Wheat Starch; More Confusion for Those with Celiac Disease or Wheat Allergy!

From January 2015 Newsletter

Gluten Free Living just published a great article about Wheat Starch stating that GF Foods in the US can now include “Wheat Starch” that was once banned from GF food.  Under the new US FDA rules, wheat starch in gluten-free foods can now be used if the wheat starch is specially processed to remove the gluten.  There are some companies that say it improves the flavor and texture in certain products and it has been used in Europe for 10 years or so.  Why is this so?  Because the new FDA rules state that a product can be called GF if the wheat, rye or barley has been processed to remove the gluten protein.

Wheat starch that has been processed to remove gluten is called “Codex Wheat Starch” and studies show that it is not harmful for those who have Celiac Disease.  When it is used in a food labeled GF, it must appear in the ingredient list and wheat will also appear in the “Contains” statement on the label.  Also, the label must state that the “wheat has been processed to allow this food to meet the FDA requirements for gluten-free foods”.  According to Pam Cureton, R.D., from the Center for Celiac Research in Boston, if the label only says “starch”, it means cornstarch. Pam went on to say that those products containing wheat starch are absolutely safe for Celiacs, but it must also state that it is GF.  As many of you know, I trust what Pam says and I go to her often when I have questions.

However, I personally won’t be using it here at One Dish Cuisine.  It raises a concern for me when it comes to customers with a wheat allergy. So, be aware out there folks especially if you have a Wheat Allergy and have been relying on gluten free products.  Dr Schar says they will be using “codex wheat starch” in some of their products.

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