Saturday, March 29, 2008

Del Monte Creamed Corn -- NOT Gluten-Free

Del Monte Sweet Corn Cream Style is not gluten-free. Don't use it. The label includes "modified food starch," which is usually derived from wheat and often a source of gluten, and I definitely had a reaction to it. It wasn't a huge reaction, but there was definitely a "celiac poke" in my tummy after using DM creamed corn as an ingredient in a large recipe.
Green Giant creamed corn specifies "modified corn starch" as has hitherto not caused any celiac reactions.
AVOID Del Monte Sweet Corn Cream Style.


Elizabeth said...

I thought that by 2006 manufacturers had to clearly list wheat as an ingredient, even if it is in the form of another ingredient (e.g., modified food starch)? Did you call them and ask them if it had wheat in it? I'm curious as I have a few cans in my pantry! I will have to give them a buzz to find out for sure.

TK Kenyon said...

Within the context of "modified food starch," because it is a mixed and undefined product, they don't.

What's more, they only have to list "wheat" if it's an ingredient, not "gluten." The MFS can be derived from barley or rye, not be derived from wheat, yet still contain plenty of gluten and cause a reaction.

The FDA could not decide on a suitable definition for gluten, so they list "wheat" rather than gluten.

I also know experimentally, e.g., that Green Giant (which lists modified corn starch) does not cause a reaction, but the one time that I bought Del Monte because they were out of GG, it did.

Hope this helps,

al said...

According to Del Monte's website Creamed Corn is GF. To the best of my knowledge they use corn for their modified food starch. Full disclosure: I have not verified this recently.

Which Del Monte Foods Consumer Products are Gluten-free?

The list below includes current Del Monte consumer products that, to the best of our knowledge, do not contain wheat, oats, rye or barley/malt ingredients.
The list may change or may not be complete due to formula changes or new product introductions. It's always best to read the ingredient statement on the label for the most current information.
Del Monte Gluten-Free Products
All Del Monte® and S&W® Canned/Jarred Fruits
All Del Monte® Fruit Cup® Snacks (Metal and Plastic)
All Del Monte and S&W Canned Vegetables
All Del Monte®, Contadina®, and S&W® Tomatoes & Tomato Products (except Del Monte® Spaghetti Sauce Flavored with Meat, and Contadina® Tomato Paste with Italian Herbs)

Mixed or undefined product - it doesn't matter. ANY ingredient that contains any major allergen must be disclosed in using it common name. It is correct that only wheat must be declared. Barley, rye and oats are included in the Top 8 allergens.

Are flavors, colors, and food additives subject to the allergen labeling requirements?

Yes. FALCPA requires that food manufacturers label food products that contain ingredients, including a flavoring, coloring, or incidental additive that are, or contain, a major food allergen using plain English to identify the allergens.

In August 2008, the FDA will be adopting the guidelines as to what can be called gluten free. The proposed limit is 20 parts per million - it's expected this will be passed.

al said...

Sorry, I missed this in their FAQ's the first time...

What is your Modified Food Starch derived from?

Our Modified Food Starch is derived from corn. It is gluten-free.

TK Kenyon said...

Much of the information in the comments here is mistaken, so I must set the record straight.

As per the US FDA's guidelines:

"The Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act of 2004 (FALCPA), manufacturers are required to identify in plain English the presence of ingredients that contain protein derived from milk, eggs, fish, crustacean shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat, or soybeans in the list of ingredients."

Note that rye, barley, oats, and gluten are NOT listed. So far, any food may contain ingredients such as MFS derived from rye, barley, oats, or gluten and NOT LIST them on the label.

In addition:

Antibody studies now that up to 20% of foods that do not list wheat or gluten ingredients DO CONTAIN over 20 ppm of gluten.

You can't believe the labels, and you can't believe the companies. Buy whole foods and cook them yourself.


al said...

I wrote in a previous post - "Barley, rye and oats are included in the Top 8 allergens."

This is a typo - my apologies. It should've read: Barley, rye and oats are NOT included in the Top 8 allergens.

I won't disagree with the fact that whole foods are the best way to go!

Your link to the FDA site is not working. Is this the link?

It appears that you do trust restaurants like Chili's, Taco Bell and Burger King according to your blog entries. How much of their food contains > 20 ppm? I suspect those high school and college aged kids are highly trained in cross contamination and really care about our safety.

I'd trust a mainstream food manufacturer any day over fast food.

TK Kenyon said...

Hi Al,

We both agree that whole and uncontaminated food is best. I cook a lot from "first principles," or basic ingredients, but sometimes, you need a shortcut, or you need to eat out, whether you're on the road travelling or just out for the day.

I could extol my favorite GF restaurants, like Risotteria in NYC or Picazzo's in Phoenix, but few people who chance upon this little blog are going to be close enough to one of those to go there.

I like the Gluten Free Girl's blog, but I've never been to Seattle, so I haven't tried The Chef's GF restaurant, and probably won't anytime soon.

The thing is, if you find yourself out and need to eat, these are the less risky options. If you eat the things mentioned in this blog, you reduce your chances of getting sick.

Besides, someplace like Taco Bell, the plates and utensils are disposable, so at least the dishwasher isn't a source of contamination. Wendy's is better, IMHO, with a baked potato, chili, and a salad, but sometimes, you just need to find something.

At restaurants, you can impress upon your server the problem that you will get sick *in their restaurant* if you eat the wrong thing. That gets their attention, and they're usually sympathetic.

As far as DM CC is concerned, I had a reaction to it. It may be supposed to be GF, and I'm a bit of a coal mine canary, but I reacted to it. Caveat emptor.