Hidden Corn Based Ingredients | Gluten-Free Society

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    Gluten Free Society recognizes that corn gluten is a harmful component for the gluten sensitive.  Studies show that people with gluten sensitivity can have reactions to corn gluten as well (see links below)

    Selected Studies on the detrimental effects of corn gluten:

    Study 1Corn gluten causes antibody response in celiacs

    Study 2 – Corn antibodies found in celiac patients

    Study 3Gluten free bread causes problems

    Study 4Corn causes gastrointestinal (gut) inflammation

    Study 5 – Corn oil causes villous atrophy

    Study 6 – Corn mold causes illness

    Study 7 – Corn gluten acts like wheat gluten

    In addition, evidence shows that corn and corn based products are largely produced from genetically modified varieties (GMO) and can contribute to intestinal permeability, vitamin and  mineral deficiencies, and a host of other health issues.
    To Better help those trying to adhere to a TRUE gluten free diet, we have comprised a list of foods and products that contain corn.
    **Although this is a comprehensive list, it should be noted that it is not representative of all hidden sources of corn.  Corn and corn by products are used ubiquitously in thousands of foods and commercial applications.

    Ingredients that definitely contain corn:

    Corn alcohol
    Corn chips
    Corn gluten
    Corn extract
    Corn flakes
    Corn flour
    Corn fritters
    Corn oil – corn oil margarine
    Corn meal
    Corn puffs cereal
    Corn starch
    Corn sweetener
    Corn sugar  (dextrose, Dyno, Cerelose, Puretose, Sweetose, glucose are all possibilities)
    Corn syrup
    Corn syrup solids
    Corn meal
    Corn flour
    Corn tortillas
    High fructose corn syrup
    Hydrolyzed corn
    Hydrolyzed corn protein
    Modified corn starch
    Tamales (coating)
    Taco shells
    Vegetable oil
    Zea mays

    Ingredients that may contain corn. Not all of these terms are definitively derived from corn, but they can be.  Use with caution:

    Acetic acid
    Alpha tocopherol
    Artificial flavorings
    Artificial sweeteners
    Ascorbic acid
    Aspartame (Artificial sweetener)
    Baking powder
    Barley malt
    Bleached flour
    Blended sugar
    Brown sugar (typically the caramel color)
    Calcium citrate
    Calcium fumarate
    Calcium gluconate
    Calcium lactate
    Calcium magnesium acetate (CMA)
    Calcium stearate
    Calcium stearoyl lactylate
    Caramel and caramel color
    Carbonmethylcellulose sodium
    Cellulose microcrystalline
    Cellulose, methyl
    Cellulose, powdered
    Cetearyl glucoside
    Choline chloride
    Citric acid
    Citrus cloud emulsion (CCS)
    Coco glycerides (cocoglycerides)
    Confectioners sugar
    Crosscarmellose sodium
    Crystalline dextrose
    Crystalline fructose
    DATUM (a dough conditioner)
    Decyl glucoside
    Decyl polyglucose
    Dextrose (also found in IV solutions)
    Dextrose anything (such as monohydrate or anhydrous)
    d-Gluconic acid
    Distilled white vinegar
    Drying agent
    Erythorbic acid
    Ethocel 20
    Ethyl acetate
    Ethyl alcohol
    Ethyl lactate
    Ethyl maltol
    Food starch
    Fruit juice concentrate
    Fumaric acid
    Germ/germ meal
    Gluconic acid
    Glucono delta-lactone
    Glucose syrup (also found in IV solutions)
    Gluten feed/meal
    Golden syrup
    Hydrolyzed vegetable protein
    Hydroxypropyl methylcellulose
    Hydroxypropyl methylcellulose pthalate (HPMCP)
    Invert syrup or sugar
    Iodized salt
    Lactic acid
    Lauryl glucoside
    Linoleic acid
    Magnesium fumarate
    Malic acid
    Malonic acid
    Malt syrup from corn
    Malt, malt extract
    Methyl gluceth
    Methyl glucose
    Methyl glucoside
    Microcrystaline cellulose
    Modified cellulose gum
    Modified food starch
    Molasses (corn syrup may be present; know your product)
    Mono and di glycerides
    Monosodium glutamate
    Natural flavorings
    Polylactic acid (PLA)
    Polysorbates (e.g. Polysorbate 80)
    Polyvinyl acetate
    Potassium citrate
    Potassium fumarate
    Potassium gluconate
    Powdered sugar
    Pregelatinized starch
    Propionic acid
    Propylene glycol
    Propylene glycol monostearate
    Salt (iodized salt)
    Semolina (unless from wheat)
    Sodium carboxymethylcellulose
    Sodium citrate
    Sodium erythorbate
    Sodium fumarate
    Sodium lactate
    Sodium starch glycolate
    Sodium stearoyl fumarate
    Sorbic acid
    Sorbitan monooleate
    Sorbitan tri-oleate
    Sorghum (syrup and/or grain may be mixed with corn)
    Splenda (Artificial sweetener)
    Stearic acid
    Sucralose (Artificial sweetener)
    Tocopherol (vitamin E)
    Triethyl citrate
    Unmodified starch
    Vanilla, natural flavoring
    Vanilla, pure or extract
    Vinegar, distilled white
    Vinyl acetate
    Vitamin C
    Vitamin E
    Vitamin supplements
    Xanthan gum

