Fruit juices are an excellent source of nutrients and a serving of some juices is even equivalent to a serving of fruit with all the beneficial nutrients. But how can you tell if they are gluten-free?
Fruit juices are generally gluten-free when taken from the pure juice of the fruit or pulp of the fruit. The only time they are not gluten-free is when they are exposed to gluten during processing or when added with ingredients that contain gluten.
So, how can you tell if it’s gluten-free and what are these added ingredients that have gluten? Learn more below!
Is Fruit Juice Always Gluten Free?
As stated by the FDA, Juice is the liquid extracted from one or more fruits or vegetables, purees of the edible parts of these fruits or vegetables, or concentrates of such puree or liquid (source: FDA).
According to Celiac Disease Foundation, fresh and frozen vegetables are naturally gluten-free. But it is still crucial to read labels on any processed products (source: Celiac Disease Foundation).
In addition, the packaging will tell you a lot. If it has the “gluten-free” label, then it is most likely gluten-free. FDA requires that a food product can be labeled “gluten-free” if it has less than 20 parts per million (PPM) of gluten.
If the “gluten-free” label is not on the packaging, read the ingredients list because a questionable ingredient(s) might be present (source: Celiac Disease Foundation). You can find gluten-free and non-gluten-free ingredients on this list.
Remember that “wheat-free” doesn’t equate to the product being gluten-free, the reason being that gluten can be found in other sources such as rye, barley, oats, malt, and brewer’s yeast (source: Celiac Disease Foundation).
While wheat is the main source of gluten, it can also be found in malt, and hybrid grains like emmer, Khorasan, and spelt (source: Gluten Associated Medical Problems).
Fresh Squeezed Juices
Freshly squeezed juices are generally gluten-free unless they accidentally get exposed to gluten. These can be from wheat flour, barley flour, rye flour, or oats.
The only reason why oat can contain gluten is that it is usually processed in a facility that processes wheat.
Gluten can also be found in some syrups like malt syrup and glucose syrup.
Although glucose syrup is on the list of gluten-free ingredients as linked above, it can be produced from starch that comes from wheat grains which makes it contain gluten (source: Brewing Materials and Processes).
Apart from reading the ingredients list on the packaging, if you see the phrase “Processed in a facility that also processes wheat” or other similar indications, that product is highly likely to contain gluten.
We also recommend reaching the manufacturer to find out the gluten status of a fruit juice product.
Concentrated or Commercially-Made Juices
Commercially-made juice drinks that come from actual fruit juice are mostly gluten-free if, again, not exposed to gluten-containing ingredients.
Juice from concentrate or reconstituted juice, on the other hand, comes from a concentrate. A concentrate is made by removing water from fruit juice to decrease the volume. Some manufactures prefer this to reduce shipping costs.
In the production, the concentrate gets to be added with water and other ingredients (source: Frobishers).
The thing about this is that since the ingredients are not in one place, they can get exposed to gluten.
Fruit juices and vegetable juices taken straight from the fruit or vegetable are generally gluten-free, unless added with ingredients that contain gluten, or have been exposed to gluten.
Here are some juices that are considered gluten-free:
- Orange juice
- Cranberry juice
- Apple juice
- Pineapple juice
- Lemon juice
- Lime juice
- Tomato juice
Fruit juices like apple, orange, lemon, lime, and even tomato are mostly gluten-free. But always make it a habit to read labels to be extra sure, or to contact the manufacturer if you have doubts or if you saw a questionable ingredient. Hope this article helps!