For decades, peanut butter has been touted as a healthy, delicious, and versatile food.
It’s no wonder that this popular pantry staple has become one of the most consumed foods in the United States.
However, for people with celiac disease or on gluten-free diets, the question of whether or not peanut butter is safe to eat is pressing.
After all, peanuts are legumes, and legumes are often cross-contaminated with gluten-containing grains during processing. So, is peanut butter gluten-free?
Is peanut butter gluten free?
Most certified gluten-free brands of peanut butter are safe for people with celiac disease or gluten sensitivities, as they do not contain any gluten-containing ingredients.
However, at times peanut butter is processed in facilities that also handle wheat, rye, and barley—all of which contain gluten. This means that there is a risk of cross-contamination during production.
It is always important to read labels carefully, as some brands may add wheat, barley, or rye to the peanut butter.
How peanut butter is usually made?
Given below is an overview of how peanut butter is made.
- Peanut butter production typically begins with raw peanuts that are sorted and cleaned before being fed into a roaster.
- Then the skins are blanched.
- The blanched peanut kernels are ten electronically sorted or hand-picked to ensure the good ones are used to make the peanut butter.
- Peanuts are ground through two grinding stages.
- The peanuts are also heated during the grinding process at about 170 degrees.
- The emulsifiers are then added and mixed.
- Depending on the type of peanut butter, additional ingredients like salt, sweeteners, and stabilizers may be added to it. Many commercial peanut butters made in the USA contain a maximum of 90% of peanuts and 10% Science Direct: Peanut Butter oils, sweeteners, salts, and stabilizers/emulsifiers.
- After the addition of the emulsifiers and added ingredients, the peanut butter is cooled rapidly (120 degrees or below).
- The cooling process crystallizes the emulsifiers by trapping the oils released during the grinding process.
How to buy gluten-free peanut butter?
For those who follow a gluten-free diet, choosing the right product can also be overwhelming. Here are a few tips to keep in mind next time you are looking for gluten-free peanut butter.
Check the label
The best way to ensure that your peanut butter is truly gluten-free is to look for a label that says “gluten-free” or “certified gluten-free.”
The FDA regulates these claims, so you can be sure that the product meets certain standards. If a product doesn’t have a gluten-free label, it is best to avoid it.
The allergen statement
Look for the allergen statement on the label. This must be included in all packaged foods in the U.S, and it will list any ingredients that may cause allergic reactions.
For peanut butter, the allergen statement should say, “contains peanuts.” Be aware that “wheat-free” National Peanut Broad: Gluten-Free Living does not mean gluten-free, as it may contain other gluten-containing grains.
Ingredients to avoid
Some brands of peanut butter may contain maltodextrin or hydrolyzed vegetable protein National Peanut Board: The Scoop on Hydrogenated Fat in Peanut Butter in their emulsifiers. These ingredients can sometimes Canadian Broadcasting Corporation: Hydrolyzed vegetable protein: What it is, where it’s found be made using wheat Medical News Today: What is maltodextrin and is it safe?. Thus it is best to check the ingredient list if you are on a gluten-free diet or have gluten sensitivity.
Is all peanut butter gluten-free?
No, not all peanut butter is gluten-free. Some brands of peanut butter may contain gluten if prepared in a facility that also handles wheat.
Some brands choose to avoid caution and label their peanut butter products as “may contain traces of wheat.”
Moreover, peanut butter products like cookies, granola bars, and cereals contain wheat and gluten-containing g ingredients.
List of gluten-free peanut butter brands
According to the FDA, any product labeled ” gluten-free ” must contain less than 20 ppm U.S. Food and Drug Administration: Gluten and Food Labeling of gluten. Here are some brands that go above and beyond to ensure that their products are 100% gluten-free.
It is a certified gluten-free peanut butter containing no added salt, oil, or sugars.
Jif produces both gluten-free and non-gluten-free products. However, the ones labeled gluten-free are certified.
This brand produces a variety of flavored peanut butter. However, only classic peanut butter and honey peanut butter are certified gluten-free by the Gluten-Free Certification Organization (GFCO)
Skippy is a Hormel Foods LLC brand that produces a variety of peanut butters. All varieties of Skippy peanut butter are gluten-free, according to its brand’s FAQ.
The brand Teddie sells old-fashioned, organic, homogenized, and salt-free peanut butter that comes in multiple varieties and textures. As per its company’s statement, all Teddie peanut butter is gluten-free.
The J.M. Smucker Company produces natural and organic peanut butter under its own name. It states that it labels its products “gluten-free” only when they are tested to have fewer than 20 ppm gluten.
Steps to make your own gluten-free peanut butter
Here’s a quick overview of the steps involved in making your peanut butter at home if you wish to avoid store-bought peanut butter:
- Start by roasting the peanuts. This step is optional, but it will give the peanut butter a deeper flavor.
- Add the peanuts to a food processor and start processing them.
- Slowly add oil to the mixture until it reaches the desired consistency. You can use any type of oil, but peanut or grapeseed oil works well.
- Add salt to taste and process the mixture for a few minutes more.
- Store the peanut butter in a jar or container with a tight-fitting lid. It will last for several weeks in the pantry or up to a month in the fridge.
Note: Spread organic peanut butter on gluten-free bread to ensure zero-risk of contamination while having your peanut butter sandwich.
Natural peanut butter is a gluten-free food prepared using peanuts. There could be a risk of cross-contamination if the peanuts or peanut butter are processed in a facility that handles wheat or gluten grains.
It is strongly recommended to check the ingredient list and nutrition label before purchasing peanut butter if you are intolerant to gluten. Refer to the tips mentioned above while purchasing or making your own home.
|↑1||Beyond Celiac: Is Peanut Butter Gluten-Free?|
|↑2||Science Direct: Peanut Butter|
|↑3||National Peanut Broad: Gluten-Free Living|
|↑4||National Peanut Board: The Scoop on Hydrogenated Fat in Peanut Butter|
|↑5||Canadian Broadcasting Corporation: Hydrolyzed vegetable protein: What it is, where it’s found|
|↑6||Medical News Today: What is maltodextrin and is it safe?|
|↑7||U.S. Food and Drug Administration: Gluten and Food Labeling|