Yeast extract and other words to look for in the ingredients list of foods NOT labeled gluten-free

Yeast extract and other words to look for in the ingredients list of foods NOT labeled gluten-free

In Honor of Celiac Disease Awareness Month, Gluten Free Watchdog is writing a series of articles (the goal is one per day during the month of May) related to the gluten-free diet–currently the ONLY treatment for celiac disease.

Post (#16)…

Please read the following information carefully. It can get very confusing very fast.

The following list applies to packaged foods regulated by the FDA (USDA regulated foods will be addressed in another post). FDA regulated packaged foods must comply with the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act (FALCPA). What this means in a nutshell: If a food includes an ingredient that contains wheat protein, the word wheat must be included in either the ingredients list or the Contains statement. This is also true for Crustacean shellfish, eggs, fish, milk, peanuts, soy, and tree nuts.

As a result of FALCPA, the number of words you must look for in an ingredients list has drastically decreased. In other words, if “starch” is “wheat starch” the word wheat must be included in the ingredients list or Contains statement. If “modified food starch” is “modified wheat starch” the word wheat must be included in the ingredients list or Contains statement. If “dextrin” is “wheat dextrin” the word wheat must be included in the ingredients list or Contains statement. Etc., Etc., Etc.

Note: While wheat starch and wheat starch hydrolysates, such as wheat dextrin are not intended to contain wheat protein, residual wheat protein may remain.

If a food product regulated by the FDA is NOT labeled gluten-free, the food should be avoided if any of the following words are included in the ingredients list (or the Contains statement in the case of wheat):

  • Wheat
  • Rye
  • Barley
  • Oats
  • Malt
    • (Unless a gluten-free grain is named as the source, such as corn malt)
  • Brewer’s yeast
    • (May be made from spent yeast and may be contaminated with gluten-containing grain and malt)
  • Yeast extract
    • (May be made from spent yeast and may be contaminated with gluten-containing grain and malt)

In upcoming posts, certain ingredients will be discussed in depth, including yeast extract and smoke flavoring.

Note: If you are a dietitian and you are interested in exploring labeling and ingredients in greater depth, you may find the second edition of the Academy’s Pocket Guide to Gluten-Free Strategies helpful (see book photo).

Tomorrow’s Post: Ingredient Information Yeast Extract & Barley

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Comments (5)

  • Bonnie
    Reply

    Dear Tricia, Thank you for your last 2 postings. The information contained therein is clear, direct, informative, well organized, and comprehensible. I will read them both everyday for the rest of the month so that my brain can automatically and easily reference this info….because….no matter how many times I have reviewed various forms of it in the past, I am still challenged with “wrapping it around my head”. And the more I learn, the more questions I have. Too bad ignorance isn’t blissful in this case. – Bonnie

    May 16, 2017 at 8:41 pm
    • Tricia Thompson Reply

      This is so good to hear, Bonnie. My goal is to break down what is often overwhelming information into understandable bits.

      May 16, 2017 at 10:17 pm
  • Kathy 48 Reply

    I think I have IBS.
    I’m able to pretty well control the symptoms if I carefully watch what I eat.
    I also have doxycycline and dairy free tablets if needed.

    Knowledge is power! Thank you~

    March 28, 2019 at 7:55 pm
  • Belladonna DuBois Reply

    I would like to try a yeast free diet without going crazy. Is it okay to simply start by not eating anything that has yeast or yeast extract listed on the ingredients list?

    August 11, 2020 at 3:45 am

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