Chocolate overload! What to look for on the wrapper.
If you're like me, then Easter is the one time of the year that you go crazy over chocolate!
Call it buying into commercialism, but around April each year, I find myself gazing longingly at the ingredients list on the back of chocolate wrappers, trying to determine whether there are any hidden sources of gluten which could do me harm.
But not all Easter eggs display the ingredients list on their wrapper, including those bite-sized minature eggs that you are given with your coffee. So how do you know if those minature eggs are gluten free, without asking to see the original packaging of the bag they came in? The short answer is, if you can not read the ingredients list, then don't risk it.
But just be sure that you're not doing yourself a disservice by reading the ingredients list incorrectly!
Misinformation about which ingredients contain gluten is widespread across the Internet. And chocolate is not immune.
To make it easy for you, I have broken down what I look for when reading chocolate ingredient list labels:
1. Check to see if the chocolate is labelled "Gluten Free", this overrides the ingredient listing and is safe to eat. If there is no GF label read on...
2. If there is no GF label, then read the bolded allergen/trace statements (usually after the ingredients list). If gluten or wheat is mentioned, don't eat it. If there is no gluten/wheat mentioned in the allergen/trace statements read on ...
3. Check the ingredients list for hidden gluten. In Australia, the source of gluten must be declared on the package e.g. malt (wheat). In chocolate particularly look out for:
- malt (barley or wheat) - not safe
- thickeners 1400-1450 (wheat) - not safe
EXCEPTIONS - The good news is that according to Coeliac Australia even if the following ingredients are derived from wheat, they are so highly processed that gluten no longer exists & are therefore safe to eat!
- glucose (wheat) - safe!
- glucose syrup (wheat) - safe!
- caramel colour (wheat) - safe!
- dextrose (wheat) - safe!
My Favourite Gluten Free Chocolate? Baci
So tell me fellow foodie, what do you look for when reading chocolate wrappers (besides saturated fat content!) and what is your favourite gluten free chocolate?
For a list of Cadbury GF chocolates see: http://www.cadbury.com.au/Products/Gluten-Information.aspx