Like lemon, lime has many uses such as in sauces, dressings, marinades, and even desserts! But can people with gluten intolerance or sensitivity prepare them the same way?
Lime juice is considered to be generally gluten-free when taken from the fruit, and if it hasn’t been exposed to gluten during production. However, glucose syrup, a sweetener added to the real juice can have gluten. We recommend always reading the label.
What other ingredients does lime juice have, and what is the gluten status of some popular brands? Scroll down to find out!
Is Lime Juice Usually Gluten-Free?
Lime juice is generally gluten-free if drawn straight from the juice of limes, and when not exposed to or added with gluten-containing ingredients during production or handling.
Wheat is the most common source of gluten but it can also be found in oat, barley, rye, and other related grains, malt which is the product of these grains, and cross-bred grains such as emmer, Khorasan, and spelt (source: Gluten Associated Medical Problems).
Fresh and frozen fruits are considered to not have gluten in general while processed fruits may have it. It is always essential to read not just the ingredients list but the whole packaging of a product (source: Celiac Disease Foundation).
The “lime” juice most available in grocery stores or online is pure or 100% lime juice, reconstituted, sweetened, and powdered lime juice.
A 100% juice or pure juice, also called “not from concentrate”, comes straight from the juice of the fruit. The squeezed or pressed juice undergoes pasteurization to make the drink safe and have a longer shelf life.
A juice that’s labeled as “juice from concentrate” means that the bottled juice comes from a juice that’s been concentrated by removing the water content. It also undergoes a form of heating treatment to make it safe.
A concentrate is made because it has less volume with the water being removed. This makes the shipping cost lower. After it’s been shipped, water is added back, along with other ingredients depending on the manufacturer (source: Frobishers).
Juice from concentrate is similar to reconstituted juice.
Sweetened juice can come from pure juice or concentrated juice that’s been added with a sweetener, as well as a preservative. The most common sweetener added is syrup. This can be high fructose corn syrup, cane syrup, glucose syrup, and others.
Corn and cane syrups are gluten-free (source: Arizona Campus Health Service). However, while glucose syrup is also on this list, it can be made from starch that comes from wheat grains. This makes it not gluten-free (source: Brewing Materials and Processes).
When you buy any type of lime juice, thoroughly read the label and avoid this sweetener. Lime juice is sweetened because compared to lemon juice, it is more pungent and has a slightly bitter taste compared to lemon’s tangy flavor.
Powdered juice comes from dehydrated concentrates derived through spray-drying or freeze-drying. Remember that powdered juices are also added with a sweetener so you’ll want to read the ingredients list (source: Healthline).
Lime juice is also added with sulfites or sulphites like sodium benzoate and sodium metabisulfite in small amounts to preserve it and give a longer shelf-life even without refrigeration (source: Encyclopedia of Food Sciences and Nutrition (Second Edition).
Sulfites are also generally gluten-free but can cause allergies (source: Australian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy).
With all these said, lime juice is generally free from gluten. And it’s not likely to be processed in a facility that processes gluten. However, it is important to always read the label for any indication of so.
Gluten-Free Lime Juice Brand Guide
Let’s take a look at some popular lime juice brands/types and their gluten status:
Rose’s most popular lime drink, Lime Cordial, is said to be gluten-free. However, there is no indication of a “gluten-free” label on the packaging. This product is owned by Coca-Cola and their website also doesn’t indicate its gluten status.
Key lime juice is a citrus hybrid and is also generally gluten-free when taken from the fruit.
Real Lime doesn’t label their lime juice products as “gluten-free”, nor do they indicate the gluten status on their website.
Concord’s offering of lime juices doesn’t have the “gluten-free” label on the packaging and their website don’t indicate that they are so.
Finest Call lime juice also has no “gluten-free” label on the packaging and the website doesn’t mention it being free from gluten.
Lime juice is most, if not all of the time gluten-free. It is safe for people with gluten intolerance or gluten sensitivity.
That being said, we recommend always reading the label or the product packaging, especially the ingredients list, or contacting the manufacturer if you are unsure about a certain ingredient.
May this article provide helpful insights about the gluten status of lime juice!