Do Idahoan mashed potatoes have gluten?

Quick Answer

Idahoan instant mashed potatoes are gluten-free according to the company. Idahoan states on their website that all of their potato products, including their instant mashed potatoes, contain no gluten ingredients. However, their instant mashed potatoes are produced in facilities that also process wheat ingredients, so there is a chance of cross-contamination. People with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity should exercise caution when consuming Idahoan instant mashed potatoes.

About Idahoan Instant Mashed Potatoes

Idahoan Foods is a company that produces a variety of potato products, including flaked and granulated potatoes as well as instant mashed potatoes. Their instant mashed potatoes come in a variety of flavors and styles, including original, garlic, cheddar and bacon, butter and herb, and loaded baked potato.

To make Idahoan instant mashed potatoes, you simply add hot water or milk, stir, and in a few minutes you have fluffy mashed potatoes ready to eat. The potatoes are real Idaho potatoes that are washed, peeled, cooked, and mashed before being dried into flakes. The dried potatoes allow them to have a long shelf life. When rehydrated, they return to a smooth, creamy mashed potato texture.

Ingredients in Idahoan Instant Mashed Potatoes

According to the ingredient lists published on the Idahoan website, their instant mashed potatoes contain the following core ingredients:

Potatoes The main ingredient, made from real Idaho potatoes.
Canola oil or soybean oil Added for texture, moisture and mouthfeel.
Dried dairy ingredients Usually dried milk or whey for a creamy, rich flavor.
Salt For flavor.
Potato starch To help thicken the mashed potatoes.

The flavored varieties also contain additional ingredients like cheese, garlic, chives, and so on to achieve the desired flavor profile. However, none of the ingredients listed for any Idahoan instant mashed potatoes include wheat, barley, rye or other gluten-containing grains.

Are Idahoan Instant Mashed Potatoes Gluten-Free?

According to Idahoan’s website, their potato products do not contain gluten ingredients:

“All Idahoan potato products are Gluten-Free. Idahoan processes potatoes in a dedicated gluten-free facility.”

Since none of the ingredients in Idahoan instant mashed potatoes contain gluten, and they are processed in a facility dedicated to gluten-free foods, this would indicate that Idahoan instant mashed potatoes are gluten-free.

However, Idahoan does note that their products are produced in facilities that also process wheat ingredients. So while the potatoes themselves do not contain gluten, there is a risk of cross-contamination from shared equipment, storage facilities, etc. Idahoan states:

“Please note, that although we produce gluten free products, they are produced in facilities that process wheat products, so we cannot guarantee 100% gluten free.”

This means that people with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, who require a strict gluten-free diet with no traces of gluten, may still have issues consuming Idahoan instant mashed potatoes. The cross-contamination risk is lower than gluten-containing products, but not as low as something produced in an entirely gluten-free facility.

Idahoan’s Gluten-Free Certifications

While Idahoan instant mashed potatoes do not contain gluten ingredients, and Idahoan takes steps to reduce cross-contamination, the products are not certified gluten-free.

Idahoan states:

“At this time our products do not carry any gluten free certifications (such as Certified Gluten Free), due to the possibility of gluten exposure from other products containing gluten produced in our facilities.”

This is likely because getting true gluten-free certification requires proving through extensive testing that products contain less than 10-20ppm of any traces of gluten. Idahoan’s shared facilities make it harder to guarantee and document this, even though amounts of gluten may be minimal.

Idahoan does note that many of their products carry the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) “no gluten ingredients” claim. This means the product does not contain wheat, rye, barley, or any ingredients derived from these grains. However, unlike gluten-free certification, the GMA claim does not address potential cross-contamination issues.

Are Idahoan Instant Mashed Potatoes Safe for Celiacs?

For people with celiac disease, non-certified gluten-free products that are made in shared facilities, even facilities dedicated to gluten-free, may still be too high of a risk.

Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder triggered by ingesting gluten. The immune system attacks the small intestine, damaging the villi that absorb nutrients. This can cause symptoms like diarrhea, abdominal pain, malnutrition, weight loss, and other issues (1).

For celiacs, even tiny amounts of cross-contamination can be damaging. Ingesting under 50mg of gluten per day can cause issues for many celiacs (2).