    Paper containers and plastic wrappers may contain an inner lining that is coated with corn.  The following are examples:




    Milk or ice cream cartons

    Use caution with the following foods, which may include sources of corn from various products, such as cornstarch, corn syrup and corn/vegetable oils:

    Commercial soups

    Peanut butter

    Various meats (cold cuts, ham, hotdogs, sausages)

    Breaded or fried foods



    Chop suey

    Chow mein

    Cheese spreads

    Fish sticks

    Mixed vegetables (frozen, canned)


    Pork and beans

    Creamed vegetables

    Breads dusted with corn meal

    Graham crackers

    Baking mixes

    Pancakes (certain mixes)

    Pancake syrups

    English muffins

    Gravy (thickened with corn starch, for instance)

    Salad dressings

    Canned or frozen fruits sweetened with corn syrup

    Dates and other fruit confections

    Ice creams, sherbets

    Chocolate milk, milk shakes, soy milks, eggnog

    American wines, whiskey, gin, beer, ale

    Carbonated beverages such as Coca-Cola, 7-Up, etc


    Instant coffees

    Powdered sugar

    Jams and jellies



    Chewing gums


    White distilled vinegar

    Monosodium glutamate

    Baking powder

    Cake yeast

    Bleached flour

    Gelatin capsules

    Non Edible Items That May Contain Corn Ingredients:

    Adhesives (envelopes, stickers, stamps)


    Medications (both over the counter and prescription)

    Laundry starch

    For a comprehensive list of non-food based items that contain corn visit The National Corn Growers Association Website here…

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    Gluten Free Warrior Commentary


    25 responses on “Hidden Corn Based Ingredients

    1. Lorraine Packer says:

      Thank you for this detailed list! This goes even further than I realized. I have tow severe gluten reactions recently, and they were because of nutritional supplements that I took. It’s getting more and more difficult to find things that are safe for me to eat. I pretty much need to stick to fresh produce, grass fed meats, pastured poultry and eggs, raw nuts and a few other things. Everything has to be made from scratch for me. I can’t even trust the gluten free community and items labeled gluten free out there. I live in a very different world from most people and I have to be extrememly careful at all times.

      Lorraine Packer

    2. desleuth says:

      My husband is extra sensitive to all gluten.
      he acts like he has been drugged and his memory is dulled. He is fine as long as he is gluten free and dairy free. I am amazed at where corn is part of our unknown consumption. Glucose IV, I wondered why my husband was in a drugged, confused state during two hospital stays, even though I gave orders to eliminate gluten foods.

    3. donatella says:

      I am exactly like you Lorraine. I don’t know what it takes from you… but, FOR ME.. Finding the right food, cooking it and digesting it (meaning having to rest after eating my meals), all this takes me 2 to 3 hours a day whereas 80% of the people around me only need 1 hour a day for their three meals! I look strange. nobody understands what it takes as sacrifice. not much time for socializing.. i was thinking that I need a support group otherwise I will start to think like everybody else that I am a weirdo who will never get her life back!! improvments required, fast! Cheers!

