf

    October 14, 2016 at 6:32 pm
  • Amy Reply

    My dad and I just bought a loaf each for $9 at Linville Orchards. I asked at the bakery counter if they had anything gluten free and she directed me to the shelf that contained multiple types of this bread.

    October 18, 2016 at 10:39 pm
    • Tricia Thompson Reply

      Amy, Do you have celiac disease? If so, you should not eat “gluten neutralized” Purbread.

      October 19, 2016 at 3:34 pm
  • Kris Laubscher Reply

    Still available at the westtown market. My parents just texted me to ask what it meant. I

    November 10, 2016 at 6:00 pm
  • Anita M Reply

    I just bought a loaf of this at Solanco Market, Peach Bottom, PA

    November 21, 2016 at 10:24 am
    • Tricia Thompson Reply

      Anita, is the bread labeled “gluten neutralized”?

      November 21, 2016 at 1:17 pm
  • Danielle Cesare Reply

    They sell this bread at Kimberton Whole Foods in Kimberton, PA in Chester County. I would hope that anyone with gluten issues would read the ingredients and see that “wheat” is on the list. Very upsetting that a company is trying to mislead consumers.

    January 3, 2017 at 8:29 pm
    • Tricia Thompson Reply

      Thank you, Danielle. I am astounded that this bread continues to be sold. Is it still promoted as “gluten neutralized.”

      January 3, 2017 at 8:33 pm
  • TB Reply

    It is available at the Ardmore farmers market as of today 1.7.2017. I had no idea what “gluten neutralized” meant, so i Googled it and found this site. Thanks for the heads up!

    January 7, 2017 at 7:06 pm
    • Sami Reply

      I got one at ardmore today too and found tbis site exa tly the way you did!

      August 13, 2017 at 2:53 am
  • DM Reply

    Coop in Swarthmore PA selling their breads and loaves such as pumpkin.

    January 19, 2017 at 6:22 pm
  • CIR Reply

    NOTE from Gluten Free Watchdog: This message has been edited (certain statements removed). We have not yet been able to independently verify the health inspection report.

    This product is for sale at the Westtown Amish Market being sold by an Amish women who owns a health food store. There is not a health dept license at her area, so we cannot report this locally. I did see that she got a citation for the bread in 2016. (below)

    Inspection Violations: 3/18/2016
    EMMA’S HEALTHY CHOICES LLC @WAFM 1165 WILMINGTON PIKE West Chester, PA 19382 610-822-4422
    46.211 Explain Code Submit
    Inspector Comments
    –Food Facility Person in Charge not able to provide documentation that pre-packaged breads (some labeled gluten neutralized) are from an approved source. These products may not be offered to the public until documentation is provided indicating that it is from an approved source.

    February 25, 2017 at 3:51 pm
  • Jo Ann DeBiasio Reply

    Kimberton wholefoods in Downingtown PA has the Purbreads. All flavors. It’s label says contains wheat and eggs. The bakery it’s from is Kate’s Bakery (Gap, PA) for Purbread (West Chester). Questions call 610-333-3931 mypurbread@gmail.com

    March 3, 2017 at 12:12 am
    • Tricia Thompson Reply

      Jo Ann, Does the label still read “gluten neutralized.”

      March 7, 2017 at 5:09 pm
      • Steve Rhoads Reply

        Yes, we just saw this bread at Kimberton’s Whole Foods in Malvern – and it still labeled “gluten-neutralized”.

        August 19, 2017 at 10:14 pm
  • Paula Reply

    I purchased this bread, and have a wheat intolerance. I had no issues with this bread. They are not saying it is gluten free. They are saying it is gluten neutralized. There are a lot of people with gluten intolerances that can handle sourdough breads, and breads that allow the dough to ferment up to 24 hours. This neutralizes the phytic acid in the wheat that seems to be the culprit. I don’t see how they are being deceptive. The ingredients is on the package. It doesn’t say gluten free. There is evidence that if you soak the flours, it helps

    April 23, 2017 at 12:12 am
    • Tricia Thompson Reply

      Again, to anyone with a gluten-related disorder, wheat allergy, etc, please do not eat sourdough wheat bread.

      April 23, 2017 at 7:16 pm
      • Sami Reply

        Hi. I just got a loaf of the apple at the Amish Stand at the Farmers Market In Ardmore PA. The label says gluten neutralized but nowhere on the label does it say ids safe for celiac folk. Nor does it say gluten free. However, when i picked up a loaf to read the ingredients, the young sales lady assumed i was looking at it because of gluten (i was Actually looking for a bread without dairy) and she said stuff thatcant possibly be true and i think could be misleading to those who are gluten intolerant. I will look at the label again to see if theres fine print anywhere. .

        August 13, 2017 at 2:48 am
        • Tricia Thompson Reply

          I’m curious to know what types of verbal claims the vendor is making to consumers.

