Cool Whip, made by the Kraft-Heinz company, is a popular ingredient for desserts and Midwestern fruit salads but is Cool Whip gluten-free? Let's dig in and find out whether this whipped topping is safe to consume for those with celiac disease or on a gluten-free diet.
- Quick Facts
- What is Cool Whip?
- Celiac Disease and Gluten Sensitivity
- Ingredients in Cool Whip
- Is Cool Whip Gluten-Free?
- Which Cool Whip Products Contain Gluten?
- Is Cool Whip Safe for Celiacs
- Does Kraft Label For Gluten?
- Gluten-Free Alternatives to Cool Whip
- The Answer and Final Thoughts
- More Is It GF? Articles To Read
- Comments and Ratings
- *Most* varieties of Cool Whip do not contain gluten ingredients.
- Always double check labels for the most up to date information and ingredients.
- Avoid cross-contact. Don't share Cool Whip with gluten-containing items or utensils.
What is Cool Whip?
Cool Whip is a popular brand of whipped topping found in grocery store freezer sections across the United States. It is a non-dairy alternative to traditional whipped cream and is known for its light, fluffy, and creamy texture. It's considered the perfect topping for pumpkin pie or often used to make a delicious dessert, like this no-bake jell-o pie, icebox cake, or ambrosia salad.
The main ingredients in Cool Whip are water, hydrogenated vegetable oil (such as soybean and coconut oil), high fructose corn syrup, and various stabilizers and emulsifiers. It is sweetened and flavored to resemble whipped cream, making it a versatile ingredient in desserts, such as pies, cakes, and sundaes.
Cool Whip is often used as a convenient and long-lasting substitute for fresh whipped cream, as it can be stored in the freezer and thawed when needed. It gained popularity due to its ease of use and ability to hold its shape even when mixed with other ingredients.
Celiac Disease and Gluten Sensitivity
Persons with Celiac Disease have an autoimmune reaction to the gluten protein found in wheat, barley, and rye.
This reaction damages the villi of the small intestine. Damaged villi make it nearly impossible for the body to absorb nutrients, leading to malnourishment and eventually to a whole host of other problems.
If you have celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, you're likely already aware of the need to read the ingredient label on all packaged food, because even those foods you don't think could have gluten, could contain it! Not to mention, there is a lot of disinformation and you could be avoiding some foods unnecessarily, so it's always good to check for yourself and make informed decisions.
Ingredients in Cool Whip
The ingredient list for Original Cool Whip is as follows:
Water, corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated vegetable oil (coconut and palm kernel oils), skim milk, contains less than 2% of light cream, sodium monostearate, sodium polyphosphate, beta carotene (color). Contains: milk.
The ingredients in Cool Whip Extra Creamy:
Skim milk, hydrogenated vegetable oil (coconut and palm kernel oils), high fructose corn syrup, water, corn syrup, light cream, contains less than 2% of sodium caseinate (from milk), natural and artificial flavors, xanthan and guar gums, polysorbate 60, sorbitan monostearate, sodium polyphosphate, beta carotene (color). Contains: milk.
The ingredients in Cool Whip Lite:
Ingredients: water, corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated vegetable oil (coconut and palm kernel oils), contains less than 2% of sodium caseinate (from milk), modified food starch, xanthan and guar gums, polysorbate 60, sorbitan monostearate, sodium polyphosphate, natural and artificial flavors, beta carotene (color). Contains: milk. contains 0g lactose per serving.
Is Cool Whip Gluten-Free?
While Kraft does not label this product with a gluten-free claim, most Cool Whip products are considered to be gluten-free. Most of the products do not contain gluten ingredients, nor do they have a source of gluten listed in the ingredient statement.
Cool Whip is considered safe to consume for those with celiac disease or gluten intolerance, provided no gluten-ingredients or related allergen statements are listed on the label.
As far as gluten-free labeling, Cool Whip is not specifically labeled gluten-free nor is it certified gluten-free. The Kraft-Heinz company is not currently validating these products through their own internal testing, nor through external validation methods which is why there are no gluten-free claims on the label.