    4. Kimberly Petersen says:

      Lorraine and Donatella,

      I am like you. I had already found through elimination that I reacted to corn as well as wheat and dairy. Never thought the chronic diahrrea (sp?) was caused by hidden sources. I too have gotten down to no social life as it all revolves around food seemingly which is such a land mine for me. I’m just recovering from esophageal surgery and the whole food thing and resultant sensitive system is getting in the way. I admit I haven’t been good. I need quick, large calories – Ensure is the best way but loaded with corn. What to do? Got to have it right now so I am. I’m so happy to know of people who understand.

    5. farmwife67 says:

      Xylitol, good point to watch your product, you can buy xylitol that is from birch trees, but as Dr. O says you MUST know your product. I frequently call companies to ask many questions!

    6. newfmomx3 says:

      I am severely allergic to corn and have recently discovered that the USDA requires our slaughterhouses to spray either lactic or citric acid on the carcasses of ALL cattle. Lactic and Citric acid are both corn derived. It’s used to inhibit diseases that the cattle may or may not have. This includes your private grass fed farmers who use slaughterhouses. There is an alternative acid that can be used that is not corn based but it’s not as cheap as good ole corn.

    7. sehoy123 says:

      You also have to know the source of grass fed beef. We have a local farm that grass feeds but finishes with grain. I wonder if the “solution” listed on many meat packages is corn as well.

    8. Pamela Runyon says:

      I am truly tired of having to watch everything I eat that has gluten in it, and now they are telling us that we have to avoid corn products. This is crazy whats next? If you watch what is on this list there is nothing left! I have been Gluten free for six yrs and the only time I am sick is if I eat something with gluten (wheat,rye or barley) not corn. So I guess I’m lucky, but if you listen to everything you are not suppose to eat there will be nothing left.

    9. Lee Collins says:

      I have a 3 year old who has struggled for the past two years with eczema, that covers large parts of his body and has recently started on his face. We have seen drs, allergists etc until someone suggested his skin was more a coeliac rash. As we’ve been on a strict elimination diet for all of this year [yes, only rice products, freshly cooked meat, vegies and salads… it’s HARD WORK for this family of 5]… we didn’t get a positive blood test because he’s not eating gluten, but he has returned positive on 2 of the 3 genetic markers for coeliacs. He DEFINITELY reacts to corn products – and it is evvverywhere! Makes shopping and cooking tricky. The more and more I read about coeliacs, more things seem to be falling into place. His iron was a little down, but absorption ok at moment. He also has what I would consider a thrush-like redness on penis tip and around bottom that I have been humming about for a while, but feel like a harpy mother when I keep getting things “checked”. We have to decide whether or not to put him back on wheat [for a minimum of 3 months experts think to get positive bloods] and also whether we can during that time get endoscopy/colonoscopy to confirm any other food intolerance related issues, but can’t bring ourselves to make the choice to go back to horrific eczema, when we know we can just not eat dairy, soy [cause most contains wheat], eggs, corn, sesame, gluten/wheat and survive in a happy household. This food science stuff and what it entails is really tough. It’d also be like saying to a baby [which he still is 🙁 ] is here’s a lolly pop [all the foods he’s not eaten for 9 months – and might I add has never looked better]… to test him, then take that lolly pop away and start all over. What to do… The bottom/penis redness niggles at me like there’s something we’re missing still.

      • faye carter says:

        Check him out for Candida. Also known as yeast

      • gail says:

        I had major food reactions and finally took a test called the MRT test for food intolerances. The well site is called Leapnow.com
        It showed that I had major food issues one of which was corn this year. It does change every year and once I started to follow their program i was less sickly. This year, after five years of doing the test and following the program I only have a few food intolerances. I am getting well. Ask to speak to Anton and let him know you got this info from Gluten gail. It will really help your son and you will know what to eliminate.

