Is Mustard Gluten Free?
Condiments are among the most commonly questioned items for those on a gluten free diet. They are often full of less familiar ingredients, and they can easily hide gluten. So it is important to read labels carefully and understand where gluten might be sneaking in. If you aren’t sure about what gluten is, check out our ultimate guide.
So what about one of the most common condiments? Is mustard gluten free? There are many different kinds of mustard with a number of ingredients to consider. So let’s take a look.
What is Mustard Made Of?
Mustard generally has a basic mixture of ingredients, including mustard seeds and vinegar. However, the quality of these simple ingredients can vary, as can the other ingredients added to mustard to create different flavors, like honey mustard, dijon mustard, or mustard spreads. The type and quality of other ingredients may mean that the mustard is not gluten free.
As always, It is important to check labels and understand how it is made when purchasing mustard to ensure it is gluten free.
The Scoop on Vinegar
While many types of vinegar, like pure red wine vinegar, apple cider vinegar, and balsamic vinegar, are gluten free, other types of white vinegar may not be. These vinegars may be made from gluten-containing grains like wheat, barley, and rye. Malt vinegar is typically made from barley. Some sources will state that when vinegar is distilled the gluten proteins are broken down and no longer present in meaningful amounts. However, the original source of the vinegar is still grain, and so we recommend knowing the source of your vinegar to be absolutely certain that it does not contain gluten.
Is Mustard Gluten Free?
So is mustard gluten free? Since mustard seeds are naturally gluten free, mustard most certainly can be gluten free! You just need to check labels and ask questions:
- Does the mustard contain any gluten ingredients (including hidden gluten in the vinegar)?
- Is the mustard produced in a dedicated gluten free facility to reduce the risk of cross contamination?
- Is the mustard certified gluten free? This is the safest way to confirm that a product is gluten free! If it is, it answers the first two questions in this list.
- Beware of mustard while eating out. The bottles are oftentimes refilled. This increases the risk of gluten cross contamination into the bottle.
Gluten Friendly Mustard Brands
- Eden Organic Brown Mustard: This product is organic, gluten free, and contains only a handful of ingredients. This product is made with organic apple cider vinegar.
- Organicville: Organicville is gluten-free certified by the Gluten-Free Certification Organization, which requires testing to below 10 parts per million of gluten.
- Annie’s: Annie’s states that its mustard is made with gluten free ingredients. It is not certified gluten free but the company notes that their manufacturing facilities “have the highest standards of cleanliness and have documented and verified allergen handling policies. During production, we run our products in a particular order to reduce the risk of cross contamination, take the equipment apart and thoroughly clean it in between runs of product. We routinely test for the effectiveness of our allergen procedures.”
How to Use Mustard
Mustard can be used as a condiment on sandwiches, as an emulsifying ingredient in salad dressings and sauces, or as a binding agent in recipes like our Speedy Salmon Cakes.
The mustard seed is naturally gluten free, and so it is quite possible to find a gluten free mustard. However, it is important to understand what other ingredients are included and to make sure that a mustard is made in a dedicated gluten free environment to ensure that it is gluten free.
Learn more about your gluten free diet with Gluten Free Society. And if you aren’t yet gluten free but think you might be gluten sensitive, take our sensitivity test!