Gluten Free Facts

The Basics


What is gluten?

Gluten is the protein found in wheat, barley, rye and related wheat species such as spelt and kamut.  It helps baked goods keep their form and chewy texture and is also added to other food items more and more, both for consistency and taste purposes.

Helpful Hint:  Buckwheat, contrary to its name, is not actually wheat and does not contain gluten.


What foods contain gluten?

The obvious foods that contain gluten include foods made from a flour base.  Wheat, barley, and rye based breads, cookies, pastries, and bagels all contain gluten.  However, hidden sources of gluten are abundant in many packaged goods from soy sauce to spice mixes, to breath mints.  More and more companies are voluntarily labeling their products as gluten free and some even go through a gluten free certification process.

Here is a short list of foods that can have hidden gluten:

  • Sausages
  • Luncheon meat
  • Blue cheese
  • Gravy and gravy powder
  • Baked beans
  • Self basting turkeys
  • Sauces
  • Soups
  • Seasoning Mixes
  • Mustards
  • Instant coffee
  • Brown rice syrup
  • Chocolate
  • Potato chips
  • Soy sauce
  • Hot Chocolate
  • Licorice
  • Pickles
  • Salad dressings
  • Curry powder
  • White pepper
  • Malt vinegar
  • Marinades
  • Candy
  • Breath mints
  • Oats (while naturally gluten free, there is a risk of contamination through harvesting, milling, and processing; Udi’s only uses certified gluten free oats) (1) (2)

For a full list of unsafe ingredients, click here:


Who eats a gluten free diet?

Some people must eat a gluten free diet because they’ve been diagnosed with Celiac Disease or Gluten Sensitivity, in which the only cure is a gluten free diet.  Others eat gluten free because they suspect gluten is causing them undesirable symptoms that they wish to avoid.  Still others have learned that gluten can cause inflammation and therefore they seek to eliminate it from their diet.  No matter what your situation, a gluten free lifestyle may be of benefit to you.


Who can get Celiac Disease or have a Gluten Sensitivity?

  • The short answer is: anyone.  Some are more predisposed to have this disease or intolerance than others, especially if a family member has been diagnosed.  It has been noted that northern European countries, specifically Nordic countries, as well as Italy and Ireland have a higher rate of Celiac Disease, and approximately 1 out of every 133 Americans have Celiac Disease.  (7)  


What is Gluten Anyway and Where Is It?

By Danna Korn, Living Gluten Free for Dummies, 2nd edition

Gluten has a couple of definitions; one is technically correct but not commonly used, and the other is commonly used but not technically correct.  Here’s the common definition:  Gluten is a mixture of proteins in wheat, rye, and barley.  Oats don’t have gluten, but may be contaminated, so they’re forbidden on a strict gluten-free diet, too.   

You can find lots of information about what you can and can’t eat on a gluten-free diet at or other websites.  But you need to have a general idea of what kinds of food have gluten in them so you know what to avoid.  Foods with flour in them (white or wheat) are the most common culprits when you’re avoiding gluten.  The following are obvious gluten-glomming foods:

  • Bagels
  • Beer
  • Bread
  • Cookies, cakes, and most other baked goods
  • Crackers
  • Pasta
  • Pizza
  • Pretzels

But along with these culprits come not-so-obvious suspects too, like licorice, many (read ‘most’) cereals, and natural flavorings.  When you’re gluten-free, you get used to reading labels, calling manufacturers, and digging a little deeper to know for sure what you can and can’t eat.

You have to do without these foods, but you really don’t have to do without.  There’s a subtle but encouraging difference.  Food manufacturers make delicious gluten-free versions of just about every food imaginable these days.

Know your Ingredients

When preparing meals for your gluten free guests, be aware of foods naturally gluten free, foods that contain gluten, and ‘trigger’ foods that may include an additive containing gluten.


Naturally Gluten Free

Amaranth Quinoa Arrowroot
Rice Sorghum Millet
Teff Buckwheat Lentils
Soy Potato Flax
Yucca Meats (fresh) Honey
Corn Eggs Tapioca
Butter Milk (plain) Fruits & Veggies (fresh)


Foods Containing Gluten

Wheat (including Einkorn, Emmer, Spelt, Kamut, Wheat Starch, Bran, Germ, Cracked Wheat, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein) Wheat-containing Flours (plain, white, bromated, enriched, phosphated, self-rising, durum, farina, semolina, graham)
Rye Triticale


May Contain Gluten

Sauces Bouillon Seasoned Snacks
Malt Beer Matzo
Meats (processed) Soups Rice Mixes
Modified Food Starch Soy Sauce Gravy
Candy Brown Rice Syrup Vegetables in Sauce
Licorice French Fries


Foodservice Resources

Learn information on how to be included in our online Udi’s Restaurant Locator, participate in Gluten Intolerance Group’s Gluten Free Restaurant Awareness Program, or order Udi’s Gluten Free for your dining location.


Currently Udi’s at Your Dining Location?  Be Featured on our Restaurant Locator!

Let customers know you offer gluten free options in your restaurant – email us at to be included in our online Restaurant Locator 


Gluten Intolerance Group’s Gluten Free Restaurant Awareness Program

The Gluten Intolerance Group facilitates restaurants participating in the Gluten Free Restaurant Awareness Program (GFRAP) to be able to confidently welcome gluten free diners to their restaurants, gain increased patronage, and advertise gluten free meal options.  Restaurants currently part of the GFRAP program have documented increases in sales of up to 14%.1  The GFRAP website includes links, directions, and valuable information about each of the approximately 1,400 GFRAP-approved restaurants.2  If you are interested in participating in the GFRAP program, visit






How to Order Udi’s Gluten Free for Your Restaurant

Interested in offering Udi’s Gluten Free options in your dining location?


You can order Udi’s through the following ways:

  • Through a Distributor – Please contact us at or 888-657-1685 to find a distributor in your area.
  • By Direct Shipment – Visit and select ‘Foodservice Solutions’ at the bottom of the page to create an account and start placing an order.