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Does Ice Cream Have Gluten?

Elise Deming, RDN
Ice Cream

Most ice cream is naturally gluten-free. However, there are several considerations to be made when purchasing a gluten-free ice cream.

Hidden Ingredients

Some ice cream brands use wheat flour to thicken the dessert, such as Blue Bell Ice Cream, or they use barley malt syrup to sweeten it. It is crucial to read the ingredient label to ensure your ice cream selection does not contain these ingredients.

Even if ice cream isn't made with gluten, it may have been processed in a facility with other gluten-containing food. This opens the risk for cross-contamination and is a concern for those with celiac disease or with severe gluten intolerances.

Ice Cream Flavors

A more obvious indicator of gluten-containing ice cream is the different flavors. If the flavor includes a food that usually is made with gluten, the ice cream will also contain gluten. This could include flavors such as chocolate chip cookie dough, oreo, fudge, or birthday cake.

Only choose flavors like these if the product is labeled "certified gluten-free" and you have double checked the label ensuring there are no gluten-containing ingredients.

Gluten-Free Ice Cream

The safest way to know the ice cream you select doesn't contain gluten and wasn't exposed to cross-contamination is to purchase gluten-free certified brands such as:

  • Breyers - This ice cream brand introduced a line of 30 gluten-free flavors. Breyers claims that they take many measures to prevent cross-contamination in their facility. Breyers is at the top of the list for gluten-free ice cream as the company sticks to original recipes and eliminates any gluten to keep their gluten-free ice cream traditional.
  • Haagen Dazs - Haagen Dazs carries dozens of gluten-free ice cream flavors and states gluten is present only in "added bakery products such as cookies, cake, or brownies. All products that are gluten-free are clearly marked as such on the packaging and the website." Bloggers are big fans of Haagen Dazs gluten-free ice cream for the huge selection of flavors and how they maintained the delicious, creamy flavor.
  • NadaMoo! - A growing non-dairy ice cream brand, NadaMoo! offers more than ten ice cream flavors that are USDA organic, non-GMO, vegan, gluten-free, and fair-trade certified. They are sold at Whole Foods Market. Gluten-free fans love this brand's non-traditional gluten-free flavors like birthday cake cookie dough.
  • So Delicious - So Delicious's dairy-free, gluten-free ice cream flavors are certified gluten-free. This brand even carries ice cream flavors such as cookies 'n cream and cookie dough that are gluten-free. Reviewers give So Delicious five stars for their gluten-free ice cream, loving the gluten-free baked goods found incorporated in some of the flavors.

Ice Cream and Gluten

Although wheat, barley, and rye are not typically part of the recipe for ice cream, gluten can pop up in your favorite dessert. Therefore it's important to check the label and purchase certified gluten-free ice creams only. There are many brands that cater to the gluten-free community from which you can choose.

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Does Ice Cream Have Gluten?