Halo Top ice cream has become extremely popular in recent years as a low calorie, high protein ice cream alternative. With a variety of delicious flavors to choose from, Halo Top appeals to ice cream lovers who want to reduce their calorie and sugar intake without sacrificing taste.
However, for those with gluten intolerance or celiac disease, an important question arises: is Halo Top gluten-free? For people who must strictly adhere to a gluten-free diet, determining if packaged foods contain gluten is essential.
What is Gluten?
Gluten is a general name for the proteins found in wheat, rye, barley and triticale. It acts as a “glue” that helps foods maintain their shape and texture. For most people, gluten does not cause any issues or negative health effects. However, for those with celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity, gluten can trigger a severe autoimmune response that damages the small intestine.
Even small amounts of gluten can cause issues for those who are gluten intolerant. This is why checking labels and understanding ingredients is so important when adhering to a strict gluten-free diet.
Gluten-Free Labeling Regulations
In the United States, the FDA regulates gluten-free labeling on packaged foods. For a food product to be labeled as “gluten-free,” it must contain less than 20 parts per million (ppm) of gluten. Foods with 20-100 ppm can be labeled as “very low gluten.”
Manufacturers and packagers of foods labeled “gluten-free” must ensure their foods meet these standards through rigorous quality control testing. All ingredients must be evaluated to verify compliance with the gluten-free threshold.
Are Halo Top Products Labeled Gluten-Free?
The short answer is yes – Halo Top labels their ice cream products as gluten-free. On Halo Top’s website, they state:
All of our flavors are labeled gluten-free to indicate the flavors are safe to eat for those with celiac disease. During the manufacturing processes we use, the finished products test below 20ppm of gluten from the combination of all ingredients used.
This indicates they adhere to the FDA standards for testing and labeling foods as gluten-free. All Halo Top products, regardless of flavor, are tested and confirmed as gluten-free.
Analyzing the ingredients in Halo Top ice creams also confirms their lack of gluten-containing ingredients:
- Milk – Dairy ingredients like milk, cream and whey do not contain gluten.
- Sugar – Cane sugar and other sweeteners are gluten-free.
- Eggs – Eggs do not contain gluten.
- Cream – Another safe dairy ingredient.
- Natural Flavors – Flavorings derived from fruits, vegetables, spices, etc. do not contain gluten.
- Sea Salt – Does not contain gluten.
- Locust Bean Gum – A plant-based stabilizer and thickener, gluten-free.
- Guar Gum – Another gluten-free gum additive made from guar beans.
None of the core ingredients or common allergens in Halo Top are sources of gluten. This analysis of the ingredients aligns with their gluten-free claims and labeling.
Are Halo Top Products Made in a Facility with Wheat?
Halo Top does not provide any indication that their products are processed or manufactured in facilities that also process wheat or gluten. Many times, foods that are labeled gluten-free but made alongside wheat-based foods will include an advisory statement to alert those with celiac disease.
The lack of any shared equipment or facility warnings suggests Halo Top has dedicated gluten-free production lines. This greatly reduces the risk of cross-contamination during manufacturing.
Third-Party Gluten-Free Certifications
In addition to FDA labeling regulations, Halo Top has obtained gluten-free certification through two independent third-party organizations:
- Gluten Intolerance Group (GIG) – This non-profit tests products quarterly to ensure they meet requirements for gluten-free certification. Certified products must test below 10ppm of gluten.
- National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) – NSF International certifies products as gluten-free through annual audits and product testing. The threshold is 20ppm or less for their certification.
These certifications provide added assurance that Halo Top is following strict protocols to keep their products gluten-free during all stages of manufacturing.
No Recalls for Gluten Contamination
Since Halo Top was launched in 2012, there have been no product recalls due to gluten contamination issues. Other brands that have been recalled for exceeding acceptable gluten limits include items like rice flour, oatmeal and chocolate. Halo Top has maintained their gluten-free status in all flavors.
Their commitment to gluten-free protocols is further evidenced by the lack of any safety or health concerns regarding gluten exposure through their products.
Contacting the Company About Gluten
Halo Top provides the following contact information for direct consumer inquiry regarding their gluten-free claims and testing results:
If you have any questions about gluten and our products, please reach out to our team at [email protected]
The company states they will share specific testing results on any product with consumers upon request to provide added reassurance.
Based on careful evaluation of their labels, ingredients lists, certifications and manufacturing processes, Halo Top ice cream products appear to safely meet the FDA requirements of less than 20ppm of gluten to be labeled gluten-free.
Key supporting facts are:
- Halo Top labels all flavors as gluten-free
- No gluten-containing ingredients are used
- No wheat-based processing aids or shared equipment
- Third-party certifications verify gluten-free status
- No product recalls for gluten contamination
Consumers who need to follow a strict gluten-free diet can feel confident that Halo Top is a brand they can safely enjoy. As with any specialty diet, it is always wise to verify labels and contact companies directly with any product questions.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Halo Top dairy free or vegan?
No, Halo Top ice creams are not dairy-free or vegan. All flavors contain milk and/or cream as core ingredients. However, those with lactose intolerance may be able to tolerate Halo Top. The milk used contains the lactase enzyme to help break down lactose. Those with severe dairy allergies should avoid Halo Top.
Is Halo Top keto friendly?
Many flavors of Halo Top are low in carbs and sugars compared to regular ice cream, making them a keto-friendly option. However, a few flavors are higher in carbs so those on a keto diet need to choose carefully and account for the carbs/sugars in their daily intake.
Can you buy Halo Top in grocery stores?
Yes, Halo Top is sold in the frozen desserts section of most major grocery stores in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Ireland and Australia. Stores carrying Halo Top include Kroger, Safeway, Whole Foods, Walmart and more.
Does Halo Top taste as good as regular ice cream?
Taste is subjective to individual preferences, but many fans think Halo Top provides a satisfying, creamy texture and flavor profile. The use of natural sweeteners like stevia instead of loads of sugar does provide a different taste, but many consumers love Halo Top as a frozen treat.
Halo Top delivers a range of delicious low-calorie, high protein ice creams that are meticulously manufactured and tested to be safely gluten-free. They adhere to FDA guidelines for proper labeling while also obtaining respected third-party certifications to validate their commitment to keeping gluten levels below 20ppm.
Those with celiac disease or gluten intolerance can confidently enjoy the many flavors of Halo Top without concern for gluten exposure. Halo Top remains dedicated to providing tasty, nutritious and gluten-free products to their loyal customers.