When we first start out on our gluten free journey it is easy enough to remember what not to eat. I use the, Wheat, Barley, Oats and Rye method, others use BROWN, standing for Barley, Rye, Oats, Wheat – Never. Years ago this would have been enough. However, with the developing food industry manufactures have begun using different types of gluten grains. While these are still considered allergens, labeling laws only require those allergens to be clearly listed. If you don’t know these alternative gluten names, then you may over look them thinking they are safe. It is important to always check ingredients that you aren’t sure about. I find the best way to check, especially on the go is with an ingredient app.
Of course it isn’t just us that we need to think about, well meaning friends and family have purchased a salad containing Freekeh not realizing it was a type of wheat. Therefore here is Gluten, by any other name. I have tried my best to include all varieties of gluten grains including hybrids and alternative grain names. I plan to update this list periodically. If you know of something not on this list please leave a comment down below.
You probably already know that gluten refers itself to a collection of proteins within Wheat, Barley, Rye and Oats. If not you can read all about Gliadin, Glutenin, Hordein, Secalin and the Oat Protein Avenin in my Coeliac Disease overview. As these proteins are present in the parent grains, they are passed on to the new hybrid strains as well. So aside from anything marked as from Barley, Rye, Oats and Wheat – with the very few exceptions. These are some other names that gluten can be found by:
- Freekeh/Freekah/Farik/Frik – This is young green wheat that has been toasted and cracked. It is considered an ancient grain and although sometimes considered low gluten. It is not gluten free.
- Durum/Duram – An ancient hard wheat that has a high gluten content.
- Khorasan/Kamut – An ancient oriental wheat, larger than modern wheat.
- Spelt/Farro/Faro/Dinkel – An Ancient Hulled Wheat that often goes by different names. It is not gluten free and is often wrongly labelled as being safe.
- Emmer – Emmer wheat is another type of hulled wheat.
- Einkorn – Another ancient hulled wheat that some claim is low in gluten. Whilst it does have lower protein levels Einkorn wheat does contain gluten as is not safe.
- Triticale – A hybrid grain from a combination of Wheat and Rye.
- Semolina – Semolina is ground Durum wheat, which makes it a high gluten flour. It can be used to make pasta, doughs and even cake.
- Bourghul / Bulgur – This is a wheat grain that has been cracked and partially cooked. This is often found in Tabbouleh.
- Couscous – Typically made of wheat, Couscous is off the table unless specifically marked as gluten free.
- Farina – A form of milled wheat.
- Seitan – This is literally the gluten section of wheat that is often used to create mock meats. I haven’t seen it written as Seitan in our local supermarkets but wanted to include it to be sure.
- Barley Malt Extract – I’ve included this one here because a lot of people ask if this is gluten free. It is not gluten free. It is common in Lindt chocolates and not bolded which leads people to believe it is not an allergen.
- Brewers Yeast (Barley) – Any form of Barley is not safe for someone with Coeliac Disease.
- Buckwheat – Is not a strain of wheat despite its name. It is part of the rhubarb family and is gluten free
- Chinese Pearl Barley / Job’s Tears – Is not related to barley despite its name. Job’s tears is a grass native to Asia. It is gluten free and works as a great replacement for barley or dried lentils in soups as long as it is not written as Job’s Tears (Barley)
- Glucose/Dextrose/Caramel Colour (Wheat) – As per the Coeliac Society advice these ingredients are so highly processed that they are gluten free even though the gluten source is identified. For the full list of exceptions download the Coeliac Australia app.
- Additive numbers – As per the Coeliac Australia advice all additives are gluten free unless identified as being from a gluten source or if the product has a Contains gluten/wheat statement and no source is identified. For example Thickener 1400 – Gluten Free. Thickener 1400 (Wheat) – Not gluten free.
- Soy – Soy itself is naturally gluten free, this is often confused with Soy Sauce which is not gluten free unless specified.
I hope this list has helped you on your gluten free journey. It is not an exhaustive list, however, it is a great place to start in learning all about the different names. This way when you find that meal that mentioned Freekeh but not wheat you won’t get caught out.
Today is the first day of the annual Coeliac Awareness Week. It runs from the 13th of March until the 20th. I’ll be posting every day so be sure to check back. Alternatively you could subscribe to The Aussie Coeliac Newsletter for subscriber perks and recall notifications.
Until Next Time;
Ashlee; The Aussie Coeliac.