It can be difficult to determine whether or not a food contains gluten. Some things, like an ordinary loaf of bread, clearly contain gluten. Other products, such as chocolate, are a little less obvious.
Is chocolate gluten free, or does it contain gluten? As is the case with many food products, the answer is fairly complicated.
How Chocolate Is Made
When chocolate is in its purest form, it doesn’t contain any kind of chocolate it all. It is made from cacao beans, which are free of gluten.
However the chocolate that you see on store shelves contains more than cacao beans. When chocolate bars are made, they are blended with cocoa butter, sugar, and other types of flavorings.
The more ingredients a chocolate bar contains, the more likely it is that it contains or has been contaminated by gluten. While you probably don’t want to buy pure chocolate – it has a very bitter flavor – chocolate products with fewer ingredients are more likely to be gluten free.
How To Find Safe Chocolate
While a lot of chocolate bars do contain gluten, people on a gluten-free diet should still be able to satiate their sweet tooth. There are a lot of easy ways to find safe and tasty chocolate to eat.
As with any product, you will want to pay attention to the ingredients on the chocolate. Chocolate bars that are clearly labeled are safe; bars that use terms like “additional flavorings” may not be safe to eat.
A lot of the bigger chocolate brands clearly disclose whether or not their products are gluten free. They also take steps to avoid cross contamination when their chocolate is being manufactured.
When it comes to gluten-free chocolate, one of the best brands is Dove. Their chocolate is of a very high quality, and all of their bars are gluten-free.
Of course, Dove isn’t your only option. Hershey’s also makes a number of gluten-free products. Their plain milk chocolate bars — and their plain Hershey’s Kisses — don’t contain any kind of gluten, and are safe from cross contamination. Scharffen Berger chocolate, which is made by Hershey’s, is also safe.
A number of premium chocolate brands, such as Vosges Haut, Enjoy, and Endangered species chocolate, also offer gluten free products.
Chocolate Brands To Avoid
The more ingredients a chocolate bar contains, the more likely it is that it has come into contact with gluten. Because of this, there are a number of chocolate brands you will want to avoid.
Chocolate manufacturer Godiva states that all of their products may contain gluten. The same is true of Ghirardelli and Dagoba chocolate. The popular British brand Toblerone does not make any chocolate bars that contain gluten, but they have not taken addition steps to avoid cross contamination.
Is chocolate gluten free? In its purest form, it certainly is. However, chocolate bars and many treats that contain chocolate could contain gluten. If you want to enjoy the sweet taste of chocolate, you will need to support brands that produce gluten-free products.