If it’s not coffee in the morning, then it’s most definitely orange juice. But can gluten-sensitive people agree?
Orange juice from real fruit of oranges is generally gluten-free. It only becomes unfriendly to gluten-sensitive people when exposed to gluten, wheat, and other gluten-containing grains during production. Moreover, avoid ingredients that have gluten in the juice.
What are these ingredients to watch out for, and what brands of orange juice are gluten-free? Discover below!
Is Orange Juice Generally Gluten Free?
Orange juice, when taken from the juice of oranges (as in actual fruit juice), is regarded as gluten-free.
Gluten is mainly found in wheat, rye, barley, oat, related grains, hybrids like spelt, Khorasan, and emmer, and the products of these grains like malt (source: Gluten Associated Medical Problems).
Both fresh and frozen fruits are, by nature, free from gluten. However, processed fruits and dried fruits aren’t always gluten-free. You will have to thoroughly read a product’s packaging or label to see if it contains gluten or not (source: Celiac Disease Foundation).
For a food to be considered gluten-free, the FDA requires the food product to only contain less than 20 parts per million (PPM) of gluten. Manufacturers are not mandated to put a gluten-free label on their products. However, if they do, they have to strictly follow a set of rules and regulations (source: FDA).
Remember that if a product has no label or caution about allergens, doesn’t mean that it is gluten-free. We recommend reading the whole packaging of the orange juice drink you’re about to buy or already have, and checking for any questionable ingredients (source: Celiac Disease Foundation).
Orange juice comes from the juice of the pulp of the orange fruit. It is the unfermented juice from mature oranges (source: Made How).
It can either be highly processed or minimally processed. Orange juice that’s minimally processed has to be consumed immediately otherwise it can get contaminated with salmonella (source: Science Direct).
Examples of these two are freshly squeezed juice or fresh juice and commercially extracted and pasteurized or processed juice (source: USDA).
Processed orange juice available commercially are: frozen concentrate, reconstituted liquid, or single-strength. Reconstituted liquid and single-strength orange juice are ready-to-drink juices (source: Made How).
Most, if not all orange juice sold is not one ingredient. Some other components have to be added with water to dilute a concentrate or made with an additive to prevent it from spoiling, keep the juice stable, and the flavor intact.
Remember to always read the product label and look for gluten, wheat, flour, wheat starch, graham, licorice, and others on this list. These additional ingredients contain gluten and should therefore be avoided.
Take notice of any mention of where the orange juice is processed. It is unlikely to be processed in a facility that also processes wheat. But also look for this on the label to make sure.
Orange Juice Brand Guide: Which Brands are GF?
Some manufacturers put a gluten-free label on their products. Others don’t. This is because they are not mandated to do so in the US.
When it comes to allergens, wheat needs to be listed on the label as an allergen. However, other gluten-containing grains do not, like barley or rye, so, watch out for them. Other gluten ingredients you need to watch out for are in this list.
Also, if the orange juice is processed in a facility that also processes wheat, which is unlikely but could still happen, we advise not purchasing it.
Let’s look at some brands and their gluten content:
Tropicana orange juice brand is gluten-free according to Verywell Fit (source: Verywell Fit).
Simply Orange Juice
The packaging in Florida Natural orange juice has no gluten-free label, nor does their website mention that it is.
According to their website, all their 100% juice products, which are those that don’t have an added ingredient, are free from gluten (source: Minute Maid).
Nature’s Nectar, an Aldi brand of orange juice, is gluten-free (source: Instacart).
In March 2014, Dole became a sponsor Celiac Disease Foundation (CDF) to help bring much-needed attention by raising awareness of celiac diseases and gluten sensitivity (source: Celiac Disease Foundation). Their products are gluten-free products.
Kirkland doesn’t indicate that their orange juice is pure juice from oranges and only mentions that it’s not from a concentrate. However, according to Gluten Free Guide HQ, generic supermarket orange juices are generally gluten-free (source: Gluten Free Guide HQ).
Uncle Matt’s organic orange juice drink is gluten-free, USDA organic, and uses BPA-free plastic, as stated on the product’s label (source: Walmart).
Note that orange juice taken from a concentrate means that the orange concentrate comes from the fruit with most of its water removed and usually added with sugar, which makes it thick. This also means that is pure juice.
So, to summarize everything, here’s a table you can check:
|Orange Juice Brand||Gluten Status|
|Simply Orange Juice||Gluten-free|
|Florida Natural||Might be gluten-free|
|Kirkland||Might be gluten-free|
Apart from thoroughly reading the label, we also recommend calling the manufacturer if necessary. We hope this article helped answer your queries!