Make gazpacho, turn it into a dressing, add it to soups, or make your very own drink — tomato juice has just one too many uses! But does it contain gluten?
Tomato juice is gluten-free if its ingredients don’t have gluten. Those available on the market are mostly processed and added with ingredients to enhance their already-delicious taste. But some of these ingredients may not be gluten-free. So, always read the labels of products.
So, what are these gluten-containing ingredients and what brands can you trust? Find out more below!
Is Tomato Juice Usually Gluten Free or Not?
Tomato juice is gluten-free if none of its ingredients contain gluten.
It is the juice from fresh tomatoes excluding the seeds, skin, and pulp. It is considered to be gluten-free (source: Master Class).
Moreover, according to Celiac Disease Foundation, fresh and frozen vegetables are naturally gluten-free. Still, it is important to read labels on any processed veggies (source: Celiac Disease Foundation). This includes tomato juice which, unlike fruit juices, is not freshly squeezed.
If a product has a “gluten-free” label on the packaging, then in all likelihood, it is gluten-free. This is because the FDA mandates, as one of the rules, that a product can be labeled “gluten-free” if its gluten content is less than 20 parts per million (PPM).
Wheat-free doesn’t always mean gluten-free. This is because gluten can be found in other sources such as barley, rye, malt, oats, and brewer’s yeast (source: Celiac Disease Foundation).
Tomato juice is also almost always processed. It is added with ingredients such as other vegetable juices, spices and flavorings, syrups for sweetness, sauces like Worcestershire sauce, and vinegar that can come from gluten-containing grains.
Some syrups like corn syrup and cane syrups are gluten-free (source: Arizona Campus Health Service). While glucose syrup also seems to be gluten-free, it can be produced from starch derived from wheat grains which makes it contain gluten (source: Brewing Materials and Processes).
Worcestershire sauce is not always gluten-free. Some are made with barley malt vinegar which makes it a big no for people with Celiac disease or gluten sensitivity (source: Beyond Celiac).
Another food ingredient that you need to look out for is vinegar. Vinegar can come from grains that contain gluten such as malt vinegar. This vinegar is also not distilled (source: Gluten Intolerance Group).
Tomato Juice GF Brand Guide
In this section, we listed some of the most popular tomato juice brands and their gluten status.
Heinz tomato juice has no “gluten-free” label, nor do they indicate that it has no gluten.
Campbell’s tomato juice has the “gluten-free” label on the back of the bottle’s packaging. They also mention on their website that it is free from gluten (source: Campbell’s Food Service).
V8’s vegetable juice, which is made mainly with tomato juice, has a “gluten-free” label on its packaging but they didn’t mention it on their website.
Clamato’s tomato juice, known as tomato cocktail, doesn’t have the “gluten-free” label. Their website also doesn’t mention the gluten status of this product.
Big Tom barley tomato juice also doesn’t have a “gluten-free” label and their website doesn’t mention it being one. However, it contains malt vinegar from barley in its ingredient list which has gluten.
Furthermore, it also contains Worcestershire sauce which can contain gluten. It would be best to avoid this brand.
Great Value 100% tomato juice is a Walmart brand. It doesn’t have a “gluten-free” label but according to them, it is gluten-free (source: Walmart).
Red Gold tomato juice has a “gluten-free” label on its packaging. They also list it as a gluten-free product on their website (source: Red Gold Tomatoes).
As mentioned above, fresh and frozen vegetables are naturally gluten-free. What you’ll need to find are gluten ingredients.
What About Other Drinks with Tomato Juice?
Drinks such as Bloody Mary and Bloody Caesar can and can’t be gluten-free.
These juice drinks can either be homemade or bought because there is ready-made commercial bloody mary. If you make it at home, make sure your ingredients are free from gluten, particularly tomato juice. If you buy one, look for the gluten-free label on the packaging.
Tomato juice is generally a gluten-free juice but some of its ingredients may not be, so always read the label and contact the manufacturer if necessary. Hope this helps!