Are you asking the question, “Is ketchup gluten-free?” or you are probably curious about the ketchup brands that are gluten-free?
With summer grilling season approaching, it is actually the perfect day to talk about ketchup, which happens to be one of the most popular condiments around.
Ketchup is a classic on hot dogs, French fries, tater tots, burgers, and chicken nuggets; however, most times, it is also an ingredient for things like baked beans, meatloaf glaze, sloppy joes, sauces, dips, and barbecue sauce.
You might be wondering if ketchup is gluten-free, particularly if you are new to a gluten-free diet and still don’t want to miss out this summer.
A lot of brands of ketchup are naturally gluten-free, and that includes the brands you most likely grew up with.
That being said, in this guide, a detailed answer to the question “Is ketchup gluten-free?” will be given.
What Is Ketchup?
The truth is that the original ketchup and the one we have now are completely different.
It all began in China and was mixed with spices and pickled ingredients, then changed totally over time.
Now, the main ingredients of the sauce are water, vinegar, seasonings, sugar, red ripe tomatoes, and salt.
However, keep in mind that different brands have different ingredients, but they all have the same basic recipe and rich taste.
You will find plenty of organic, natural, and flavored kinds of ketchup in grocery stores.
You definitely wouldn’t see a lot of ingredients like natural flavoring.
The ketchup’s taste is sweet, spicy, and acidic. You can use it as it is or decide to mix it with other sauces to add a tomato flavor.
I suggest you use it in moderation, given that even natural organic ketchup can contain high amounts of sugar.
These varieties still contain high amounts of sodium and sugar, even if the organic ketchup does not have high-fructose corn syrup like traditional ketchup.
I recommend you go for corn syrup-free brands. And, with tomato paste, you can make homemade ketchup.
Is Ketchup Gluten-Free?
The short and straight answer to the above question is yes; ketchup is gluten-free.
Naturally, ketchup is made from gluten-free ingredients, so in general, it is considered gluten-free.
That being said, some of the most well-known ketchup brands, like Heinz, are labeled gluten-free.
This simply means that this brand has met the FDA regulation of testing at less than 20 parts per million (PPM) of gluten.
As previously mentioned, naturally, ketchup ingredients are free from gluten.
You will find the following when you read the nutrition label on your classic Heinz tomato ketchup:
- Corn syrup
- Tomato concentrate from red ripe tomatoes
- Distilled vinegar
- Onion powder
- Natural flavoring
- High fructose corn syrup
And, if you notice, the distilled vinegar does not state the original source of the vinegar.
However, do not worry; the distilled vinegar in Heinz products is derived from corn, not wheat.
Does Ketchup Contain Gluten?
Gluten is a group of proteins that is available in certain cereals, including barley, rye, and wheat.
This is what gives elasticity to baked goods.
As mentioned above, most ketchup is naturally gluten-free, as none of these grains are used in its preparation.
It is still gluten-free as long as it is produced using distilled vinegar.
That being said, gluten might often be found in sauces and dressings, including ketchup; this happens when stabilizing agents are used to give them a thicker consistency.
In addition, if ketchup is made in a facility that produces other gluten-containing products, there’s a risk of contamination.
Gluten-Free Ketchup Brands
There are plenty of ketchup brands that are safe to eat when you are on a gluten-free diet.
Below are the ketchup brands that you will find to be commonly available on grocery store shelves, and the fun part is that they are labeled gluten-free (less than 20 ppm gluten):
- Walden Farms
- Sir Kensington
- Annie’s Organic Ketchup
Remember that ketchup brands have now become more health-conscious?
That being said, it is actually not difficult to find ketchup that is free from artificial colors, high-fructose corn syrup, and artificial flavors, if that’s what you prefer.
Several grocery store chains manufacture their own store-brand ketchup, a lot of which is actually produced by outside companies.
So, this means you are required to ask your preferred supermarket whether its store-brand ketchup is considered gluten-free.
Luckily, most stores have lists of gluten-free products.
However, be careful and sure that most of these are tested only to 20 ppm.
I strongly suggest that you look for ketchup that is certified gluten-free if you are specifically sensitive to trace gluten.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Heinz Ketchup Gluten-Free?
In the United States, Heinz is actually the most popular brand of ketchup, and fortunately, their products are gluten-free.
As their company information states, even the vinegar that they use is derived from corn, not wheat or other grains.
Below are a few gluten-free varieties of Heinz ketchup:
- Heinz Organic Ketchup
- Heinz Honey-Sweetened Ketchup
- Heinz Sriracha Ketchup
- Heinz Jalapeno Ketchup
- Heinz Tomato Ketchup (classic ketchup)
- Simply Heinz Ketchup (which uses cane sugar and no artificial sweeteners)
However, some of their other varieties are not labeled gluten-free but are produced using gluten-free ingredients.
These include Heinz No Salt Added Ketchup, Heinz Hot and Spicy Ketchup, and Heinz No Sugar Added Ketchup.
Is Hunt’s Ketchup Gluten-Free?
Hunt’s ketchup is produced using gluten-free ingredients; however, it is not labeled as gluten-free.
However, this might mean that they have not undergone the testing and labeling process, which can be time-consuming and costly for brands.
Furthermore, their website states that their Hunts Tomato Ketchup and Hunts 100% Natural Tomato Ketchup do not have any major allergens.
Is Great Value Ketchup Gluten-Free?
Well, this is pretty obvious, as Walmart ketchup (Great Value Brand) is labeled gluten-free.
Although it actually does not have the certified gluten-free sticker, it does.
Does French’s Ketchup Have Gluten?
The straight answer to the above question is no; French’s ketchup does not have gluten.
Naturally, French ketchup is produced using gluten-free ingredients, which include salt, distilled vinegar, onion powder, tomato concentrate, sugar, spices, and natural flavor.
Ketchup does not have wheat, rye, or barley, and that being so, it is a naturally gluten-free product.
Even so, some brands might use wheat-derived vinegar or manufacture their ketchup in a facility that produces other gluten-containing foods, which might in turn contaminate it.
To ensure that your favorite ketchup is gluten-free, just look for a gluten-free label or check the ingredient list and allergen claims.
Keep in mind that even though ketchup might be free of gluten, most times it is high in added sugars and should, therefore, be eaten in moderation.
Now, the detailed answer to the question “Is ketchup gluten-free?” has been given, as has the list of ketchup brands that are gluten-free, which brings us to the end of this guide.