Do commercially produced spices have gluten?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created December 05, 2011 at 3:32 AM

Ugg...I have a stomach ache. Usually this only happens when I've been exposed to gluten or MSG. The ONLY thing it could be is some curry spice that I put on my sweet potatoes.

I'm starting to wonder if there are "anti clumping" additives in my spice rack. Does anyone know if commercially produced spices contain additives to stop the appearance of clumps?

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8 Answers



on December 05, 2011
at 03:37 AM

It's possible--especially in spice blends. However, there are companies you can buy from that are very upfront about their ingredients (and gluten) status. Penzeys is a good choice.


on December 05, 2011
at 10:54 AM

Some do, yes! My dear friend at work has celiac and I was so excited about something delicious I made and wanted to share it with her. Turns out she couldn't risk it because I used mustard powder and some mustard powder is cross-contaminated.


on December 05, 2011
at 03:56 AM

I strongly suspect that there are traces of gluten and even MSG in premixed spice blends, regardless of weather the ingredients state it or not. I've experienced phantom glutening and IBS symptoms after using premixed spice blends, those spices being the only thing from a "box" that I'd consume at the time. I made sure to choose only ones that have a good ingredients list eg salt, pepper, coriander, tumeric, cumin (nothing else) yet I still got sick from them. This was after trying a few different brands. I don't get sick when I blend the separate spices myself.

The only way to be sure is to buy whole spices and grind them up yourself :( yet another thing us ultra sensitive gut folks have to do from scratch just to be safe!


on May 23, 2013
at 06:33 PM

Spice blends usually contain anti-caking agents such as calcium stearate, silicon dioxide, tricalcium phosphate. However, manufactures are very careful to list them, and all other ingredients on the labels according to FDA regulations. Particular attention is paid to ingredients considered to be allergens and sensitizers. The newest trend is to state that an item is produced in a plant that also handles other allergens and sensitizers, if that is the case.

"Straight" spices do not contain gluten unless it has been added and not declared. Reputable companies would not do this because the cost of recall, if discovered, and regulatory fines will far exceed any savings that may be generated by adulteration. Not to mention loss of business and potential civil legal action.

In well - run companies cross contamination is made practically impossible by allergen controls and testing for effectiveness of equipment cleaning protocols.


on April 03, 2012
at 02:41 PM

The problem with most commercially available spice blends is the handling of the spices before blending. Large companies store grains and spices in the same areas and process them on the same equipment.

Some may use wheat flour as a thickener or anticlumping agent, as an alternative to silicon dioxide.


on December 05, 2011
at 03:51 PM

I react badly to spice mixtures. I think it's the MSG (not on the label, though!)



on December 05, 2011
at 05:53 AM

I use all of my spices seperate.



on December 06, 2011
at 01:54 AM

There's some discussion of this over at celiac.com. There's another forum that uses home test kits for gluten over at Glutenzap. Celiac.com does not allow discussion of Glutenzap, due to concerns about spam.

So, check out the tips at celiac.com and if they do not work for you, you may be sensitive enough that you will need to consult glutenzap or purchase test kits.

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