    10. Barb Chuba says:

      No formal diagnosis as of yet, but in the works. Blood-work shows dangerously low levels of B12 and Dr. feels I have an “absorption” problem when it comes to B12, so an injection is required for me once a month. He’s also prescribed a “once a day” folic acid pill to accomodate the B12 injections. I never have energy for anything, my kids are suffering because I’m always “too tired”. I’m extremely gassy and constantly have foul-smelling flatulence, I was diagnosed with IBS in 2009 but my research is making me feel like it’s more like “leaky gut”. My hands, feet and ankles swell on a daily basis and my movements are sluggish. I suspect either Celiac Disease or Gluten-Sensitivity and am researching gluten-free lifestyle changes, recipes and products. It’s very overwhelming and this list makes me think there’s nothing left to eat or use. Our so-called “produce” is so genetically modified that I don’t think any fruits and vegetables are completely safe and healthy anymore, never mind any other kind of food. Apparently even washing the produce first doesn’t mean you’ve fully gotten-rid of all the pesticides that were sprayed on it. So, now what? We’ve developed “allergies” to these “healthy” foods because of pesticides and genetic modification and in order to alleviate the allergic reactions we are supposed to avoid certains foods and products. What’s left? Starvation?

    11. Dawn says:

      I have not eaten gluten in almost 8 years and had enormous improvement with severe neurological symptoms. In the meantime, I have developed numerous food sensitivities. I have found that going off of all rice, then corn, all dairy has helped tremendously. I still have food sensitivities to eggs, strawberries, blueberries, olive oil, salmon and many more foods that I love, but am sticking with the (other) best foods possible to try to heal my acid damaged intestinal tract from my throat to the duodenum discovered about 6 months ago with an endosopic procedure. Giving up each of the above did help dramatically. Yes, it was not easy at first, but is well worth the effort to feel as if I am not dying from a stroke or MS like symptoms as suggested by numerous doctors. I have also had a great improvement in asthma that popped up about 15 years ago at age 32. It does get easier and I have learned to be creative and take food with me wherever I go. Hang in ther, it is worth the effort and you won’t crave foods that make you sick.

    12. Maria Lick says:

      Lee, I feel for you and your son, The problem was that you guys did it backwards and are now getting tested for celiac instead of getting tested first through blood work while not going on a gluten free diet. If the test comes back negative for celiac then you should get a genetic testing done which you can do from your home and if it comes back positive than he should live as though he has celiac disease since blood work sometimes is not as accurate. People should really be tested every 2years or so. After 6 months of being gluten free(without eliminating corn etc) than you can see if he still gets a reaction or symptom, if he does, then start first eliminating corn and wait at least 6months and go from there. Keep a journal of his symptoms(time of day and what symptoms etc.) Good luck.

    13. Mike says:

      OK PEOPLE,lets just stop and take a breath. I am a celiac, not any of these things I hear “gluten sensitive” or anything else like that. I am very in tune with my body and eat a good diet. I was extememly sick in 2009 and was so underweight . I recovered and learned to eat again, I then started taking all these suppliments, got sick again and yes I can hear you thinking I didn’t check. But I did I was getting them from a local health food store and my pharmacy. ended up throwing them all away and began eating a sensible gluten free diet, practicing yoga playing hgockey and running and guess what people. I’m healthy and feel good. I eat rice pasta, quinoa and corn as well as potatoes. Is there health concerns always, however as my specialist has always said she’s only a call away.
      Again I could never imagined feeling this good and it’s from throwing all the suppliments away

    14. […] Take a few minutes to educate yourself on the names of corn derivatives hidden in food so you can avoid them. Here’s one source. […]

    15. Linja says:

      Corn is so hard to avoid! I discovered that a DAO supplement contains corn but there is no clue on the label! It is marketed for allergies and I am allergic to corn.

