Is Popcorn Gluten-Free?
Popcorn is made with a specific type of corn Kernel that puffs up when it is heated. It is a very popular healthy snack option, but is it a reliable gluten-free pick?
This article will explain what popcorn is made of and whether popcorn is gluten-free or not.
Most popcorn is gluten-free.
Originally popcorn is made with corn and does not contain gluten. Corn is the safest alternative to wheat for people who have celiac disease or cannot tolerate gluten.
However, corn contains protein named Maize prolamins which can cause problems in people who have gluten intolerance or celiac disease.
Research has shown that people with celiac disease sometimes experience an inflammatory response to this protein. To determine if you have corn sensitivity, it is advisable to talk with your healthcare advisor.
Some popcorn brands may contain gluten.
Most popcorn is gluten-free; however certain brands may contain gluten in their product ingredients. Popcorn, when made in manufacturing units where other glutenous foods are made, is at risk of cross-contamination.
Also, flavored popcorn is made using additives that may contain gluten. For instance, certain spice blends or toppings may include gluten if the product is not labeled gluten-free.
Some common ingredients that contain gluten are wheat starch, soy sauce, brewer’s yeast, soy sauce, and malt flavoring.
How to choose popcorn that is gluten-free?
If you are sensitive to even the slightest trace of gluten, you should pick popcorn that is free of any flavorings or additives. Always check the ingredient list carefully and pick a product that says “Popcorn ” and contains a salt of kernels only.
It is advisable to pick a product that is labeled “gluten-free.” The FDA (Food and Drug Administration stipulates products that are labeled as gluten-free and also contain less than 20 parts of gluten.
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Another best way to ensure that your popcorn is free of gluten is by purchasing products certified by third parties and labeled so too. Third-party certification indicates that popcorn was tested independently, and its companies with all the FDA guidelines for products that are labeled gluten-free.
Some examples of third-party certifications are NSF International- it confirms that the product has less than 20 ppm gluten. Gluten Intolerance Group- the certification guarantees that there is less than ten ppm gluten in the product.
How to gluten-free popcorn at Home?
Making your own gluten-free popcorn at Home is very easy. All you need is raw popcorn kernels and a heat source. If you do not own an air popper to make popcorn specifically, then try using a pan or microwave.
Steps to make gluten-free popcorn at Home:
- Take a brown paper bag and add ⅓ cup popcorn kernels. Fold the bad to prevent kernels from falling out.
- Keep the bag in the microwave and cook for 3 minutes or until you hear a gap of 3-4 seconds after the pop.
- Let the bag sit in the microwave for 1-2 minutes to cool down. Carefully remove it from the microwave.
- You can either enjoy the popcorn straight out of a paper bag or empty it in a large serving bowl. You can season the popcorn with butter, salt, and other seasonings.
Steps to make popcorn on the Stove:
- Take a large pan and put it on the Stove. Put two tablespoons of high heat oil and turn on high heat. Now add 2-3 popcorn kernels.
- When the kernels are popping, remove the pan from the Stove and add the remaining kernels. Cover the pan and let it sit for 1-2 minutes.
- Put the pan back on the heat and let the kernels pop. Keep shaking the pan occasionally to prevent overheating.
- When the popping sound slows down, remove the pan from heat and keep it aside for 1-2 minutes.
- Take out the popcorn in a large serving bowl and sprinkle butter, salt, or any other gluten-free seasoning of your choice.
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So, is popcorn gluten-free? By now, you might have got your answer.
Popcorn naturally is a gluten-free food item and is most suitable for people who have celiac disease or gluten sensitivities. There are some people who can be sensitive to certain types of protein that are found in corn. Also, some packed popcorn products may contain gluten in the form of additives and flavoring ingredients.
Always check the label of popcorn to check gluten-free certified signs or instead make your own fresh batch of gluten-free popcorn at Home.