          August 14, 2017 at 2:28 pm
  • Shane Taft Reply

    Pretty funny that everyone here who says they ate it and didn’t have any reaction doesn’t seem to count for anything. Plenty of research shows that artisan breads such as sourdough are well tolerated in people with gluten sensitivities- yes even with celiacs

    June 18, 2017 at 8:19 am
    • Tricia Thompson Reply

      Shane, There is no scientific research published in the peer review literature that has found commercially available artisan breads to be well tolerated by folks with celiac disease. If you have celiac disease and you have been eating sourdough wheat bread (or any other bread using wheat grain) my recommendation is to have your antibody levels checked.

      June 19, 2017 at 4:56 pm
      • Josephine Reply

        Hi there. I have a severe gluten intolerance and my brother has celiac. I have been eating this bread for about a year and have absolutely NO problems whatsoever. I love it. My brother will throw up if he eats any gluten. I told him about this bread and he decided to try a small piece of it. He had no problem. I know you are trying to help people, but I believe there is something to gluten neutralization.

        July 22, 2017 at 3:59 pm
        • Tricia Thompson Reply

          Hi Josephine, There is no such thing as gluten neutralized bread. It is my very strong recommendation that your brother inform his gastroenterologist and dietitian that he has been eating this bread. He should share the test results (gluten content) of this bread with them as well.

          July 25, 2017 at 6:24 pm
  • Tricia Thompson Reply

    Folks, just an FYI that if you are sending comments about Purbread and how it is okay for folks with celiac disease and non celiac gluten sensitivity to eat, they are no longer being posted. Commercially available sourdough bread is NOT safe for those with medically diagnosed gluten-related disorders.

    The study that is mentioned by some who believe sourdough bread is safe for folks with celiac disease is a 2011 study by researchers Greco et al. What the researchers actually report: When two study participants ate baked goods made using extensively hydrolyzed flour (gluten reduced 97% and containing 2,480 ppm gluten) no clinical complaints were reported BUT they developed SUBTOTAL ATROPHY of their intestinal mucosa. In other words (and not surprisingly) these products are NOT safe for people with celiac disease. The researchers write, “Two CD patients consumed 200 g of S1BG that contained ~ 2480 +/- 86 ppm of residual gluten. They had no clinical complaints during the 60 days. One showed increased antibodies and both showed increased CD3 and gamma-delta intraepithelial lymphocytes with subtotal atrophy after challenge.” The products that the study researchers believe may have potential use in gluten-free diets are those that have been fully hydrolyzed (8 parts per million of gluten) through sourdough lactobacilli and fungal proteases. This type of product is not manufactured commercially.

    November 5, 2017 at 2:53 pm
  • Jessica Reply

    Just a thought but maybe the folks that are having success with the Pur bread are really folks with IBS issues who are benefiting from the low FODMAP properties of the Pur Bread. We have gluten intolerance but are VERY sensitive to gluten products. I’m curious to try the Pur bread as we are only dealing with GI discomfort.
    Passing along this interesting article from Monash:

    December 29, 2017 at 5:11 am
    • Tricia Thompson Reply

      Yes, if someone is following a low FODMAP diet, some sourdough breads may be low in FODMAPs and acceptable on the diet. However, folks on a gluten-free diet for medical reasons, including celiac disease should not eat this bread or any other commercially available wheat-based sourdough bread. They contain high levels of intact gluten.

      January 5, 2018 at 3:33 pm
  • K Reply

    This bread is being sold in Kimberton Whole Foods in SE PA!

    July 29, 2018 at 11:06 pm
    • Tricia Thompson Reply

      Thanks for letting me know. Does Whole Foods include a gluten-free shelf tag or any literature alongside this bread?

      July 31, 2018 at 9:06 pm
  • J Reply

    Kaufman’s in Lancaster County PA is selling this bread!

    December 4, 2018 at 7:24 pm
  • Colleen Reply

    Linvilla Orchards, Middletown, PA., is still selling it and the label still says “gluten neutralized”.

    February 10, 2019 at 4:59 pm
    • Tricia Thompson Reply

      Thanks for the information, Colleen. Do you remember if “wheat” is declared in the ingredients list or Contains statement?

      February 11, 2019 at 10:26 pm
  • Richard Sigwald Reply

    My mother in law literally just texted me a photo of this bread at Linvilla Orchards in Media PA

    August 23, 2019 at 5:17 pm
  • Sandy koenig Reply

    Today we purchased zucchini bread that is labeled gluten-neutralized and made by Purebread. We purchased this at kimberton whole foods in kimberton, pa.
    We read your postings and will be returning the bread to them early next week and asking them to remove such labeled breads from their markets.
    It is a shame. They have stopped carrying Rose’s gluten free breads and rolls that are made in West Chester PA. They were really tasty breads!

    September 7, 2019 at 1:38 am
    • Tricia Thompson Reply

      Hi Sandy, Is the store still providing literature at point of sale stating that the bread is appropriate for folks with celiac disease?

      September 10, 2019 at 5:24 pm

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *