Toothpaste: Gluten free?

So I recently decided to change my toothpaste brand, so I thought that I would pass along the inquires that I made for the main three toothpaste companies (Crest, Aquafresh, and Cologate). I emailed them with the following three questions:

  1. I was wondering if your various toothpaste products contain gluten?
  2. Are they manufactured in a gluten free facility?
  3. Do you happen to have a list of your gluten free products?

Here are their responses:


“Thanks for contacting Crest.

None of our current Crest toothpaste versions, Crest Whitestrips versions, or Crest Night Effects contains gluten. In addition, none of the ingredients used in Glide dental floss contains gluten.

Although we do not directly add ingredients that contain gluten to Crest Pro-Health Rinse or to Crest Whitening Rinse, it's possible these products could contain trace amounts. We recommend you contact your doctor before using these rinse products if you have questions or concerns about gluten.

Stop by anytime.

Crest Team”


“Thank you for contacting us with your question. We appreciate the opportunity to provide information regarding grain derived ingredients in Colgate Palmolive products.

We do not intentionally add gluten to the following Colgate Palmolive products. However, we cannot guarantee that the ingredients used are not exposed to any glutens.

Colgate Toothpaste, all variants
Colgate Simply White Clear Whitening Gel, all variants
Fluorigard Rinse
Orabase Paste and Orabase Gel
Peroxyl Gel and Peroxyl Rinse
Phos-Flur Rinse
Platinum Toothpaste
Prevident Gel
Ultra brite Toothpaste, all variants
Viadent Rinse
Viadent Toothpaste

Sorbitol is an ingredient which can be grain derived and may be found in toothpastes. Our sorbitol is corn-derived.

Once again, thank you for taking the time to contact us. We hope this information is helpful.


Amy Pollock
Consumer Affairs Representative”


"We have received your e-mail and we are happy to respond to your question regarding Aquafresh® toothpaste and gluten.

Aquafresh® toothpaste is gluten-free.

We appreciate your taking the time to contact us.


GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare"


FDA One Step Closer

The FDA announced recently that they are having the final meetings before they make their ruling on the restrictions for labeling something “gluten-free.” If you haven’t heard, the FDA back in 2004 made a ruling in their Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act of 2004 that by the year 2008 they would need to provide manufactures and consumers a definition of gluten and the legal requirements for a product to be labeled “gluten-free.”

If you did not know, currently in the United States manufacturing companies can label something “gluten-free” yet there is no legal definition of what that specifically entails. Usually, companies will label something ‘gluten-free’ if the gluten content is less than 20 ppm (particles per million). There is still disagreement on what gluten really is and how far something has to go before it’s actually gluten free.

The proposed restrictions force companies to only label something as gluten free if it meets the following requirements:

1. Contains none of the “prohibited grains” which includes wheat (e.g., durum wheat, spelt wheat, or kamut), rye, barley or their crossbred hybrids
2. Contains no ingredient (e.g., wheat flour) that is derived from a “prohibited grain” and that has not been processed to remove gluten
3. Any ingredient (e.g., wheat starch) that is derived from a “prohibited grain” must have been processed to remove gluten, if the use of that ingredient results in the presence of 20 micrograms or more gluten per gram of food,
4. Can contain no more than 20 micrograms or more gluten per gram of food.

There seems to be split opinion on how this ruling will work in real-life application. Some people believe that many products that companies label now as ‘gluten-free’ will no longer be labeled as such because of the extra cost in testing that will be required. Personally, I welcome any regulation and think that this ruling will play out very similarly to the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act of 2004 with companies having to label allergens. But we will have to see! I will post again once they actually make the ruling official.

If you want to read more, please check out the following links:

FDA Website

Celiac Central

DC Gluties

The Hub


Figuring Out if a Product is Gluten Free

So, you have a product in your hand and you really, really want to eat it but the label is mysterious. It contains ingredients such as “modified food starch” which could contain gluten or not. What’s a girl to do? So, put on your glasses and sharpen your pencils because it’s time to do some research!

The easiest way to figure out if the product contains gluten is to locate the toll free customer service number on the back of the product and call. The information that you need to have handy is 1. The product name 2. The flavor of the product (if there are multiple, because it might differ) 3. The product identification number (or UPC number). The customer service person could ask for any of this info depending on the how well the employee has been prepped on the product info. When I call up I will say, “Hi, I was wondering if your product X contains gluten.” It’s just that easy!

Now, if you are like me and normally shop in the evenings (especially in PST) the customer service line might be closed. (Side rant: Why do they seem to all run on EST? *Shakes fist in air* Why?!?) Anyhoo, then you don’t this option. If you are already at the store, you can go to the information counter and ask if they have a list of all the gluten-free products in their store. Certain grocery stores such as Trader Joe's and Whole Foods have lists of all of their own product lines that contain gluten or other allergies.

If none of that helps, your best bet is to look online when you get home (or use your Blackberry, iPhone, or call someone who has access to the internets). I find it’s best to pull up Google and type in:

This will bring up a list of websites. First, I will look at the addresses for what looks like the company’s official website. Some companies will have a list of gluten-free products on their website, which is awesome and makes life easy. Most companies won’t list their gluten-free products in written form because they are worried that if they change the product ingredients that people will have already printed out the list and not check for updates (aka they eat it, get sick, and sue the company… isn’t the legal system grand?!?). That’s why on any gluten-free product list there is always a line about making sure to check the label before eating any product.

If I can’t find the anything on the official website, then I will look and see if of the links are for the Gluten-Free Forum in the search results. The Gluten-Free Forum sole purpose is to be a forum for people with gluten-related issues to post. It’s the best place to find answers, because there are so many educated veterans of gluten-intolerance/celiacs. Most people have already contacted the company and posted the info they found. If you still can’t get any info, I would post your inquiry there to see if people have run into the same issue.

