Does Kellogg's Corn Flakes Contain Gluten?

Kellogg's Corn Flakes are not a good choice for someone on a gluten-free diet. In fact, Kellogg's reported in the fall of 2010 that it does not make any cereal, waffle, cookie or cracker that is "suitable for consumers on a gluten-free diet." The amount of gluten in Kellogg's Corn Flakes is small, so the company notes the cereal may be suitable for people on gluten-restricted diets. Check with your doctor to be certain.

A bowl of Kellogg's Corn Flakes on a table. (Image: HandmadePictures/iStock/Getty Images)

Definition

Gluten is a protein that can be found in wheat, barley and rye. It's found in cereals, bread, pasta, cookies and a host of other processed foods. People who have celiac disease and those who have allergies to gluten need to be very careful about what they purchase and eat. Some restaurants include gluten-free items on their menus, and some stores carry products that are specifically marked gluten-free to help these consumers.

Ingredients

The main ingredient in Kellogg's Corn Flakes is milled corn. However, the cereal gets some of its taste from malt flavoring, which is derived from barley. Whether or not you can safely consume Kellogg's Corn Flakes depends on your degree of sensitivity to gluten. If in doubt, check with your health professional to determine whether products with malt flavoring are safe to consume.

Significance

Whether or not a food contains gluten is especially significant for people who have celiac disease. The National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse reports that celiac disease is a digestive disease that can damage the small intestine and make it hard to absorb the nutrients in food. When people with this disease eat gluten, their immune system responds by damaging tiny protrusions in the small intestine that allow nutrients from food to be absorbed into the bloodstream.

Benefits

Some people are on alert for gluten in products because they have allergies to wheat. For these people, Kellogg's Corn Flakes might be a good alternative since the cereal is made primarily from corn. MayoClinic.com notes that people with food allergies can suffer an immune system reaction from eating certain foods, such as those with wheat gluten. Other people may suffer from a less serious food intolerance to certain foods that doesn't involve the immune system.

Prevention/Solution

In order to avoid gluten in your diet, it's important to read product labels carefully each time. Some recipes and formulas may change over time. Even products such as Kellogg's Corn Flakes, which do not list wheat, barley or rye on the label, contain some gluten because of the malt flavoring. If you're not sure whether a product is safe, contact the manufacturer or seek out nutrition information on the product website.

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