Celiac Disease

Is Cocoa Powder Gluten Free?

Cocoa powder, as long as it is pure, should contain nothing from any type of cereal grain. Cocoa is simply the chocolate solids from which most of the cocoa butter (the fat portion of the cacao) has been removed. Since there is no gluten in the cacao pods from which chocolate is derived, there is no gluten in cocoa powder or other chocolate products, unless a gluten containing ingredient is added. So, pure cocoa powder is gluten-free and perfectly safe for celiacs to use in baking and any other cooking.

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Are Soba Noodles Gluten Free?

Soba noodles are a Japanese noodle made from buckwheat. In fact the word soba means buckwheat, which is, despite the name, not a grain.

Buckwheat is not related to cereal grasses at all, in fact, and instead comes from the seed of a plant in the dock family.

However, since buckwheat does not contain gluten, doughs made from it lack the elasticity and springiness that make it easy to stretch into noodles. Therefore, although some soba noodles may be made from one hundred percent buckwheat, many will have varying amounts of wheat or other gluten containing grains flours added to improve the texture.

Also, buckwheat flour is more expensive than other flours, so starchy flours may be used to offset the cost.

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Is Brown Sugar Gluten Free?

Various types of misinformation exist about brown sugar. One such piece of info is that the brown color in brown sugar is from added caramel coloring. The idea is that brown sugar is nothing more than colored white sugar. This is absolutely untrue. Brown sugar is refined cane sugar (white table sugar) to which molasses has been added back.

Therefore, brown sugar does not normally contain gluten containing grain ingredients and no coloring additives that could contain gluten. It is possible, however, that some brown sugars may have had caramel coloring added to darken the color.

Most brands of brown sugar do not, however, and you can easily check the ingredient listing on your brown sugar product to determine whether coloring has been used.

The existence of coloring does not automatically mean that a significant amount of gluten is in the brown sugar, or any at all, but it should be easy to keep to brands with no added coloring other than the color from the molasses. Whether the brown sugar is light or dark is determined by the amount of molasses added back to the sugar.

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Are B&M Baked Beans Gluten Free?

Yes, according to B&G Foods, Inc, which makes B%M brand baked beans, all the varieties are gluten free. The listed ingredients do not indicate any sources of hidden gluten, except perhaps for natural flavors and natural smoke flavoring, if wheat, barley, or other gluten containing grains were used in a natural flavor or if the flavors were derived from these, such as:

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