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Are Nestle Toll House Butterscotch Chips Gluten-Free?

author image Jill Corleone, RDN, LD
Jill Corleone is a registered dietitian and health coach who has been writing and lecturing on diet and health for more than 15 years. Her work has been featured on the Huffington Post, Diabetes Self-Management and in the book "Noninvasive Mechanical Ventilation," edited by John R. Bach, M.D. Corleone holds a Bachelor of Science in nutrition.
Are Nestle Toll House Butterscotch Chips Gluten-Free?
The chips are gluten-free, but what about the rest of the cookie? Photo Credit: Zuurbiero/iStock/Getty Images

Those following a gluten-free diet can benefit from becoming fans of Nestle Toll House, because a number of their baking products are gluten-free, including the semi-sweet morsels and the peanut butter and milk chocolate morsels. But including Nestle's butterscotch chips in recipes like layer bars and butterscotch bark is out; Nestle Toll House Butterscotch chips are not gluten-free.

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Gluten is a type of protein found in wheat, barley and rye, and foods made with these ingredients. You only have to be concerned with gluten in your food if you are diagnosed with celiac disease or gluten intolerance. When people with these conditions consume foods containing gluten, their body's immune system reacts by attacking and damaging the digestive tract, which leads to malabsorption and malnutrition. Treatment for people with celiac disease and gluten intolerance is complete avoidance of foods containing gluten.

Gluten-Free Diet

The gluten-free diet consists of foods that do not contain any wheat, barley or rye or their derivatives. This means avoiding most conventional baked goods, pasta and processed foods. People with celiac disease and gluten intolerance have to carefully read labels of most processed food items to make sure they are safe to eat. In 2006, the Food and Drug Administration passed a law requiring food manufacturers to clearly label items that contain wheat, and to indicate products that are gluten-free.

Nestle Toll House Butterscotch Chips

To help you identify gluten-free products, Nestle provides a list of its gluten-free products. While a number of Nestle baking chips appear on this list, the butterscotch chips do not. According to the ingredients list on the package, Nestle Toll House Butterscotch Chips contain barley protein, a source of gluten, and is therefore not gluten-free. No matter what the food item, previously gluten-free or not, it is best to check the ingredients list and packaging periodically, because ingredients and manufacturing can change.

Alternative Chips

While Toll House does not provide a gluten-free butterscotch chip, you can always substitute the butterscotch chips for chips that are gluten-free, such as the semi-sweet chocolate or Premier White Morsels. Or, you can find a gluten-free brand of butterscotch chips. Currently, Hershey's and Kroger brands of butterscotch chips are gluten-free, according to the website

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