Gluten Allergy and Potato Chips | Allergy

Gluten Allergy and Potato Chips

by Allergy Guy

Gluten allergy avoidance means sticking to safe foods.  Some foods are always safe.  What about potato chips?

This seems like a silly question.  Of course potato chips are gluten free!  Or are they?

For the first few years of my gluten free diet, I assumed potato chips were safe.  It never occurred to me that this snack might have wheat added to it.

If the fact that this article exists at all gives you a sense of foreboding, and the wording so far does nothing to encourage you, then you’re already starting to get the idea.

The fact is that potato chips should not have wheat or gluten in them.  ‘Should’ is a loaded word.  Don’t let such assumptions fool you.

I was happily munching on potato chips one day a few years back, when it occurred to me that I should check the ingredients.

I was shocked to see wheat as one of the ingredients!

Wheat in potato chips?!  I was incensed!  Especially as I was already eating them, and had several weeks of misery to look forward to.

It taught me an important lesson, and I hope to pass it on to you before you make such mistakes with your gluten allergy.

Always read ingredients.

Never make assumptions.

Read the ingredients a second time, just to be sure.

That’s what I learned from the potato chip fiasco.

More specifically, I also learned that most brands are OK, but a few are not.

Some use wheat flour to help spread the flavor over the chips, so watch out for brands that are flavored.  But watch out for brands that are not flavored also.

For example, some brands, Pringles comes to mind, are not true potato chips.  Rather than slicing up whole potatoes and deep-frying them, some brands much up the potatoes, then combine them with ingredients that have nothing to do with potato chips, such as wheat and god knows what else.

They take this slurry and use it to form perfectly uniform chips which fit into the tubular packaging.

Chips they are, potato chips they are not.

If you have a gluten allergy, you will be generally safe with potato chips, but there are some exceptions.  Watch out for them!

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

1 MrBob February 27, 2012 at 12:57

Good to know. I was wondering if potato chips were legal. I’ll have to check.

(Also, 5th paragraph now, typo – “potato ships”)

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