Candy corn, you either love it or you don't! But now that you're gluten-free, you're probably wondering, is candy corn is gluten-free? Read this article to find out more about these popular seasonal treats and which brands to buy!
It's that time of the year, fall and halloween season, when you start to see all the halloween candies hitting the shelves. This is always an interesting time for anyone on a strict gluten-free diet because candy is definitely one of those places you'll find gluten hidden in the most seemingly innocuous places!
When looking for gluten-free Halloween candy, you need to be careful and check labels on everything. As you'll see in this article, candy corn is no exception!
Whether you love it or absolutely despise it, I'm guessing if you're reading this article, you're curious as to whether or not traditional candy corn is gluten-free. So let's learn a little bit about candy corn as it relates to gluten and celiac disease or gluten intolerance.
Candy Corn Ingredients
There isn't much to candy corn other than sugar, gelatin, flavor and food coloring. Most brands are made of similar ingredients. Let's take a look at the ingredients in Brach's Candy Corn for an example:
Sugar, Corn Syrup, Confectioner's Glaze (Shellac), Salt, Dextrose, Gelatin, Sesame Oil, Artificial Flavor, Honey, Yellow 6, Yellow 5, Red 3.
This product was manufactured in a facility where milk, eggs, almonds, coconut, peanuts and soy are used in the production of other products.
Is Candy Corn Gluten-Free?
Most candy corn does not contain gluten ingredients. Technically the candy itself is gluten-free. The issue arrises in manufacturing. Many brands have an allergen statement on the package labels stating the candies are made in shared facilities where wheat is also present.
This poses a conundrum for most people on a strict gluten-free diet. Some will see a made in shared facility statement and avoid those products. Others are fine with it as long as there are no gluten-containing ingredients in the candy.
The problem is that it's hard to know for sure if the candy is safe since we just don't know what the manufacturing processes look like.
These facilities could be very large and the risk for cross-contact with gluten could be very low. Conversely, the candy could be made on shared equipment with wheat ingredients posing a greater risk. Also, we don't always know whether or not the company has strict allergen protocols in place.
In my experience in emailing companies for clarification, you always get the same response: they "can't guarantee there will be no cross-contamination/cross-contact with gluten."
This is the standard response from companies who are not validating their products. They legally can't make gluten-free statements unless they are verifying it. That makes it even harder for us to make informed decisions, which means we often avoid these products.
Gluten-Free Candy Corn Brands
If you are seeking gluten-free alternatives that are validated with gluten-free claims on the product labels, here are the products to look for:
- Jelly Belly, the makers of Jelly Belly jelly beans, labels their candy corn gluten-free. They appear to be one of the few companies with candy corn that is labeled gluten-free and verified to be <20ppm gluten.
- Happy Bites candy corn is gluten-free and soon to be certified gluten-free, according to an email I received from the company.
- For a while, Brach's was selling a gluten-free candy corn made with natural colors and flavors. YumEarth was also making gluten-free candy corn. Personally, I'm having a hard time finding either and I don't know if they still make them.
Can Celiacs Eat Candy Corn?
Technically, yes. Someone with celiac disease can eat candy corn because it does not contain gluten ingredients but you will have to asses your own comfort levels with allergen statements to make a decision on which brand you want to purchase. Always check the label and read the ingredient list before purchasing candy corn.
While candy corn does not typically contain any gluten-ingredients, the candy is often processed in facilities where wheat is present. Most candy corn is not labeled gluten-free and tends to have voluntary allergen statements on the package indicating wheat was present in the manufacturing facility.
For the most up to date and accurate information, always check the product labels for ingredients and allergen information.
Brach’s candy corn does not contain gluten ingredients but it is made in a facility where wheat is used in the production of other products. It is not labeled gluten-free.
Brach's states that they do manufacture other candies with gluten and those candies could be made in shared facilities. If so, it will be declared in an allergen statement on the packaging. They do not maintain a list of gluten-free candies on their website and ask that you contact them for assistance regarding specific product questions.
Yes, Jelly Belly candy corn is labeled gluten-free.
Zachary candy corn does not contain gluten ingredients but it is made in a facility where wheat is used in the production of other products. It is not labeled gluten-free.
Candy corn typically does not contain dairy ingredients but may be processed in a facility where milk is present.
No, candy corn is not vegan. It often contains gelatin, egg whites, and/or honey.
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Disclaimer: The information in this article is the personal opinion of the author and for educational purposes only. This is not medical or nutritional advice. Please consult a doctor or medical professional before making changes to your diet or regarding any health related decisions. Ingredient information was accurate at the time of posting but should always be verified by the consumer by checking the product ingredient label for the most up to date information.
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