    16. Paula says:

      I had “eczema” and ultimately one very crusty, swelling foot that prednisone, antibiotics, and creams and oils couldn’t touch. My regular MD did nothing to determine cause; only gave assorted, useless prescriptions and recommendations, including bleach baths. After over a year of this, he finally referred me to dermatology, but they can’t see me for 3 months! Meanwhile, I swear I’m gonna lose my ever-swelling foot. Tired, fearful, and taking too many pain relievers, I go to the after-hours clinic. The new dr spots right off from the newer-developing rash on my arms that it’s wheat sensitivity. Tests for celiac, which comes back negative, but new dr challenges me to get off wheat immediately. Within 2 days my very painful “eczema” is disappearing from my fingers. (I couldn’t even do dishes or wash my hair before, they were so cut up and swollen.) After one 6-hour wrap with cortisone-based cream on my foot, the crusting washed away. Two days and two wraps later, the swelling is practically gone, leaving my foot wrinkly for a couple of months to restore it’s elasticity. The rash is not fully gone from my foot, legs, or arms, but it is fading slowly. This from being completely wheat free. Once I ate some rotisserie chicken from Costco, not realizing it was gluten free. Next morning I woke up with very itchy fingers and skin wanting to blister up. Read label online to find the wheat! Didn’t touch anymore, and new blisters faded fast. So, I KNOW wheat’s a problem. But skin problems are still getting provoked. I associate corn-related things in my foods. When I eliminate them, the problems ease up. When I try them again, the skin problems start up, subtly compared to the wheat, but they still show up. I finally saw the dermatologist. She wants to test for cancer being the underlying cause. Suggests I also look out for red and blue dyes in my foods, as if to humor me–she took the wheat and corn views lightly since we couldn’t have real proof in testing! She prescribed bleach baths, cortisone-based ointment wraps, Claritin twice a day for itching, and the threat of two skin biopsies in my next another-3-months-out appointment. I’ve decided to take matters into my own hands. I will stay on/develop my wheat-free, corn-free diet. And, btw, the knee pain I’ve had for YEARS is virtually gone now! My mind is clearer than ever. I’m solidly losing weight at no more than a pound or two a week (I’m at least 70 pounds overweight from my gluten-loaded days). I don’t do bleach baths, and my skin is slowly clearing up, which seems to be directly related to my ongoing discoveries of hidden corn-based derivatives in my foods. I’m still healing…this wheat discovery was just 3 months ago and I am SO much better! I have always been sensitive to whole wheat, but never to such a serious point with white breads, flours, and additives, until of late. I’m 60 years old, post-menopausal female, somewhat sedentary after shopping and chasing grandkids! And I look forward to healing fully through dietary measures!

    17. Paula says:

      And thank YOU, Dr. O, for helping so many. This website offers such help and insight. Many blessings to you!

    18. Debbie says:

      Our family has followed a “Gluten Free” diet for 5 years, since my husband was diagnosed Celiac. I have been suffering from vertigo, fibromyalgia, and undergone many tests for auto-immune diseases. Finally I went to a naturopathic Dr who ran comprehensive stool and saliva testing to learn that I am full of GLUTEN, after 5 years of GF eating. Today we are clearing our cupboards of all products listing corn, soy, and other so-called safe grains!Thank you!
      What is wrong with the regular medical community??

      • GFWSally says:

        Great job taking control of your health! Slowly but surely people will see the light and face what has happened to our food supply. Thanks for sharing your story with others. People need to have that inspiration!

      • Debbie,
        I can’t speak for the rest of the medical community, but I am happy to see that you are moving in the right direction!
        Let me know how your journey goes. Did you get your copy of NO Grain NO Pain yet?
        All the best,
        Dr. Osborne

    19. Timothy says:

      Hi, I’m Timothy, I started lifting weights early in life. I’ve always been health conscious. As I entered my 40’s, I started eating more natural. More salads,fresh fruits, fresh vegetables, nuts in their shells, organic products when I could afford them. Then I developed a bad case of hemoroids- itching, red swelling, bleeding in my under wear. My doctors tells me to use preparation H, and if this didn’t help, there is always surgery. My finances got tight, so I had to eliminate some of my snack foods. I gave up my pastachios, one week later my hemoroids went away. No more swelling, no more itching, no more blood in my underwear. It was just a food allergy. So I’ve come to believe IBC and many other disorders are food allergies.

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