One of the most popular snack foods in America is a potato or corn chips in a light plastic bag. Can’t you just picture yourself in front of the television on the night of the Super Bowl or World Series with some soft drinks and a big bag of chips?
Of course, if you are following the gluten-free diet, certain questions might arise about corn and potato chips, such as, are they gluten-free?
How high is the risk of cross-contamination? Is it possible to find certified gluten-free corn or potato chips?
First of all, potato chips gluten-free? In most chips, the actual ingredients to not contain gluten. However, certain kinds like, Utz and Frito-Lay, sometimes use gluten as a flavor enhancer.
Many people have reported that they have experienced gluten-related allergies after consuming these two particular brands of chips. Therefore, it would be advisable not to buy Utz or Frito-Lay potato chips.
There is also a considerable risk of gluten cross-contamination in most brands of potato chips. Two well-known brands, Garden of Eatin’ and Terra, are processed in a facility that also produces gluten-based foods. So, it would be wise to avoid these two brands of potato chips as well.
However, there is good news! I managed to find some popular brands that sell certified gluten-free potato chips. The following types of chips are completely gluten-free:
- Kettle Brand Potato Chips (not Kettle Brand TIAS)
- Food Should Taste Good Chips
- POPchips Potato Chips (bags that have a “best buy” date of August 2012 or later are certified gluten-free)
- Eatsmart Naturals Potato Chips (only the Garden Veggie Crisps are certified gluten-free)
Contrary to what you might think, it is not always easy to find certified gluten-free corn or tortilla chips because most of them are made with dried corn tortillas or a dried cornmeal/grain blend. Plus, you will still need to be on the lookout for gluten cross-contamination. The following brands of tortilla chips are NOT considered safe for Celiacs or highly gluten sensitive people since they are almost always cross-contaminated:
- Frito-Lay Tortilla Chips
- Mission Foods Corn Tortilla Chips
- Garden of Eatin’ Corn Chips (Some of these are labeled gluten-free and should, therefore, be safe for you to buy. However, not all of the bags say “gluten-free on them.)
- Utz Corn Tortilla Chips
I did find a few brands of corn tortilla chips that are certified gluten-free. If you cannot locate them in your local grocery or natural food stores, you can always order them online. I have listed these gluten-free brands below:
- Food Should Taste Good Tortilla Chips (this brand provides many different varieties of gluten-free corn chips)
- Way Better Tortilla Chips (this brand also offers lots of different kinds of gluten-free corn chips)
These guidelines are here just to give you an idea of the gluten status of most of the leading brands of corn and potato chips. You may still have to do some experimentation on your own in order to find which kinds of chips work the best for you.
Soon you will know exactly which brands of tortilla and potato chips to serve yourself and your guests at your next Super Bowl party!
Image courtesy Marcelo Alves