Yes, individually wrapped Rolos are gluten-free. Rolos are made by The Hershey Company, which states that all individually wrapped Rolos, regardless of flavor, are certified gluten-free to less than 20 parts per million. Rolos are made in a facility that also processes milk, peanuts, tree nuts, wheat, egg and soy, so there is a chance of cross-contamination. Those with celiac disease or severe gluten sensitivity should exercise caution.
Ingredients in Rolos
The main ingredients in original Rolos are:
- Palm oil
- Skim milk
- Natural and artificial flavors
None of these ingredients contain gluten. Rolos are made on equipment shared with wheat, so cross-contamination is possible.
Other Rolo flavors like caramel, chocolate covered peanut butter and hazelnut contain similar gluten-free ingredients with extras like peanuts, almonds or hazelnuts added.
Are Rolos Processed in a Facility With Wheat?
Yes, Rolos are made in facilities that also process foods containing wheat, egg, milk, peanuts, tree nuts and soy.
On the Hershey website, under the FAQ for foods causing allergic reactions, they state:
“Most Hershey chocolate and confectionery items are manufactured in facilities that make products containing milk, peanuts, tree nuts, wheat, egg and soy as ingredients. All our products would have the potential to come in contact with these allergens during manufacturing.”
So even though the ingredients themselves are gluten-free, cross-contamination with wheat is possible during processing.
Are Rolos Certified Gluten-Free?
Yes, Hershey states that all individually wrapped Rolos, regardless of flavor, are certified gluten-free to less than 20 parts per million:
“All individually wrapped Rolos flavors (Milk Chocolate, Caramel, Peanut Butter and Almond) are gluten free to less than 20 ppm.”
This very low level of gluten should be safe for most people with gluten intolerance, but may not be suitable for those with celiac disease or wheat allergy.
Are Rolos Safe for People with Celiac Disease?
While certified gluten-free, the cross-contamination risk means Rolos may not be safe for those with celiac disease or severe gluten sensitivity.
Celiac experts recommend avoiding oats manufactured in facilities with wheat, even if certified gluten-free, because trace amounts can cause issues. The same applies to Rolos made alongside wheat-containing products.
According to University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center:
“Ingestion of small amounts of gluten, even in quantities as little as 20 ppm, can be damaging to those with celiac disease. For this reason, the celiac community follows the guideline to avoid foods labeled as gluten-free if they are produced in facilities that also process gluten-containing grains.”
So for those with celiac or wheat allergy, Rolos may be too high risk, even if certified gluten-free under 20 ppm. Checking for any symptoms after eating Rolos can help determine if cross-contamination is an issue.
Are Rolos Safe on a Gluten-Free Diet?
For people simply avoiding gluten or following a gluten-free diet, Rolos that are certified gluten-free to under 20 ppm are generally considered safe.
Some with gluten sensitivity can tolerate trace amounts, while celiac patients cannot. According to Gluten Intolerance Group:
“Foods that have been certified gluten-free to less than 20 ppm can be safely eaten by most gluten-intolerant individuals.”
So while not suitable for all gluten-free diets, Rolos that are certified gluten-free are fine for many people avoiding gluten for reasons other than medical necessity.
What About Rolos Manufactured in Europe?
In regards to Rolos made and sold in Europe, information direct from the manufacturer is limited.
Rolos do not make any gluten-free claims on European packaging. However, the ingredients remain the same gluten-free ingredients.
One customer reported contacting Ferrero, the European manufacturer of Rolos, and being told Rolos sold in Europe are gluten-free to less than 20 ppm. But this has not been officially confirmed by the company.
Those in Europe with celiac disease would still need to use caution and check for any reaction after eating Rolos, due to the cross-contamination risks. For non-medical gluten avoidance, Rolos made in Europe are likely safe, but reaching out to the manufacturer directly could provide more definitive information.
Are There Any Gluten-Free Alternatives to Rolos?
For those who need to avoid Rolos due to gluten, there are some gluten-free alternatives:
So Delicious Dairy Free Minis
These dairy-free chocolate coated caramel mini candies are certified gluten-free, made in a dedicated facility, and free of the top 8 allergens. They come in flavors like salted caramel and cocoa.
YumEarth Organic Vegan Pretzel Eggs
These crunchy organic candy eggs are made with gluten-free ingredients and certified gluten-free. The chocolate and rice flour coating has a pretzel-like crunch.
Surf Sweets Organic Peanut Butter Bears
These delightful gummy bears are gluten-free, organic and made without the top 8 allergens. They are coated in peanut butter and contain no high-fructose corn syrup.
The Bottom Line
Individually wrapped Rolos are certified gluten-free to less than 20 ppm by the manufacturer, Hershey. However, they are made in facilities that also process wheat, milk, nuts and soy, so cross-contamination is possible.
While certified gluten-free, Rolos may not be safe for those with celiac disease or wheat allergy due to the contamination risks. For others avoiding gluten for reasons other than medical necessity, Rolos are generally considered safe.
Those with celiac disease or who are severely sensitive should use caution and evaluate any symptoms after consuming Rolos. Gluten-free candy alternatives are available for those who need to avoid Rolos completely.