Is Corn Gluten-Free?
If you need to maintain a gluten-free diet, you may want to stay away from corn. Is corn gluten-free? Yes, corn is gluten free when it is consumed in its natural form. However, you need to be aware that there are other forms of food that are corn-based but are not necessarily gluten-free. Sauces and foods that contain several other ingredients, which is why you should check the label or list of ingredients in order to be sure the food you are consuming is gluten-free. Listed below are tips and information about corn in order to help you learn when corn is gluten-free and when it is not.
You should be aware that gluten-free does not necessarily mean that the product is healthy. The gluten-freeoption is meant to help those who have gluten intolerance. Corn can be on the list of food that is gluten-free, but there are still possibilities that it contains gluten when there are added ingredients.
Other Forms of Corn
Corn in its original form is gluten-free, but there are other forms of corn that are gluten-free as well. Listed below are a few variations of corn that can be eaten if you have gluten intolerance or celiac disease.
In its natural form, cornstarch is gluten-free. Cornstarch is usually found in foods like soup, sauces, and stews to thicken the product. By grinding the starchy or carbohydrate portion of corn into a powder, cornstarch is made. Although cornstarch is on the list as being gluten-free, be aware that not all foods containing cornstarch are necessarily gluten-free as well.
As another gluten-free option, cornmeal does not contain gluten in its natural form. Cornmeal is a kind of flour made from corn and is therefore gluten-free. However, make sure to look at the labeled gluten-free cornmeal in order to be sure your product is completely gluten-free and there was no cross-contact during the manufacturing process.
Also gluten-free in its natural form, corn flour can be compared to cornmeal. Corn flour has a light texture, which is why it is great to use while baking. Again, it is highly important that you look at the label for gluten-free in order to be certain that the corn flour you are purchasing is free of gluten.
Made from dried corn, hominy is another great gluten-free option. After the corn kernels are dried, they are soaked in a lime or lye bath. Hominy is found in several products, such as tortillas.
If you prepare your own popcorn, it is generally gluten-free. Preparing and popping corn from its natural form is safe and tastes great. However, if you purchase ready made popcorn, there is a higher risk that it contains gluten due to cross-contact during the manufacturing.
When is corn gluten-free and when is it not?
Below includes more information about corn and how to decide when it is gluten-free and when it is not.
Plain, regular corn in its natural form is usually gluten-free. Simply eating corn on the cob should not have any risk of containing gluten as long as there was not cross-contact during the manufacturing process. In order to avoid corn that has gluten, make sure to check the labels on canned or frozen corn. As long as you are preparing the corn yourself, you do not need to worry, but when you are purchasing products from the store be more aware of the ingredients.
When you purchase cream corn, look closely at the can. Because cream corn comes in a can it does not necessarily mean that it is gluten-free. The canned good contains cream that is made up of food starch, which has other ingredients. However, you are making the cream corn at home, you do not need to be as aware because you are deciding what ingredients to use.
Although the various forms of corn mentioned earlier above are all gluten-free, not all companies maintain a gluten-free environment so there may be a higher chance for cross-reactivity or cross-contact. Companies like Bob’s Red Mill and Arrowhead Mills have gluten-free products that come from a gluten-free facility. If you are unsure about the product, contact the company.
So, is corn gluten-free?
Yes, corn is gluten-free when it is in its natural form. If you want to keep and maintain a gluten-free diet, try practicing home cooked meals to ensure you know the exact ingredients in your food. With that said, be sure to look at the labels of the food you buy from the store because they may contain gluten even if they contain corn because of cross-contact or added ingredients.