25 Foods You Didn't Know Contained Gluten Slideshow

Barbecue Sauce

Be aware during your next summer party: Some barbecue sauces use gluten or modified food starch as a thickener.


Our favorite game day and summertime drink, beer, is made with barley. Fortunately, a number of craft brewers provide tasty gluten-free alternatives.

Brown Rice Syrup

Not the sexiest food item, but brown rice syrup is found in a number of processed foods. It is sometimes hailed as a healthier sugar alternative, but the enzymes used to break the brown rice down into a syrupy sweetener are often derived from barley.

California Rolls

The imitation crab meat that sits at the roll's center is actually made from a combination of Alaskan pollock and wheat binder. If you're especially sensitive to gluten, you might want to stick to the salmon.

Curry Powder

Spices seem pure and unadulterated, but many manufacturers actually lace their spices with flour or other starches. Curry powder in particular has been found to contain trace amounts of wheat to achieve a smooth texture as it cooks.

Fudgesicle Fudge Pops

Is nothing sacred? The Fudgesicle Fudge Pops fawned over by children across the country may contain gluten in the form of malt extract, another barley-derived ingredient.


Some recipes exclude gluten, but this cold, tomato-based soup is traditionally made with Mediterranean vegetables and a slab of crustless bread soaked in sherry vinegar and puréed along with the tomatoes and such.

Hot Dogs

The bun is an obvious source of gluten, but the dog itself can contain traces of wheat as well in the form of both filler and binder.

Ice Creams

Although many ice creams don't contain any gluten, some use wheat flour as a thickening agent. The more common source of gluten in ice cream is mix-ins like cookie dough or candy pieces.

instant Ramen Noodles

It can be easy to forget that cheap instant ramen contains any real ingredients, but the first item listed on the package is enriched wheat flour.


You either love licorice or you don't. For those who do, be aware that wheat flour is used to bind all the ingredients and give the licorice its signature stretchy characteristic.

Marinated or Pre-Seasoned Proteins

Marinated fish, chicken, or even vegetable-based proteins are all vulnerable to gluten contamination. Many times the specific ingredients aren't labeled. Be wary of any Asian-inspired marinades because they often contain soy sauce, sometimes made with wheat (see below). 


Even though they are meant to keep you healthy, the vitamin and supplement industry is highly unregulated. Wheat starch is often used as a filler to give the vitamin bulk.


Although not often considered bread, naan contains just as much wheat as your typical grocery store loaf.

Packaged Gravies

If you've ever made gravy from scratch, you might the recall the step of making the roux; slowly mixing a combination of butter and flour into a brown paste. This thickening agent is the base of many packaged gravies, giving them their signature creamy finish.

Panko Breadcrumbs

Panko is a wheat-derived breadcrumb of Japanese origin used to give fish and chicken a noticeable crunch. If you still want the texture — only without the gluten — try a gluten-free breadcrumb brand such as Ian's.


Pickles only contain gluten if they're brined in a base of malt vinegar, a barley derivative. Always check the ingredient label if there's any doubt, or just make your own.


Any pie has to be suspect because conventional pie crusts all contain gluten.

Processed Lunch Meats

This one is controversial.  Many deli meats claim to be gluten-free, but the same companies have released specific lines of gluten-free meats, raising the question of why they needed a separate product in the first place. The interesting thing about deli meats is that they are monitored by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, as opposed to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and are regulated by a different gluten-free standard than most other food products.


Another popular summertime treat: It's not the chocolate or marshmallow you need to watch out for, but the graham cracker is a major source of gluten.

Salad Dressings

Many salad dressings have updated their recipes to exclude any wheat or barley-derived additives, but it is still a possible gluten culprit.


Cream of mushroom soup is actually more wheat than dairy. Gluten gives these "cream-based" soups their viscous texture. Any celiac shopper should also be wary of soups with added barley, or even simple boxed chicken and beef broth, which may contain a wheat-derived ingredient.

Soy Sauce

This versatile and umami-rich flavoring agent is one of the most deceptive items on the list. Although many soy sauces do contain wheat, "naturally fermented" soy sauces have been found to contain less than the 20 parts per million required for gluten-free products, making them an acceptable alternative to conventional soy sauce.


Wasabi seems harmless (except for your sinuses), but the green sushi condiment can sometimes contain a wheat-based food coloring to achieve its signature hue. Its close proximity to soy sauce also increases the odds of cross contamination.

Worcestershire Sauce

Worcestershire sauce is a classic condiment that is added to everything from hamburgers and marinades to salad dressings. Unfortunately for the gluten-intolerant and -sensitive, it's made with both soy sauce and malt vinegar.