Last Updated on March 31, 2022
Today, we’re going to be answering the question: does cornstarch have gluten? And taking a look at the best gluten-free cornstarch available to purchase. You’ll likely be familiar with cornstarch, as it’s a great thickening agent – particularly for foods like gravies and sauces. But is it naturally gluten-free? Let’s take a look. But first, what is cornstarch?
What Is Cornstarch?
If you’ve seen cornstarch in its natural form, it’s a fine, white powder. It’s made entirely from corn and is used often in baking and cooking. Cornstarch is made from the endosperm of corn. The endosperm is full of nutrients. Typically, the only ingredient you’ll ever find in the cornstarch is corn.
Uses For Cornstarch
While cornstarch can be used for many reasons, in and outside the kitchen – it’s a really useful food product to keep in your pantry. In cooking and baking, cornstarch is used most often to thicken. Much like flour, it’s great at making liquid thicker and you don’t often need very much at all.
You can use cornstarch to thicken the following:
Is Cornstarch Gluten Free?
The answer is: sometimes. In its natural form, pure cornstarch is 100% gluten-free. It’s highly unlikely that there will be any other ingredients on the ingredients label than corn. However, there is a high chance of cross-contact. This is because corn is often harvested, milled, and stored in the same areas as gluten grains, including wheat, barley, and rye.
Cross contact is when a non-gluten-containing product, comes into contact with a gluten-containing product. This can happen at any point during the process if the area at any point is shared. This is why it’s always best to opt for products that carry a gluten-free label. To be able to make those claims, companies must test their end products for gluten and meet strict guidelines set by the FDA.
Gluten Free Cornstarch
When you can buy cornstarch that carries a gluten-free label or make gluten-free claims, they’re always the safest option. Let’s take a look at the top gluten-free brands.
Bob’s Red Mill
Bob’s Red Mill is one of the best go-to brands for all your gluten-free needs. As well as a huge selection of other gluten-free products, they also have gluten-free cornstarch. However, it’s worth mentioning, that in their gluten-free facility, they also handle gluten-free oats. While fine for celiacs, lots of gluten intolerants also can’t tolerate oats (even the gluten-free kind!). So it may be worth avoiding this one if you’re also sensitive to oats – like me!
Argo and Kingsford’s
If you’re looking for gluten-free cornstarch or baking powder – Argo and Kingsford’s is the brand to choose! Both those products are completely gluten-free, and also aluminum-free too. You can find out more information about their products on their FAQ page.
Hodgson Mill is another brand that’s super popular in the gluten-free community. If you’re looking for gluten-free ingredients or mixes for baking – they have a great selection. Hodgson Mill don’t just make gluten-free claims, they’re also certified gluten-free! When a product is certified gluten-free, it means that it’s as safe as can possibly be. It’s also worth mentioning that their cornstarch is non-GMO.
For more gluten-free products and mixes, Clabber Girl is another good brand. They’re very good with labeling products and they consider their cornstarch to be gluten-free. Be sure to check out their gluten-free banana bread mix!
Brands To Avoid
While there’s a heap of gluten-free options available to us, I thought it may be worth noting which brands are most definitely not gluten-free. And you should avoid these brands when following a gluten-free diet.
From Frontier, you can buy cornstarch in bulk. Frontier has a range of gluten-free products, but their cornstarch is not among them. Because of their usually clear labeling, it’s best to avoid cornstarch from Frontier.
Another brand to avoid is Rapunzel. They manufacture their products in a shared facility, in which they also handle wheat. Because of this, you should try to opt for a safer option.
I hope this article has helped to answer the question: does cornstarch have gluten? And helped you to identify the plethora of gluten-free cornstarch we have available. In fact, cornstarch is the best alternative to wheat flour, so it’s most definitely a staple in any gluten-free pantry.
Do you know of any other gluten-free cornstarch brands? Or can you think of any other substitutes for cornstarch? If so, please let me know in the comments below.
What Brands of Cornstarch are Gluten-Free?
There's a huge selection of gluten free cornstarch brands available. We'll be taking a closer look at these brands in this article. Some of the most popular gluten free cornstarch's are Bob's Red Mill, Hodgson Mill and Clabber Girl.
Can Celiacs Eat Corn Flour?
Much like cornstarch, corn flour in it's most natural form, is completely gluten free. However, again, like cornstarch, there's a huge chance of cross contact when purchasing corn flour. So always opt for corn flour that makes gluten free claims, when you can. It's worth mentioning that cornmeal is also gluten free too.
What is a Gluten-Free Substitute for Cornstarch?
Wheat flour is the most common substitute for cornstarch - however, we know that it's not gluten free. Some substitutes for cornstarch that are also gluten free are: arrowroot, potato starch, tapioca, rice flour, flaxseeds, xanthan gum and guar gum. It's worth mentioning that all substitutes will require different amounts of each product to replace the cornstarch.
Is All Cornstarch Gluten Free?
No. While all corn starch does not contain any gluten ingredients, they're are some brands that openly state that their cornstarch is made in a shared facility, that handles wheat products. These products are absolutely not gluten free and should be avoided at all costs; particularly if you're celiac.
Hi, my name’s Zoë. I’m 28 years old and live in London, UK. I work full time as a freelance writer and critic for West End theatre. Writing has been a passion of mine for as long as I can remember. I spend most of my free time at the theatre, or at conventions. I’m married to the love of my life, and live in a small apartment with my fur baby, Lillie. I run two of my own blogs: No Safer Place and Stage to Page: both of which have won awards. I also have a YouTube channel where I talk about all things stagey.