Most marshmallows are gluten-free. However, just because this is the case doesn't mean all are; some may contain gluten-ingredients or be processed on equipment that also processes wheat. It's important to read ingredient lists and package labels if you must avoid gluten.
Brands Specifically Labeled Gluten-Free
The following brands label their marshmallows as gluten-free, which means they are tested and don't contain gluten.
- Campfire marshmallows are labeled gluten-free and cost about $1.50 for a 10-ounce bag. You can find them at Walmart.
- Trader Joe's mini marshmallows are both gluten-free and gelatin-free. They cost about $3 for a 10-ounce bag.
- Dandies Vanilla Marshmallows are gluten-free and vegan and cost about $4 for a 10-ounce bag.
- La Nouba Marshmallows are gluten-free, fat-free, and sugar-free, making them a safe and guiltless treat for about $10 for two 2.7-ounce bags.
Brands Without Gluten Ingredients
The following brands don't specifically contain gluten ingredients and may not be processed in facilities where cross contamination is at issue, but the companies don't specifically label or certify their marshmallows are gluten-free. They should be safe, but it's important to double check labels or contact the company since ingredients or manufacturing processes can change without notice.
- Jet Puffed marshmallows by Kraft: According to Kraft's allergy statement, they label potential allergens in all of their foods, and the current ingredients list does not contain any gluten substances; however, the product is not specifically labeled gluten-free. Likewise, Kraft may not specifically know whether their ingredient suppliers process those ingredients in a facility that also processes gluten-containing ingredients.
- Peeps marshmallow candies: The company states on their FAQ page that while most of their candies are gluten-free, they may be processed or packaged in facilities that also process and package gluten-containing foods.
Control what's in them and make your own gluten-free marshmallows using gluten-free ingredients.
Ingredients of Concern
Some marshmallows may have ingredients that do contain gluten, so it's essential you read labels and avoid those containing the following:
- Wheat starch
- Glucose syrup
- Modified food starch
You may also want to read ingredients lists of flavored marshmallows carefully and proceed with caution, as some artificial and natural flavorings also contain gluten. In these cases, your best bet is to contact the manufacturer before consuming them.
Some store-brand marshmallows contain modified food starch, which may be a gluten-containing ingredient. Check your local brand's ingredient list.
What About Fluff?
Marshmallow fluff, also known as marshmallow creme, doesn't contain gluten ingredients, but it may be processed on gluten equipment. Currently, there aren't brands specifically labeled gluten-free, but don't despair:
- LC foods has a gluten-free marshmallow fluff mix for about $7.50 for a 5-ounce bag.
- You can mix up your own marshmallow fluff in your kitchen using gluten-free ingredients.
For people extremely sensitive to gluten, such as those with celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity, even trace amounts of gluten can cause symptoms. For these people, it's essential to find foods that have been tested and labeled as gluten-free because in many food production or packaging facilities, cross contamination may be an issue due to airborne gluten or equipement that also processes gluten-containing foods. Therefore, you need to look at the label and make sure it says gluten-free or certified gluten-free, even on foods like marshmallows that may not traditionally contain gluten.
Better Safe Than Sorry
While marshmallows tend to not have gluten ingredients and are likely safe in many cases, cross contamination may be an issue. Because of this, if you are highly sensitive to gluten it's probably best to use brands that are specifically labeled gluten-free, such as those listed above.