You would have probably come across an ingredient that sounds a little bit suspicious: modified food starch, particularly if you are the type to look at food labels.
Although modified food starch is mostly gluten-free, it is the right thing to do to take a closer look at it before consuming it.
So, in this guide, the detailed answer to the question “Is modified food starch gluten-free?” will be given, and other related topics will be discussed.
What Is Modified Food Starch?
The term “modified food starch” can be rather inconclusive, and it does not automatically refer to one single type of ingredient.
There are a variety of methods that can be used to make modified food starch and different sources that are used to manufacture it.
It can be helpful to learn where this ingredient originates from and how it is manufactured to completely understand what modified food starch is.
What Is Modified Food Starch Made From?
Most modified food starch is frequently manufactured from corn in the United States and greater North America.
Modified corn starch is another name you will find on ingredient lists; however, modified food starch can also be manufactured from potato, wheat, and potato.
What Is Gluten?
Gluten is a protein present in most wheat products and serves as the “glue” that helps keep barley, rye, semolina, farro, wheat, kamut, spelt, durum, and bulgur together to maintain their shape.
Gluten occurs naturally, and as a result of that, it is quite impossible to remove it from the grain.
There’s actually no way to make a food gluten-free if a grain has gluten naturally in it.
You can find gluten in some cereal products in the form of wheat, malt flavor, wheat flour, or malt barley. There is also gluten hidden in additives and flavorings.
Is Modified Food Starch Gluten-Free?
In general, the simple answer to this question is yes; modified food starch is gluten-free in North America.
Modified food starch is used as a food additive. It is normally used to stabilize or thicken a food product or just as an anti-caking agent.
When wheat is used as an ingredient in the United States, it must be stated on the label as modified wheat starch or modified food starch (wheat).
Modified food starches can be manufactured from several different foods, and some of them include wheat, potato, corn, waxy maize, and tapioca.
The most common sources in North America are typically gluten-free (i.e., potatoes, modified corn, and waxy maize).
If a food product made in North America has modified food starch listed as an ingredient but “wheat” is not listed on the label, then the food starch should be safe for consumption.
Companies are required by law to clearly state that wheat is included in the ingredients. Keep in mind to always check the label.
In addition, in the past, cross-contact has been a concern with modified food starch because facilities do not follow strict gluten-free guidelines.
If you have any questions, I suggest you contact the company directly for more information on their products.
When you are searching for regular gluten-free starches (not modified food starch), there are a number of companies that claim their products are completely safe and gluten-free based on their ingredients and the precautions taken in their production facilities.
A few examples of these companies include Clabber Girl Cornstarch, Bob’s Red Mill Cornstarch, Hodgson Mill Cornstarch, and so on.
Foods That May Contain Modified Food Starch
Modified food Starch is an ingredient you will commonly find in processed foods. It actually makes sense, given how they are used.
Below are a few foods in which you will find modified food starch as an ingredient:
- Low-fat ice cream
- Premade meals
- Canned soups
- Capsules that contain some medications
- Cheese sauces
- Instant pudding
- Powder-coated foods like cocoa-dusted almonds
How to Avoid Gluten in Modified Food Starch
If you are worried, there are a few ways you can avoid gluten in modified food starch, and they include:
- You can call the company that produces the food and ask. The FDA requires manufacturers to be accountable with regard to the food they manufacture.
- You can also contact the producer before you eat products that contain modified food starch if you are in doubt.
- Make sure you check the label for the words gluten-free. This signifies that the company has undergone testing and has certified its food as safe for consumption according to FDA regulations.
- You can enjoy whole foods like vegetables, meats, and fruits, given the fact that they don’t contain added ingredients like food starch.
In the foods manufactured today, it is quite evident that modified food starches have made several improvements.
They are much more affordable now, have more appealing products, and have better tastes. However, for many, they might also be a hidden source of gluten.
You need to make sure to educate yourself about the foods that you consume and double-check any source that has modified food starch on its label to make sure that your food is safe for consumption.
Which Starches Are Gluten-Free?
There are a number of gluten-free starches, and below are a few of them:
There are still other starches that are labeled as gluten-free. However, keep in mind that not all starches are gluten-free.
For instance, barley, rye, and wheat starches are not gluten-free. In addition, you can also find gluten in oat starches if they are not labeled as gluten-free.
Can People with Celiac Eat Modified Corn Starch?
The simple and straightforward answer to this question is yes. People with celiac disease can eat modified corn starch, as it is safe for their consumption.
However, you need to be careful of modified starches that might contain gluten.
So I strongly recommend that you always read the label to be sure that there are no mentions of gluten ingredients like rye, wheat, or barley.
In addition, stay away from products that might contain gluten, such as cereal.
Despite the fact that modified food starch might be gluten-free, there are cases where it isn’t just a food additive that you want to eat.
Personally, I suggest that you limit or even stay away from modified food starches as much as you can.
This is due to the fact that modified food starch is mostly manufactured from low-quality and, at times, genetically modified sources.
By now, I’m sure you have everything you need on modified food starch, and the question “Is modified food starch gluten-free?” has been answered, which in turn concludes this guide.