You will probably find a bright red bottle filled with ketchup no matter what restaurant you go to. Its flavor is sweet, tangy, and incredibly versatile. Ketchup goes well with almost any dish, from burgers and hot dogs to sweet potato fries and french fries.
Though ketchup is one of the most popular condiments in America, is ketchup gluten free?
What Is Ketchup?
The original ketchup is way different from what it is now. It started in China and was actually mixed with spices and pickled ingredients. Over time it changed entirely, and now the sauce’s main ingredients are red ripe tomatoes, water, vinegar, seasonings, sugar, and salt.
Different brands have different ingredients, but they all have the same basic recipe and rich taste. You shouldn't see too many ingredients like "natural flavoring." In grocery stores, you will also find many organic kinds of ketchup, natural, and flavored kinds of ketchup.
The taste of ketchup is sweet, acidic, and tangy. It can be used as-is or mixed with other sauces to add a tomato-y flavor. You should use ketchup in moderation because even natural organic ketchup can have high amounts of sugar. Even if the organic ketchup doesn’t have high-fructose corn syrup like traditional ketchup, these varieties still have high amounts of sodium and sugar.
Answer: Is Ketchup Gluten Free?
The good news is yes. Most ketchup brands are gluten free. Ketchup’s ingredients do not contain wheat or gluten-containing ingredients; they should be made with naturally gluten-free products. However, there are some instances where gluten could be introduced to the savory condiment.
Vinegar is an essential ingredient in many ketchup brands, but sometimes companies use malt vinegar derived from barley or wheat. This could cause gluten contamination in a bottle of ketchup. Therefore, you want to make sure that distilled vinegar or apple cider vinegar is used in whatever ketchup brand you want to buy.
Many types of white vinegar are also safe, but it is important to check the company website to verify if the ketchup is gluten free. Most companies should indicate if it is wheat-derived vinegar on the ingredients label.
If ketchup doesn’t have gluten, it may come into gluten cross-contamination issues. Also, be sure to check if ketchup is made in a shared facility. Things often change with brands, so if you haven't checked your favorite brand in a while, it is good to recheck the company's website from time to time.
The other potential source of gluten in ketchup is additives. Many ketchup brands include thickening agents, stabilizing agents, and artificial colors. These ingredients don’t always have gluten, but sometimes they might. If you have Celiac disease, it’s important not to consume gluten accidentally.
To avoid gluten-containing ketchup, check the bottle for a gluten-free label or labels that say it’s free of gluten. For the manufacturer to use these labels, the ketchup has to have less than 20 ppm of gluten in the bottle. You can also check the label to see if any allergen statements mention gluten.
Gluten Free Ketchup Brands:
There are many great brands of ketchup that are gluten free. Here are some of my favorite ketchup brands:
- Hunt's Ketchup
- French’s Ketchup
- Walden Farms Ketchup
- Fody Foods
- Sir Kensington’s
Recipes To Use Ketchup In:
- The Best Gluten Free Meatloaf
- Ketchup Spaghetti is a thing. Just be sure to use gluten free spaghetti!
- My Grandma's Homemade Cabbage and Meatballs also use ketchup!
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