Is Ketchup Really Gluten-Free?

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Regular ketchup is usually gluten-free but watch out for specialty flavors.
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Burgers, fries, hot dogs — there's a pretty long list of foods that you can't enjoy without a few squirts of ketchup.

If you're on a gluten-free diet, find out if this popular condiment is gluten-free and safe for you to eat.

Is Ketchup Gluten-Free?

Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye and barley and these grains' derivatives.

For the most part, ketchup is made with vinegar, spices, onions and/or garlic — all of which are naturally gluten-free, according to the Food & Drug Administration (FDA). Oftentimes, it has added sugar, too.

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However, as with all shelf-stable foods, some manufacturers may add stabilizing ingredients to keep the ketchup fresh for longer. You'll want to keep an eye out for any gluten-based stabilizers, most of which are malt-based, according to the Celiac Disease Foundation.

Also, carefully check the ingredient list of any specialty ketchup bottles you buy. Flavored ketchup varieties may contain gluten-based additives, like malt vinegar. Play it safe by checking the nutrition panel and gluten-free labels (more on that below)

How to Verify Your Ketchup Is Gluten-Free

As mentioned, most ketchup is made with just vinegar, some spices and garlic. But all condiments can be exposed to gluten ingredients while they're being manufactured, prepared or packaged, according to the Celiac Disease Foundation.

At a Restaurant or When Ordering Takeout

Cross-contamination is a risk you'll want to consider when you order a side of ketchup at any restaurant (unless it's a certified gluten-free location). When food is being prepared, flour can get into the air and settle on surfaces in the kitchen, your little cup of ketchup included, according to the National Celiac Association.

That's why it's probably best to ask for individual ketchup packets. Or, if your restaurant doesn't have any, politely request the bottle and pour it directly on your food. That also helps prevent the risk of ketchup being poured into cups or containers that previously held other potentially gluten-containing foods.

At the Grocery Store

At the grocery store, check ketchup bottles to make sure they're free of any added ingredients. Look for a bottle that's labeled gluten-free. That means it contains less than 20 parts per million (ppm) of gluten, which is a safe amount even if you have celiac disease, according to the FDA.

Some bottles may even have a Certified Gluten-Free seal stamped on the front. That means the ketchup has been tested by the Gluten-Free Certification Organization (GFCO), which has even higher standards than the FDA. The GFCO certifies foods that contain less than 10 ppm of gluten.

If you're concerned about cross-contamination, purchase one of these gluten-free ketchup brands below.

Gluten-Free Ketchup Brands to Try

  • Heinz Tomato Ketchup ($2.76 per bottle on Instacart)
  • Sir Kensington's Classic Ketchup ($7.96 for two bottles on Amazon)
  • Noble Made by The New Primal Tomato Ketchup ($5.79 per bottle on Amazon)
  • French's Tomato Ketchup ($14.99 for three bottles on Amazon)
  • Sir Kensington's Spicy Ketchup ($3.75 per bottle on Amazon)
  • Annie's Homegrown Organic Ketchup ($13.45 for two bottles on Amazon)
  • OrganicVille Organic and Gluten-Free Ketchup ($21.36 for four bottles on Amazon)
  • Walden Farms Ketchup ($9.92 per bottle on Amazon)
  • Yo Mama's Classic Ketchup ($13.98 for two bottles on Amazon)
  • Fody Foods Vegan Tomato Ketchup ($8.69 per bottle on Amazon)
  • G Hughes Original Recipe Sugar-Free Ketchup ($15 for three bottles on Amazon)
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