Sources of Gluten th

The 3 main sources of gluten are wheat, barley, and rye.

Wheat is commonly found in:

  • Wheat flours (all-purpose flour, white flour, bromated flour, enriched flour, phosphated flour, self-rising flour, durum flour, farina, semolina, and graham flour)
  • Breads (pita, flatbread, naan, flour tortillas, cornbread, potato bread, rolls, buns, pizza crust, breadcrumbs, croutons, stuffing)
  • Baked goods (cakes, cookies, croissants, muffins, donuts, scones, cupcakes, pie crust, brownies, baking mixes)
  • Breakfast foods (cereal, pancakes, waffles, French toast, crepes, biscuits, bagels
  • Pasta (dumplings, ravioli, couscous, orzo, gnocchi)
  • Noodles (ramen, udon, soba—if made with only a percentage of buckwheat flour, chow mein, and egg noodles)
  • Snack foods (pretzels, crackers, goldfish, graham crackers, ice cream cones)
  • Sauces and gravies may use wheat flour as a thickener (traditional soy sauce, cream sauces made with roux)

Wheat also goes by different names. Other wheat-based products include:

  • Bulgur
  • Couscous
  • Durum
  • Einkorn
  • Emmer
  • Farina
  • Farro
  • Graham
  • Kamut
  • Matzoh
  • Orzo
  • Semolina
  • Spelt
  • Wheatberries
  • Wheat bran
  • Wheat germ
  • Wheat grass

Barley is commonly found in:

  • Malt (malted barley, malted milk and milkshakes, malt extract, malt syrup, malt flavoring, malt vinegar, malt beverages)
  • Cereal (corn flakes and rice puffs often contain malt extract/flavoring)
  • Beer
  • Brewer’s Yeast
  • Food coloring

Rye is commonly found in:

  • Rye bread, such as pumpernickel
  • Rye beer
  • Cereal

Other Grains

Oats are naturally gluten-free, but are often grown or processed side-by-side with gluten-containing grains. Because of the high risk of cross contamination, experts recommend those on a gluten-free diet consume only oats labeled as gluten-free.

Oats are commonly found in:

  • Bread (‘Oat nut’ or ‘multi-grain’)
  • Granola
  • Granola bars or energy bars
  • Cereal

Triticale is a hybrid of wheat and rye. It can potentially be found in:

  • Bread
  • Pasta
  • Cereal

Hidden Sources of Gluten

Gluten hides in many unsuspecting places! Manufacturers sometimes use gluten-containing ingredients to thicken, add texture to, or bind their products together. These ingredients can often be difficult to spot, because the terms “wheat”, “barley”, or “rye” are not always included in the ingredient’s name. Always read labels carefully!

Ingredients That May Contain Gluten

  • Starch or dextrin – could be made from any grain, including wheat
  • Gelatinized starch
  • Modified starch
  • Modified food starch
  • Vegetable starch
  • Cereal extract
  • Hydrolyzed wheat protein

Processed foods with many ingredients have the greatest risk of hidden gluten. These foods require careful labeling reading. When in doubt, ask the manufacturer about the ingredients to ensure your safety.

Foods That May Contain Gluten

  • French fries or other fried foods – often contain coating or batter made from wheat flour, or may be cross-contaminated from fryers
  • Breaded or battered foods like chicken nuggets or popcorn shrimp
  • Potato chips – chip seasonings may contain malt vinegar or wheat starch
  • Candy and candy bars
  • Ice cream
  • Rice cakes
  • Soup, stew, and chili may use flour as a thickener (especially cream soups). Many soups also contain barley
  • Broth
  • Sauces such as marinara or barbeque sauce
  • Processed meats – including hot dogs, bacon, sausages, bologna, and deli meats like ham or turkey
  • Multi-grain or “artisan” tortilla chips or tortillas – may not be entirely corn-based
  • Salad dressings and marinades – may contain malt vinegar, soy sauce, or flour
  • Brown rice syrup – may be made with barley enzymes
  • Meat substitutes made with seitan (wheat gluten) such as veggie burgers, vegetarian sausage, imitation bacon, or imitation seafood
  • Soy sauce
  • Pre-seasoned or pre-marinated meats
  • Seasoned nuts
  • Spice blends
  • Cheesecake filling – some recipes include wheat flour
  • Eggs served at restaurants – some restaurants put pancake batter in their scrambled eggs and omelets.

Sometimes gluten-containing ingredients are used in other products besides food. While we may not eat these products on purpose, sometimes we unintentionally ingest them. Be sure to check the label on these items to ensure they do not contain gluten.

Other Items That May Contain Gluten

  • Lipstick, lip gloss, and lip balm
  • Make-up and other cosmetics
  • Lotion
  • Communion wafers
  • Adhesive on stamps and envelopes
  • Herbal supplements or vitamins
  • Drugs and over-the-counter medications
  • Play-dough


While every effort has been made to make the information above as inclusive as possible, this is not intended to be an exhaustive listing of all gluten-containing products. It is your responsibility to read the product label or check with the manufacturer before consuming a product. Sunset is not responsible for individual reactions to any products, nor can it guarantee the absence of cross-contamination.