If you can’t contact anyone on the customer service line, you can always email the company. Lots of companies that won’t post their gluten-free lists online will only tell you information over the phone (so worried about written info and lawyers).

Normally, if I get a hold of a person at a company that says that they can’t verify if a product contains gluten or not, then I say, “If that’s the case, I will no longer be able to purchase any of your company’s products because you obviously don’t check for food allergies in your products and I can’t take that chance.” I will always make sure to thank the customer service person (because they can only tell me the information that they are given) and hang up. Sometimes, I’ve had people call or email me back later with more info because I had said that I won’t purchase their products anymore (you’ll be amazed at what lengths companies will go to if you say that one little line).

If none of the above situations work, you can always switch product brands (especially to organic and smaller food companies) to see if their products contain gluten or, at the very least, have better customer service. ;)

Happy sleuthing!


Rice Chex is Now Gluten Free

You heard me right, a mainstream cereal brand has changed it’s ingredients to now being gluten free! Woot!

I had to pick up two boxes at the store today, since all the old gluten boxes are now gone. The cereal tastes slightly different than I remember, but is still yummy. I added some blueberries and sugar to add some depth to the taste and I completely recommend it.

Random comment: geez, the cost of cereal has spiked, hasn’t it? I never buy any anymore so I wasn’t in the loop. Thank you, American economy!

Now, it’s important to note when you pick up a box of Rice Chex that it says “Gluten-Free” on the front. Since they are phasing out the old boxes, you might pick up an old one that contains malt. So be careful!

General Mills also added a gluten free section to their online recipes, to celebrate.

Gluten free products are slowly making their way into normal grocery stores. Soon we will take over the world. Bwahahaha!


Review: Gluten-Free Pantry’s Chocolate Truffle Brownie Mix

As a huge fan of Gluten-Free Pantry’s products, I was excited to try out this mix. It’s been sitting on my shelf for a while because I’ve been making the less expensive Trader Joe’s Gluten Free Brownie Mix instead. But, I have to admit, this wasn’t the best gluten free brownie mix that I’ve ever had. It was dry in the middle and really stuck to my greased pan. I like my brownies moist and a little gooey in the middle, which this didn’t have at all.

I added some chopped nuts, to see if it helped with the texture, which it really did.

The mix came with chocolate chips in it, but they didn’t melt when baked. They also helped with the texture, but it seems weird that they didn’t melt more than they did.

I personally would recommend the Trader Joe's Gluten-Free Brownie Mix over this one. This mix was still good, just not the best I’ve ever had.


Mini Cupcake Tins Make Baking a Little More Fun

So, I’ve learned that gluten free baking seems to always have a problem with texture. Lots of mixes are just grainy instead of smooth and fluffy. I’ve found a good solution to mixes that have this problem: just make everything smaller!

Normally, the edges of your baked goods are firmer in texture (because they are baked slightly longer) and don’t suffer the grainy issue. I read somewhere that if you are making gluten free cookies that you should make the cookies smaller to ensure that they don’t fall apart as easily. I was amazed to find that this is true but also discovered that it makes the grainy texture less noticeable.

I decided to test my new theory with other baked goods, as well. My first test was brownies. My grandmother gave me an old mini-cupcake tin that she had never used, so instead of pouring the batter into an 8x8 pan, I used the mini-cupcake pan. Not only does it make the texture better, it holds the brownie together more and is cute to boot!

I now use this method on almost all baked goods that I make, especially cupcakes. It works wonders and people always give me compliments on how cute they are.The only thing that you need to note is that mini-cupcake pans come in several different sizes and normally aren’t consistent. It doesn’t really matter what size you buy, just keep in mind that cupcake holders only really come in two small sizes: Bonbon and Mini-Cupcake. Bonbon holders are really for making chocolates and are therefore smaller. Don’t use the foil bonbon baking cups for anything other than chocolates because any baked good will stick to it more.

You can buy small cupcake holders at Michael’s and sometimes at the grocery store. Wilton’s has a list of all the ones that they have on their website.

Enjoy baking! Please send links to pictures if you ever make any small baked treasures!


Review: Gluten Free Pantry’s Crisp & Crumble Topping

My mother and I had picked up this mix at Nature’s Pantry since we had never seen it at any other stores. Basically, you just cut up apples into a pan and place the mix (with butter cut in) on top and stick it in the oven. Very easy.

The mix took almost twice the amount of time to cook as it said on the box, so keep that in mind if you are planning on making this mix. Next time, I’ll set the oven up higher.

It turned out great. All family members (aka all the gluten eaters) gave it the thumbs up. I think that you could even take this mix camping with you and just place the ingredients in aluminum foil and throw it on the fire. Just a thought!

Although this mix was incredibly easy to prepare (no cooking skills needed), if you have any cooking knowledge at all you could make this mix for yourself. I’ve done it before to place on top of pies. It’s as easy as taking gluten free flour, adding cinnamon, light brown sugar, butter, and putting it all in a food processor. I don’t know if it’s worth the extra price to make something so simple. Here is the recipe that I modified from the cookbook, PIE by Ken Haedrich. Just add the ingredients together and cut in the butter.

Cornmeal Crumb Topping
¾ cup White Rice Flour
¼ cup Fine Yellow Cornmeal
2/3 cup Light Brown Sugar
¼ teaspoon Salt
½ teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
½ cup Cold Unsalted Butter

I personally liked this recipe as much as the mix, but it also takes a little longer to prepare. I’ve included a link to Sophie’s crumble top recipe. Sophie is an amazing cook and all you have to do is replace white rice flour for her regular flour. If anyone else knows of any good crumble top recipes, please feel free to share!