Marshmallows are a fun sweet treat for a variety of recipes. But are they gluten-free? Learn about popular brands that are safe to eat on a gluten-free diet.
Are marshmallows gluten-free? In short, yes! The basic ingredients are naturally without gluten, making them suitable for a gluten-free diet but not all store-bought options are produced the same.
What are marshmallows?
The traditional main ingredients of marshmallows typically contain sugar, corn syrup, corn starch, gelatin, and vanilla extract, for that signature squishy texture. Some contain artificial flavors or artificial colors.
Originally, marshmallows were made with the sap of the marsh mallow root. Production of this sweet confection eventually started using gelatin instead. However, some brands may be processed in a facility with gluten-containing grains or add gluten ingredients such as wheat starch, artificial flavor, and natural flavor, or barley malt syrup to their recipe.
It really comes down to the brand and ingredients used. But many commercially-made marshmallows are gluten-free.
Are marshmallows safe for Celiac disease?
While marshmallows themselves don't typically contain gluten, there is a risk of cross-contamination during the manufacturing process or the presence of gluten-containing ingredients in some brands.
For this reason, it is important to check the ingredients list and allergen statements for possible cross-contamination or added ingredients in any marshmallow products. Those that are worried about cross-contamination should purchase brands choose brands that are certified GF or produced in dedicated gluten-free facilities.
There are several different types available that you can find at your local grocery store or online:
- Large marshmallows
- Mini marshmallows
There are great ways to use fluffy marshmallows, including:
Confectionery: A popular confectionery sweet treat that can be eaten on its own or used in desserts and treats. Recipes such as s'mores, hot chocolate, rice crispy treats, and even an ice cream topping.
Decoration: The delicious treat can be used as a decorative element in cakes and cupcakes. They can be cut into different shapes and sizes to create unique and visually appealing designs.
Science experiments: The fluffy treats can even be used in science experiments, problem-solving, collaboration, and innovation activities.
In the United States, the FDA regulates the "gluten-free label" and those products with a "certified gluten-free label" are done by independent organizations with their own set of standards. Most often, these standards are stricter than the FDA's and use dedicated GF facilities, but still must meet the FDA criteria.
While most popular brands of marshmallows are naturally gluten-free, some brands manufacture their products in facilities that process other gluten-containing grains and ingredients.
The following marshmallow brands are gluten-free:
- Dandies (made on a dedicated gf line)
- Campfire (made by Doumak)
- Kraft Jet-Puffed (no label, but no gluten-containing ingredients)
- Good & Gather
- Trader Joe's (not labeled, but no gluten-containing ingredients)
Tetrasodium pyrophosphate (TSPP) is a chemical compound that is commonly used in food processing and as an additive in various products. It is a white, crystalline powder that is soluble in water and has a slightly alkaline pH.
TSPP is used in a variety of food products as a chelator, emulsifier, and thickener. It is commonly used in processed meats, seafood, dairy products, and baked goods including marshmallows to improve their texture, stability, and shelf life.
Traditional marshmallows are not typically considered vegan as they contain gelatin, an ingredient derived from animal collagen. Gelatin gives marshmallows their characteristic texture. However, there are vegan marshmallow alternatives available.
- The brand information in this article comes from the brand websites at the time this article was written. Going direct to the brand website is the fastest way to get the most up-to-date allergen information on a specific product. This is usually found in the FAQ section.
- If the risk of cross-contamination is a concern, make sure you check the product label for information regarding its GF designation. If it is not clear, always contact the brand directly.
- Remember, just because a product does not use gluten-containing ingredients, does not necessarily mean it wasn't processed in a facility that produces foods with gluten ingredients or gluten-containing grains.
In conclusion, while marshmallows themselves don't inherently contain gluten, it's crucial to be cautious due to the potential for cross-contamination or the use of gluten-containing ingredients in certain brands.
To ensure gluten-free marshmallows, look for products that are explicitly labeled as GF, read the ingredient list carefully, and contact the manufacturer for verification if needed
Please note: Always check labels as some manufacturers Include gluten or dairy, or process In the same facility as wheat. This article is meant to help highlight gf products but is not an exhaustive list or medical advice. Please consult with your healthcare provider for best practices and care for your individual needs.