Dextrin is a carbohydrate that is hydrolyzed from starches. It may or may not be gluten free depending on the starting material. However, most dextrin is derived from corn in the United States. If the dextrin is derived from wheat, it has to be disclosed and labeled per the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act (FALCPA) for foods regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
For products that do not fall under FALCPA such as foods regulated under the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) or medications, you should check with the manufacturer where the starting material of the dextrin is from.
Dextrin from wheat should be avoided UNLESS the product is labeled gluten free. If a product is labeled gluten free and contains wheat dextrin, the product has to contain less than 20 parts per million of gluten and should be safe for those with celiac disease. However, if you have an allergy to wheat, it might still be a problem.
Note that dextrin is not to be confused with maltodextrin. Maltodextrin is considered gluten-free regardless of starting material. Read more about maltodextrin here:
Also check out our page about confusing ingredients here:
Reviewed October 21, 2022.
Note: This information is provided by NCA and Katarina Mollo MEd, RDN, LDN, NCA's Director of Education. This information is meant for educational purposes only and is not intended to substitute for personalized medical advice or replace any medical advice provided directly to you by your health care provider. No liability is assumed by the NCA or Katarina Mollo, MEd, RDN, LDN by providing this information.