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Wheat Starch in the Gluten-Free Diet

Patients with celiac disease or a gluten intolerance often wonder if gluten-free wheat starch is truly safe for them. Wheat products are typically off-limits for this population due to their gluten content, but gluten-free wheat starch is the one exception.

What is Gluten-Free Wheat Starch?

Starch, of all kinds, can be made by refining any grain until its protein and fiber content are removed and all that’s left is carbohydrate. Wheat starch is simply a starch made from the processed endosperm of the wheat grain. Gluten-free wheat starch has had the gluten (a protein) washed out to a trace level, making it safe for people on a gluten-free diet.

Wheat Free vs. Gluten Free

It’s important to remember that gluten-free does not necessarily mean wheat free, and vice versa. Wheat starch is made from the same grain as wheat flour. Gluten-free wheat starch goes through extra steps of processing to remove the gluten, but for people who are intolerant or allergic to wheat – even if they are not sensitive to gluten – gluten-free wheat starch could provoke a negative reaction.

Wheat Starch in Gluten-Free Foods

Gluten-free wheat starch is a common ingredient in many gluten-free baked goods and breads. It will be listed as “codex wheat starch,” “gluten-free wheat starch” or “wheat starch” in the ingredients even if the products is gluten-free. Wheat will also be listed in the allergen statement. If the ingredient list just references “starch” as an ingredient, cornstarch likely used. Cornstarch is naturally gluten-free, however, as a precaution, always double-check that any product that contains flours or starches is certified gluten-free.

Schär has been using gluten-free wheat starch for over 20 years and employs a rigorous testing process for all product that enters the Schär facility. All gluten-free wheat starch goes through additional testing using the ELISA method to ensure it meets standards and over 90% of the gluten-free wheat starch that Schär uses tests below 5ppm (and all tests well below 20ppm).

And where does the gluten-free wheat starch get used? In Schär’s delicious baked goods, of course! This includes the Schär Gluten-Free Croissants and Pain Au Chocolat. You’ll fall in love with the authentic and fresh-baked flavor of these pastries after one bite. Use the store locator to find these and more products at your local grocery store.