Gluten, the protein found in common wheat, barley and rye, has been linked to a range of autoimmune diseases, including psoriasis, arthritis and celiac disease, and is thought to deplete the body of energy and cause fatigue.
Due to the processing that most foods undergo, avoiding gluten is an extremely complex process.
Gluten is contained in dozens of thickeners, emulsifiers, and other food processing ingredients.
Companies are required to state on the labels of wheat-based foods that they contain gluten. But what about chocolate? Does it contain gluten or not?
So, Is Chocolate Gluten-Free?
Pure, sugar-free chocolate does not contain gluten. This is because pure chocolate is made by liquefying cocoa beans. Gluten is not found in cocoa and does not play a role in the liquefaction process.
However, almost every chocolate package on the market contains many ingredients and is produced together with other products. There gluten can “slip” into the “other” products. You should pay particular attention to:
- Chocolates containing pieces of cake or cookies.
- Chocolates with grains of rice.
- Chocolates containing flour.
Why Are Only Some Chocolates Labeled “Gluten-Free”?
Pure chocolate, with no additives, is gluten-free, but it’s not quite as tasty. In fact, she is quite bitter.
To make the purest version of sweet and delicious chocolate, manufacturers take what’s called “chocolate liquor” (cocoa mass) and combine it with cocoa butter (cocoa fat), plus sugar.
Chocolates contain these three ingredients, and they make chocolate delicious. What about milk chocolate? It just contains one more ingredient. Milk powder.
How Can Gluten Be Added Into A Chocolate?
It is possible that even pure, unsweetened chocolate may contain some gluten if it has come into contact with gluten during harvesting or processing.
(For example, if cocoa beans are processed in equipment that also processes wheat, barley or rye)
What Can You Do To Make Sure You’re Eating Gluten-Free Chocolate?
All you can do is simply choose chocolates that are labeled “gluten-free”.
What Chocolate Is Gluten-Free?
There are many popular chocolate manufacturers who don’t use gluten to make their chocolate.
If you are a coeliac or are gluten intolerant, wandering around the chocolate aisles to find chocolates that are safe can feel like an overwhelming undertaking.
However, there are several obvious “No” you can spot right away.
Wafer-containing foods are prohibited, making a KitKat or Bueno bar simple to exclude from the diet.
Similarly, it is important to stay away from bars like Twix and Double Decker that contain biscuit chunks.
The crispy shells found on products like Smarties are a not as straightforward to watch out for. Luckily, while Smarties are produced with wheat flour, regular M&Ms are not.
Fans of Smarties will find it to be a simple replacement, but it also emphasizes how cautious you must be when deciding between goods that appear to be identical.
The top confectionery companies are listed here, along with the gluten-free chocolate products available from each of their lines.
Although every precaution has been taken in preparing this list, it is important to remember that manufacturers may change their formulations whenever they wish to without necessarily informing customers.
Because of this, it’s always advisable to review an ingredient list in case your old favorites have undergone any recent alterations.
Dairy Milk has a warning not saying that they might contain gluten on the label even though it appears to be one of the most straightforward chocolate bars available.
But fortunately, customers can search for chocolate on Cadbury’s website based on a variety of nutritional criteria, one of which is the inclusion of wheat.
Crunchies, Wispas, or Flakes are some of its most well-known gluten-free chocolates.
Even though Nestle’s best-known products, including KitKat and Smarties, are inappropriate, the remainder of their line offers a wide variety.
Although it might be a little more difficult to find than Cadbury’s list, Nestle does provide a list of their gluten-free products on their website.
Favorites including After Eights, Milky Bar Buttons, and Aero Bubbles are included on that list.
Good news for those who suffer from celiac disease: According to Toblerone’s website’s FAQ section, “All Toblerone flavors do not contain any ingredients that contain gluten.”
People with celiac disease are therefore adequately cared for, whether they want the traditional Toblerone that they used to receive at Christmas or the more recent white chocolate variety.
Considering the word ‘malt’ in their title, it’s no shock that Maltesers contain gluten.
Sadly, so are Mars Bars and some Galaxy chocolates. The rest of the Mars products that do not contain gluten are not countless, but a few favorites like Snickers, Bounty, and M&Ms are safe to eat.
The US confectionery behemoth also has some good news for chocolate lovers who are coeliacs: the Reese’s peanut butter cups do not have any gluten at all in them!
Hershey’s, Reese’s holding company, is also a much beloved chocolate brand for many people across the world.
Gluten-free products include their famous milk chocolate bars and Hershey’s Kisses.
Kinder’s Surprise Eggs, thankfully, use gluten-free chocolate for those with coeliac kids. Their classic chocolate bars, which are frequently found in bulk packs, are also gluten-free.
Sadly, Happy Hippos are partly made of wafer and should be avoided by those who do not eat gluten.
Thorntons’ website states that several of their products contain wheat-based sugar or dextrose.
Even though they do not provide a selection of goods that do not include these components, they do advise consumers to check the list of ingredients for sugar or dextrose.
Individuals who are diagnosed as coeliac, on the other hand, have plenty of options, with their Salted Pistachio Chocolate Block, and Continental Cappuccino Bar, amongst other, offering gluten-free options.
The Bottom Line
While not all chocolate in the world is gluten-free, there are plenty of options in the supermarket shelves that are suitable for anyone following a gluten-free diet.
While some favorite chocolate bars and treats do contain gluten, there is a whole list of others, equally delicious, that do not.
So, make sure to double-check the ingredients before indulging in your next chocolate bar!