You’d be forgiven for automatically presuming that all sour cream is gluten-free. After all, it’s only fermented dairy, right?
Whether sour cream is definitely GF is not as straightforward as it may seem, as it depends on the specific brand and type of sour cream that you are considering.
In general, sour cream is considered to be gluten-free, as it is made from fermented cream and does not (by default) usually contain any wheat or other gluten-containing ingredients.
However, there are some brands of sour cream that may contain gluten, either as an added ingredient or as a result of cross-contamination during the manufacturing process.
As an added ingredient:
One of the main sources of potential gluten in sour cream is the use of stabilizers and thickeners. Some brands of sour cream may use wheat-based ingredients, such as wheat flour or wheat starch, as stabilizers or thickeners. This can make sour cream unsafe for individuals on a gluten-free diet.
Due to cross-contamination:
There’s also the potential for cross-contamination during the manufacturing process. If a sour cream manufacturer also produces products that contain gluten, there is a risk that gluten-containing ingredients or particles could be introduced into the sour cream during the production process.
This can also make sour cream unsafe for individuals on a gluten-free diet.
Below, we discuss what to look for when buying your own, and what should be on the label:
What to Look For: In Store When Buying GF Sour Cream
When shopping for sour cream at the store, you can tell if a particular brand contains gluten by looking for a “gluten-free” label on the packaging.
This label is required by law to be included on any product that is specifically formulated to be gluten-free and contains less than 20 parts per million of gluten (source: FDA).
If a sour cream product does not have a “gluten-free” label, you can also check the ingredient list for any gluten-containing ingredients, such as wheat flour or wheat starch.
However, it is important to keep in mind that the absence of these ingredients does not necessarily mean that the sour cream is gluten-free, as there is still the potential for cross-contamination during the manufacturing process.
Therefore, if you are on a gluten-free diet and want to include sour cream in your meals, it is important to check the label carefully and choose a brand that is specifically labeled gluten-free. Just the fact it’s got no wheat listed as an ingredient isn’t enough on its own.
Which Brands of Sour Cream are Known to Be GF?
There are several brands of gluten-free sour cream available in the United States. Some examples of these brands include Daisy, Breakstone’s and XXX.
These brands are specifically formulated to be gluten-free and do not contain any gluten-containing ingredients or have any potential for cross-contamination during the manufacturing process.
In addition to these brands, many other dairy product manufacturers also offer gluten-free sour cream options. For example, Kraft Heinz, Land O’ Lakes, and Organic Valley all offer gluten-free versions of sour cream products.
When Eating Sour Cream at a Restaurant
Like when buying from a store, you can’t automatically presume that all restaurant sour cream is gluten free friendly, either.
Ask your server about the restaurant’s procedures for preventing cross-contamination during food preparation, and what sour cream they use. If a restaurant also serves gluten-containing foods, there is a risk that gluten could be introduced into the sour cream through cross-contamination in the kitchen.
If you are unsure about the safety of the sour cream, you can also ask your server if the restaurant has any gluten-free options available. Many restaurants now offer gluten-free options on their menus, and you may be able to find a safe and tasty alternative to sour cream, to skip the risk altogether.
Overall, it is important to communicate with your server and be cautious when ordering sour cream in a restaurant if you are on a gluten-free diet.
In conclusion, sour cream is generally considered to be gluten-free. However, it is important to check the label and choose a brand (or a restaurant) that is specifically telling you that your sour cream is gluten-free to ensure that it’s safe for you, if you’re avoiding gluten.