Checking Labels on Every Item in My Pantry

Two days ago I went for bloodwork, at the direction of my gastroenterologist, to see if my celiac antibody numbers have gone down since she yelled at me a couple of months ago for the numbers being way too high. I’m a nervous wreck waiting to hear the results.

Today I decided to go through my pantry and check all labels for any gluten-containing ingredients. You never can be too careful when other members of the household, who are not celiac, do some of the grocery shopping. Standing there, armed with my list of buzz words that are forbidden, I went through everything one-by-one.

Not Allowed

Malt, Malt syrup, Malt extract, Smoke flavoring, Malt beverages (no hard lemonade for me) Malted milk, Malt vinegar and Brewer’s yeast. I do happen to like pickles and eat a lot of them. I knew the jar of B&G pickle spears were safe. Several months ago I contacted B&G expressing my concern about the vinegar they use being malt vinegar.IMG_3265

They sent me a very nice email in response stating that the vinegar they use is sourced from corn.




Rye is always listed as “rye” on a label. There are no derivatives of rye used in prepared products.

Modified Food Starch can be made from wheat but in the US it is usually derived from corn. Under the allergy labeling law, if a prepared food product contains modified food starch made from wheat, the label will clearly indicate “wheat”. Packaged foods are regulated by the FDA and that means that the labeling has to show if there is gluten in the product.  That’s not true, however, of foods regulated by the USDA. Meat and eggs fall under the USDA and they are not required to follow the same labeling regulations as the FDA.

Confusing terms that you might not be sure if they contain gluten are: Dextrose, Maltose, Glucose syrup, Isomalt and Maltodextrin. Here is an easy little tip for you. They are all “o” words which means they are OK to eat.

Until next time…