Which Cool Whip Products Contain Gluten?
There is a new Cool Whip product that does contain gluten. It is the Cool Whip Mix-Ins Brownie flavor. This product contains fudge brownie pieces that are made with wheat flour. Please avoid this product if you are sensitive to gluten.
Which is yet another reminder to always double-check product labels for current and accurate information!
Is Cool Whip Safe for Celiacs
Yes, as long as there are no gluten-containing ingredients or an allergen statement indicating wheat on the label, Cool Whip is considered safe to consume for someone with Celiac Disease.
Does Kraft Label For Gluten?
Yes. According to the Kraft Foods FAQ page:
- Kraft advises that they label their products in accordance with the FDA.
- They will label for all sources of gluten.
- If gluten is added to the product, it will be listed in the Ingredient Statement.
Kraft elaborates on their gluten policies to add:
- Food starch and modified food starch listed in the ingredient statements of Kraft Heinz’s products often refer to corn starch.
- If a Kraft Heinz’s product uses food starches from a gluten-containing source, such as wheat starch, the source is always identified in the ingredient statement.
- A gluten-containing grain as a direct ingredient will list the grain using commonly known terms such as “wheat, barley, rye and/or oats.”
- A source of gluten as a component of another ingredient, such as flavors or modified food starch, will list the grain in parentheses after the ingredient in the ingredient line. For example, “natural flavor (contains rye).”
- Only certain Kraft Heinz products are labeled with a gluten-free claim on the front of the package. These products have been tested and validated to contain less than 20 ppm gluten. Other products do not have gluten ingredients, but unless the product has been validated through testing, Kraft does not label the finished product as gluten-free.
Please note: The Kraft-Heinz company advises those with celiac disease or gluten intolerance to carefully read labels each time you purchase an item to obtain the most up to date and accurate ingredient information.
If you'd like to read more in-depth information about Kraft's labeling processes, you can read this article about Philadelphia cream cheese where I cover everything I could find out how Kraft labels their products.
Gluten-Free Alternatives to Cool Whip
While Cool Whip is considered gluten-free and safe to consume, you may be seeking other options, dairy-free, or healthier alternatives. Here are some more gluten-free cool whip options. In any case, check the labels for gluten ingredients or a gluten-free claim.
- Make your own stabilized whipped cream with heavy whipping cream.
- TruWhip is labeled gluten-free. It is made with all natural ingredients and contains no high fructose corn syrup or artificial flavors or colors. It comes in original, keto, vegan, and skinny varieties.
- So Delicious CocoWhip is certified gluten-free and also dairy-free.
- Simple Truth Organic Whipped Topping is labeled gluten-free.
- Reddi-Wip is also gluten-free.
- Walmart Great Value Whipped Topping is labeled gluten-free.
- Most grocery stores carry their own private label version of Cool Whip. Check the labels for more information.
The Answer and Final Thoughts
While Cool Whip is not specifically labeled gluten-free, most varieties are considered to be gluten-free and safe to add to your favorite dessert, even for those with Celiac disease.
Be sure to check the label for up to date information on all Kraft cool whip products. Look out for new flavors that may have gluten-ingredients, like the brownie mix-ins flavor.
Granted, there are people who will only trust products labeled gluten-free or whom do not trust processed foods or large companies, for those people, there are other alternatives.
The good news is, Kraft appears to take its labeling practices seriously and does label for any source of gluten in a product, so you can rest assured the label will contain accurate information.
The responsibility is ultimately up to the consumer to read the ingredients label every time and make a determination for themselves about whether or not to consume Cool Whip.
Cool Whip offers a wide range of varieties, and the majority of them do not contain gluten ingredients or provide warnings about potential wheat allergens in their statements. However, it is crucial to always check the ingredient label for the most current information, as new flavors, such as the brownie mix-ins flavor, may contain gluten.
Great Value Brand whipped topping is labeled gluten-free.
The Kroger brand of whipped topping does not contain gluten ingredients. The Simple Truth organic brand found at Kroger, is labeled gluten-free.
More Is It GF? Articles To Read
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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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