Do Rosarita refried beans contain gluten?

Gluten is a protein found in grains like wheat, barley and rye. For people with celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity, consuming gluten can cause serious health issues like intestinal damage, malnutrition and chronic inflammation. That’s why it’s important for people with gluten-related disorders to avoid gluten in their diets by checking labels and ingredient lists carefully.

Many common food products contain hidden sources of gluten. This includes items like soy sauce, salad dressings and even some brands of beans. Canned refried beans are a pantry staple for many, but shoppers with gluten concerns may wonder: Do Rosarita refried beans contain gluten?

An Overview of Rosarita Refried Beans

Rosarita is a popular brand of canned Mexican-style foods owned by Conagra Brands. Their traditional refried beans are made by mashing and cooking pinto beans with oils and seasonings. The beans come pre-cooked in a 16-ounce can.

According to the ingredient list, Rosarita Traditional Refried Beans contain:
– Cooked Pinto Beans
– Water

– Partially Hydrogenated Soybean Oil
– Salt
– Sugar
– Spices
– Garlic
– Onion Powder

– Torula Yeast
– Disodium Inosinate & Guanylate
– Potassium Chloride
– Natural Flavors

The ingredients do not list any grains or wheat-based additives. Based on the ingredient list alone, Rosarita refried beans appear to be gluten-free.

However, it’s important to note that ingredient lists don’t tell the whole story. Cross-contamination during manufacturing can also introduce traces of gluten into products made without gluten-containing ingredients.

Are Rosarita Refried Beans Labeled Gluten-Free?

In addition to checking the ingredient list, looking for a “gluten-free” label is another way to assess if foods are suitable for a gluten-free diet.

Rosarita refried beans are not labeled as gluten-free. In fact, the packaging contains a “may contain” statement:

“Produced on shared equipment that processes wheat (gluten), milk, egg, soybeans, shellfish, fish oil, tree nuts, and peanuts.”

This shared equipment disclaimer is designed to warn people with food allergies or gluten sensitivities that cross-contact is possible during manufacturing.

So while Rosarita beans do not contain gluten-based ingredients, the brand cannot guarantee they are 100% gluten-free due to potential cross-contamination risks. People with celiac disease or gluten sensitivities should use caution and check with their healthcare provider when consuming Rosarita refried beans.

Rosarita’s Response on Gluten-Free Status

On their website’s FAQ page, Rosarita provides more context about why their products are not labeled gluten-free:

“Rosarita® products are manufactured on shared equipment with wheat. We follow the FDA requirement for food manufacturers – less than 20ppm of gluten for foods with a “gluten-free” claim on the packaging. Products that do not say “gluten-free” may have more.”

So although Rosarita products test below the 20 parts per million gluten threshold required by the FDA to label foods as “gluten-free,” their factory equipment is shared with wheat. This means there is a chance of gluten cross-contact exceeding 20 ppm at times, so Rosarita does not label their products gluten-free as a precaution.

Options for Minimizing Gluten Exposure

While Rosarita refried beans likely contain very low levels of gluten from cross-contact, the amount could potentially exceed what is safe for those who are highly sensitive. Here are some tips for minimizing gluten exposure from canned beans:

– Look for brands that are certified gluten-free to ensure a higher level of safety. Bean brands like Eden Foods and Amy’s Kitchen label their products as gluten-free.

– Rinse canned beans before use to help remove any wheat-based residues from manufacturing. Drain in a colander and rinse under fresh water for at least 30 seconds.

– Cook dry beans from their raw form at home. Purchase bags of dry beans and prepare your own cooked bean dishes to control for gluten cross-contact.

– Use a dedicated can opener and strainer at home if you frequently eat canned beans. Keep them separate from general kitchen tools to prevent cross-contact.

– Contact the manufacturer if you have questions or concerns about their shared equipment processes and gluten testing policies.

Should People with Celiac Disease Eat Rosarita Refried Beans?

People with celiac disease need to avoid any exposure to gluten to prevent intestinal damage and other serious effects.

The Celiac Disease Foundation states that people with celiac disease should avoid foods with advisory statements such as “may contain wheat” or “made in a facility that also processes wheat.” They recommend individuals with celiac choose only products with a gluten-free certification instead.

Following this guidance, people with celiac disease should avoid Rosarita refried beans and other products made on shared equipment with wheat, even if they test below 20ppm. The “may contain wheat” statement indicates there is some risk of gluten exposure beyond the FDA limit from manufacturing processes.

Instead, those with celiac disease can turn to certified gluten-free bean brands, cook dry beans at home, or try alternate ingredients like potatoes or cassava to make recipes gluten-free.

Should People with Gluten Sensitivity Eat Rosarita Beans?

People with non-celiac gluten sensitivity may be able to tolerate very small amounts of gluten exposure from cross-contact. The threshold amount varies based on individual sensitivity levels.

Some with gluten sensitivity can eat Rosarita beans in moderation with minimal issues. However, reactions are still possible, especially for those who are highly sensitive. Scaling back consumption and using additional precautions like rinsing canned beans can help minimize risk.

It’s best for those with gluten sensitivity to evaluate their personal tolerance levels and exercise caution by choosing other bean brands labeled gluten-free when possible. Speaking to a healthcare provider for guidance can also help determine suitable precautions and eating strategies.


Rosarita refried beans do not contain gluten-based ingredients, but they are produced on shared equipment with wheat. This means traces of gluten could be introduced during manufacturing processes. While amounts may be minimal and meet FDA standards, the brand does not label their products gluten-free and there are no guarantees gluten is fully absent.

People with celiac disease should avoid Rosarita beans due to the advisory statements and risk of gluten exposure. Those with non-celiac gluten sensitivity may be able to tolerate small amounts of cross-contact, but should take precautions and monitor their personal tolerance levels. Substituting certified gluten-free bean brands, rinsing before use, preparing dry beans, and using dedicated tools at home can all help further minimize gluten risks.

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