Is Corn Meal Gluten Free? | Build a Stash

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Key Takeaways

  • Cornmeal is used in a wide range of dishes, cuisines and recipes
  • Cornmeal is naturally gluten-free, since it’s made using gluten-free grains
  • There’s a risk of gluten cross-contamination during cornmeal processing
  • You should go for gluten-free cornmeal brands if you are on gluten-free diet

Cornmeal is a type of flour used in numerous cuisines and recipes. Consumers would like to know if cornmeal is gluten free or not.

Cornmeal is naturally gluten-free. It’s made from dried and ground corn kernels, meaning it doesn’t contain gluten. If you are highly sensitive to gluten, you should always go for gluten-free cornmeal brands whenever possible due to the risk of cross-contamination.

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Table of contents


Does Cornmeal Have Gluten?

Cornmeal is made by grinding dried corn kernels into a fine or coarse powder, depending on the desired texture. You can make cornmeal from dried corn kernels or popcorn kernels which are not processed.

It is commonly used in Southern and Mexican cuisine to make dishes like cornbread, tortillas, and tamales.

Cornmeal comes in different varieties, including white, yellow, and blue. White cornmeal has a milder flavor, while yellow cornmeal has a sweeter taste and is more commonly used in Southern cooking. Blue cornmeal is made from blue corn and has a nuttier flavor and a coarser texture.

Cornmeal is a good source of carbohydrates, fiber, and protein. It is also rich in vitamins and minerals, such as thiamin, niacin, and iron. Moreover, corn muffins are an extra leavening agent and have added sugar.

It is important to note that corn flour meal is not a complete source of protein and should be paired with other protein sources in your diet.

For people with celiac disease, gluten can be extremely harmful. Even if you don't have celiac disease, you may still be sensitive to gluten. Some people have a condition called non-celiac gluten sensitivity, which can cause symptoms like bloating, gas, and abdominal pain when they eat gluten.

Others may simply feel better when they avoid gluten, even if they don't have a diagnosed condition.

People living with celiac disease should take gluten free foods including gluten free flour blend, corn gluten free, gluten free flour and  cornmeal gluten free products.

If you are following a gluten-free diet, you may be wondering if cornmeal is safe for you to eat. Yes, cornmeal is gluten-free.

Cornmeal is made from ground corn, which is a naturally gluten-free grain. However, it is important to note that some brands of cornmeal may be processed in facilities that also process wheat, barley, or rye, which can lead to cross-contamination with gluten.

It is important to always check the label and look for a gluten-free certification to ensure that the cornmeal you are buying is safe for you to consume.

Additionally, some cornmeal mixes may contain added ingredients that are not gluten-free, such as wheat flour or malted barley. Again, it is important to carefully read the label and look for a gluten-free certification to ensure that the product is safe for you to eat.

Is Cornmeal Safe for People with Celiac Disease?

Individuals with celiac disease know the importance of being careful with anything they eat. Is cornmeal safe for people with celiac disease? Can people with celiac disease consume cornmeal?

To determine whether cornmeal is safe for people with celiac disease or not, we first need to evaluate how it’s made.

Cornmeal is made from corn kernels that have been dried and ground into a coarse flour. So, it doesn’t contain any of the gluten-grains like barley, wheat or rye. We can conclude that cornmeal should be safe to consume for people with celiac disease.

As much as cornmeal may be naturally gluten-free, it’s important to first determine how it has been made before you go ahead and consume it. In most cases, cornmeal is processed in the same facilities that handle gluten-containing grains like barley, wheat and rye.

Processing cornmeal in the same facilities as gluten-containing grains will lead to gluten-cross contamination, especially if the equipment isn’t cleaned well in between processing.

Even if the cross-contamination is minimal, the gluten present in the cornmeal still presents a huge risk for individuals with celiac disease.

The most effective way to determine whether cornmeal will be safe for you or not is to check the product label. If it doesn’t have gluten, then it should bear a gluten-free label on the packaging, meaning it’s safe for you if you have celiac disease.

You may also see a note on the label saying the cornmeal was processed and packaged on dedicated gluten-free facilities.

If you can’t see any gluten-related information on the label, then you also have the option of contacting the manufacturer. They should go ahead and contact the manufacturer to enquire about the product’s processing and handling.

Ensuring Cornmeal is Gluten Free

If you are on a gluten-free diet, it is essential to ensure that the corn meal you are buying is gluten-free. Here are some tips to help you:

Look for the "gluten-free" label on the packaging. This label guarantees that the product has been tested and verified to contain less than 20 parts per million (ppm) of gluten, which is the maximum amount considered safe for people with celiac disease or gluten


Avoid cornmeal that is processed in facilities that also process wheat, barley, and rye. Cross-contamination can occur during the manufacturing process, which can lead to gluten contamination in the corn meal.

Check the ingredients list for any gluten-containing additives, such as maltodextrin, modified food starch, and natural flavors. If any of these ingredients are present, the corn meal may not be gluten-free.

Consider buying organic cornmeal. Organic products are not allowed to contain any genetically modified organisms (GMOs), which can sometimes be a source of gluten contamination in corn products.

By following these tips, you can ensure that the corn meal you are buying is gluten-free and safe for consumption.

Uses of Corn Meal for Gluten-Free Cooking

If you're following a gluten-free diet, corn meal can be a versatile and flavorful ingredient to use in your cooking. With home cooking, you can do a lot. For example, combining gluten free cornmeal with other food products.

Here are a few ways you can incorporate cornmeal into your gluten-free recipes:

Use cornmeal as a coating for fried foods, such as chicken or fish. It adds a crispy texture and a slightly sweet flavor.

Corn meal to baked goods, such as muffins, bread, and pancakes, to provide a hearty texture and nutty flavor.

Make polenta or grits with cornmeal as a base. These dishes can be served as a side dish or used as a base for a main course, such as a hearty stew or chili.

Use cornmeal to thicken soups and stews. It adds a subtle corn flavor and helps to create a creamy texture.

When using corn meal in your gluten-free cooking, be sure to check the label to ensure that it is certified gluten-free. Some brands may be processed in facilities that also process wheat, which can lead to cross-contamination.

Be aware that corn meal is not a complete protein, so it's important to pair it with other sources of protein to ensure a balanced diet.

Top Gluten-Free Cornmeal Brands

Here are some of the best gluten-free cornmeal brands to consider.

Bob’s Red Mill

Bob’s Red Mill has a vast range of gluten-free products, which includes their renowned golden yellow cornmeal. This cornmeal is readily available in almost all supermarkets and grocery stores countrywide.

Bob’s red mill cornmeal contains whole-grain corn as the only ingredient. Furthermore, Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free products are processed in gluten-free facilities. So, this product should be safe for any person with gluten-related complications.

Arrowhead Mills

Arrowhead Mills cornmeal is also a reliable choice for individuals looking to add cornmeal to their gluten-free diet. It has been made using organic whole grain yellow cornmeal as the sole ingredient, meaning it’s 100% gluten-free. It’s one of the best when it comes to making gluten-free cornmeal bread.