Because of the lack of certification and potential for cross-contamination, many celiacs avoid products like Idahoan instant mashed potatoes to eliminate any possible gluten exposure.

However, some celiacs may feel comfortable trying them because Idahoan takes steps to reduce cross-contamination risks, has no gluten ingredients, and some celiacs are less sensitive. But in general, most mainstream celiac recommendations suggest avoiding all non-certified products made in shared facilities.

Are Idahoan Instant Mashed Potatoes Safe in a Gluten-Free Diet?

For those following a gluten-free diet by choice, or for reasons like gluten sensitivity or wheat allergy, the cross-contamination risk with Idahoan instant mashed potatoes may be acceptable.

Gluten sensitivity is less severe than celiac. While any digestive or other symptoms related to gluten should be addressed, most gluten-sensitive individuals do not need to avoid trace gluten to the same degree as celiacs.

Many people following a gluten-free diet for health or lifestyle reasons consume products made on shared equipment and feel fine as long as the foods don’t contain gluten ingredients.

However, it’s still important to consider your own individual sensitivities and reactions. If you follow a gluten-free diet and are very sensitive to trace gluten exposure, it may be best to avoid Idahoan instant mashed potatoes or contact the company for more details on their facilities and gluten controls.

Verdict: Use Caution

Based on Idahoan’s labeling and disclosures:

– Idahoan instant mashed potatoes do not contain any wheat or gluten ingredients.

– However, they are produced on shared equipment that processes wheat, so cross-contamination is possible.

– The products are not certified gluten-free.

So in summary:

– Idahoan instant mashed potatoes are very likely gluten-free to an extent that they should be safe for less sensitive gluten-free diets.

– But for celiacs and those highly sensitive, there may still be too much risk of gluten exposure from cross-contamination.

If you need to completely avoid any trace gluten, it’s probably best to avoid Idahoan instant mashed potatoes, unless you call their customer service for more details on their equipment and facility controls.

Those following a gluten-free diet by choice or for minor sensitivities can likely eat Idahoan instant mashed potatoes, keeping in mind the small risks. Listen to your own body and reactions.

And of course, consult your doctor if you have any concerns about including these instant mashed potatoes or similar products made on shared lines in your gluten-free diet. They can help advise you based on your specific health needs and condition.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why are Idahoan instant mashed potatoes not certified gluten-free?

Idahoan instant mashed potatoes likely can’t be fully certified gluten-free because while the potatoes themselves don’t contain gluten, they are produced on equipment shared with wheat-based products. This means there is a risk of cross-contamination that makes it difficult to meet the strict standards (<10ppm of gluten) required for gluten-free certification.

What kinds of gluten-containing ingredients are made on shared lines with Idahoan instant mashed potatoes?

Idahoan has not provided specifics on what wheat-based products may be made on shared equipment. Based on typical potato processing facilities, it could include things like wheat starches, flours, or baked snacks. Contacting the company directly may yield more details.

Are all Idahoan potato products gluten-free?

Yes, all Idahoan’s potato products are labeled gluten-free in that they do not contain ingredients derived from wheat, barley, or rye. However, they are all subject to the same cross-contamination risks due to being produced in shared facilities.

Has anyone had a reaction after eating Idahoan instant mashed potatoes?

While Idahoan’s facilities are dedicated to gluten-free, some celiacs report having reactions after consuming their products. However, many gluten-free consumers also eat Idahoan potatoes without issues. Reactions likely depend on individual sensitivity levels. Idahoan cannot guarantee their products are 100% gluten-free.

Are Idahoan’s regular fresh refrigerated mashed potatoes gluten-free?

No, Idahoan’s basic refrigerated mashed potatoes (NOT their instant boxed mashed potatoes) contain wheat ingredients and are not labeled gluten-free. Only Idahoan’s instant mashed potatoes and other potato-only products are labeled gluten-free.

The Bottom Line

While Idahoan labels their instant mashed potatoes gluten-free with no gluten ingredients, the risk of cross-contamination means they may not be suitable for all gluten-free diets. Celiacs and those highly sensitive should use caution and may want to avoid them, while less sensitive gluten-free individuals can likely consume them, but should remain aware of the small risk. Consult your doctor if you have any concerns about including Idahoan instant mashed potatoes in your gluten-free diet.

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