- Honey is a popular food product that has been present for a long time
- Honey in its pure and raw form is gluten-free
- Certain factors may contaminate honey with gluten through cross contamination
- Check the honey label before buying from any brand
- Certain brands sell certified honey products
Honey is a nutritious product and has healing properties. Consumers would like to know if honey is gluten free or not.
Honey in its pure form is gluten-free since it does not have wheat, rye, or barley in it. It is safe for people with celiac disease and other gluten problems. Due to commercialization, some brands use flavors containing gluten, while a few others risk cross-contamination.
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Is Honey Gluten Free?
Honey has been a common sweetener which has gained popularity all over the world. It is one of the most universal products, and it is naturally found in different places of the world.
It is one of the core ingredients in the American kitchen and finds a place in many dishes. One of the greatest advantages with honey is that it comes ready for use and one can use it raw.
Honey comes in many forms. For instance, the Chinese honey soy sauce contains sugar, thickeners, food acid, and water.
The National Library of Medicine states that stone age painting has identified treatment of diseases with products as old as 8000 years ago. The writings of Hippocrates show honey was already used as a drug in his time to treat a number of conditions, acute fevers for instance.
Today, honey is used for both nutritional, and healing purposes. It is rich in calories, sugar, protein, fiber, and fat. In addition to that, honey is rich in minerals as well as vitamins.
Honey has been recommended by medics as a product which keeps the level of cholesterol in check. It plays a critical role in reducing bad cholesterol. This helps an individual to prevent heart disease.
In connection to this, people who have to regulate their level of blood sugar prefer using honey when compared to regular sugar.
It is therefore not surprising that a number of people use honey as a viable alternative to traditional healing. This is because of its pronounced and positive health effects.
Many individuals make a deliberate attempt to live a healthier lifestyle by avoiding some components in food that may make them gain weight or lead to allergies and other diseases.
Reaction to protein gluten is not uncommon, and this is otherwise referred to as gluten sensitivity.
This takes the form of celiac disease and gluten intolerance. Some individuals have a case where the body responds to gluten as it would on any foreign substance.
Some individuals have wheat allergy which can affect them for a long time. Any form of gluten intolerance can lead to symptoms such as gas, chronic diarrhea, and bloating.
Some of these symptoms occur right after consuming gluten free foods, whereas others take time to manifest.
If one has any reaction to gluten, then the best thing to do is to always take a gluten free diet and foods which are certified gluten free. This is because gluten containing foods such as wheat flour can lead to constant symptoms that upset the stomach.
You have to make a deliberate market effort in this, otherwise, you will compromise your health.
So, is honey gluten free? Is it naturally gluten free? Honey is gluten free in its pure form because it lacks components such as rye, barley, or wheat, which are active gluten components. When you take honey, you are taking honey gluten free.
Whether you are on a gluten-free diet for medical purposes or for living a healthy lifestyle, honey is safe for consumption. The following are some of the ways honey could contain gluten:
Even though the wind is not a common factor, it is still possible for the wind to contaminate honey in the beehive, especially when it is located in an area where individuals plant wheat, barley, or rye.
Wind could blow the gluten-rich grains into your honey, making it not to be gluten-free.
If you love to buy honey locally from beekeepers, it is advisable to look around and survey the area for any possible source of gluten by checking the kind of plants present in the place.
Cross contamination is a common factor that occurs in some honey brands. Some brands may manufacture honey and other products containing gluten. It is not easy to identify cross-contamination.
In manufacturing and packaging, honey could get contaminated with gluten due to shared facilities or equipment or during handling of products.
Even though it is possible to manufacture multiple products and still have a gluten-free product, cleaning the processing equipment may take a lot of work. It will require the brand to disassemble it completely, which is time-consuming.
Fortunately, some acceptable gluten levels are considered safe for everyone’s consumption. Organizations like the Gluten-free Certifying Organization (GFCO) certify honey brands with less than 10 parts per million gluten levels.
Before purchasing a certain honey brand, you must check the label for certifications or information confirming the product is gluten-free.
Use of Flavors and other Additives
The rise in the number of brands that manufacture honey has led to other brands wanting to make unique honey to increase the demand for their products. They end up with flavors and other additives that may contain gluten to enhance their taste.
There are also honey varieties with cereals or other ingredients active in gluten, such as honey mustard and cereals sweetened with honey.
Before you buy any honey product, check the ingredient list for allergens and flavorings with gluten. If you are in doubt, the best thing is to call the manufacturer. If you are not able to get information from the manufacturer, seek the opinion of your doctor.
Certified Brands selling Gluten Free Honey
Even though honey is gluten-free, not all brands or companies make them gluten-free. You will have to be cautious when buying honey. The following are some of the top brands selling gluten-free honey:
Nature’s Nate Honey
Nature’s Nate is a popular brand known for using processed raw honey in its pure form. The brand ensures that the honey they buy from local farmers is not contaminated with gluten and other allergens that could be unsafe for individuals with a special diet.
The brand does not filter its honey because the filtering process may interfere with its natural nature. You will receive the nutrients in the exact composition.
According to the brand's website, their honey undergoes rigorous testing to ensure it does not contain gluten and is free from other things such as pesticides, antibiotics, and herbicides.
Comvita honey is a certified brand known for selling gluten-free honey. According to their products label, the brand has been certified by the honey association to be gluten-free and GMO-free.
Besides the lack of gluten, the brand also ensures that they buy high-quality honey from local farmers and test it to assess its quality, worth, and purity before buying.
The brand also tests its processed honey before they start supplying it to the market to avoid selling substandard products to its consumers.
The honey is flexible, and you can use it for various applications such as in smoothies, tea, and yogurt and as a sugar substitute in baking.
About THE AUTHOR
I have over a decade of experience in food and beverage management, including a ServSafe food safety qualification. As part of this qualification, I have been professionally trained in safe food storage.Read More About Mark Walker