Does Mentos candy have gluten?

Mentos is a popular brand of mint candy that is enjoyed by many people around the world. The chewy, minty candies are a staple in many gas stations, convenience stores, and supermarkets. But for those with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, a common question arises: does Mentos candy contain gluten?

What is Gluten?

Gluten is a general name for the proteins found in wheat, rye, barley and triticale. It helps foods maintain their shape and texture, and gives elasticity to dough. For most people, gluten does not cause any issues or adverse health effects. However, for those with celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity, consuming gluten can trigger a serious autoimmune response that damages the small intestine. Even small amounts of gluten can cause issues for those who are gluten intolerant.

Celiac Disease and Gluten Sensitivity

Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder that affects around 1% of the population. When someone with celiac disease consumes gluten, it triggers an immune response that attacks the small intestine, damaging the villi that line the intestinal walls. This can lead to a variety of digestive symptoms, malnutrition and long-term complications if not properly managed. The only treatment for celiac disease is strictly adhering to a 100% gluten-free diet.

Non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS) is a condition involving gluten-related symptoms without the diagnostic criteria for celiac disease or wheat allergy being met. Symptoms may include gastrointestinal issues, fatigue, brain fog and joint pain after consuming gluten. While not as serious as celiac disease, NCGS can still significantly impact a person’s quality of life. Avoiding gluten is also the primary treatment for NCGS.

For both celiac disease and NCGS, it is essential to avoid any food products that contain gluten. Reading ingredient labels carefully and knowing hidden sources of gluten is crucial to managing these conditions. Even trace amounts can trigger symptoms.

Gluten in Candy

Most candy does not naturally contain gluten. Gluten is found in grains like wheat, barley and rye – not in sugar, corn syrup, flavors, colors and other ingredients commonly found in candy. However, gluten can be added to some candies and confections through flavorings, binders and coatings that contain glutenous grains.

Common sources of gluten in candy include:

  • Malt flavoring or malt extracts – derived from barley
  • Wheat flour – used as a binding or bulking agent
  • Barley malt – used as a sweetener
  • Cookie or graham cracker pieces – contain wheat flour
  • Licorice – may use wheat flour in production
  • Chocolate – may be contaminated with gluten during processing

So while most types of candy are gluten-free, it is important to double check the ingredients and understand potential risks of cross-contamination. When in doubt, contacting the manufacturer directly can provide the most accurate information.

Are Mentos Gluten Free?

The good news is that standard Mentos mints are considered gluten-free. According to Mentos, their regular mint flavored candies do not contain any gluten ingredients. The ingredient list consists of sugar, gum arabic, natural and artificial flavors, glucose syrup, wax, invertase, gelatin, acacia gum, carnauba wax, carnuaba wax, coloring (varies depending on flavor) and glazing agents.

Mentos cites the lack of wheat, rye, barley and oats in the ingredients as the reasons the candies are deemed gluten-free. The candies are also produced in facilities that do not process any gluten ingredients. However, the brand does note that gluten contamination is always a possibility in a production environment.

People with celiac disease or NCGS who are highly sensitive should use their own discretion with consuming Mentos. But in general, the standard Mentos mints in the roll packs appear to be a gluten-free friendly candy option.

Other Mentos Products

While the original mint Mentos are gluten-free, people with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity should exercise caution with other flavors and varieties:

  • Fruit Flavored Mentos – The fruit flavored rolls such as Fruit and Yogurt are also considered gluten-free to Mentos. However, those highly sensitive should note that they are produced on shared equipment with gluten products.
  • Chewy Mentos – The chewy texture Mentos contain wheat-based ingredients and are not gluten-free.
  • Mentos Gum – Mentos gum contains gluten, again due to wheat-based ingredients.
  • Mentos Sours – The sours candies contain wheat flour and barley malt.
  • Mentos Rainbow Strips – Rainbow strips list wheat flour in the ingredients.
  • Mentos Pure Fresh Gum – This gum contains gluten.
  • Mentos Choco/Coffee Beans – Due to potential cross-contamination with gluten ingredients, these candies may not be safe for celiac/gluten sensitivity.

So in summary, the original mint Mentos rolls are gluten-free, as are the fruit flavored rolls (with advisory for sensitive individuals regarding shared equipment). But all other varieties – including gum, chewy, sours, rainbow strips and coffee/choco beans – either contain gluten as ingredients, or have a high risk of gluten cross-contamination. Checking every individual package is important.

What About Sugar Free Mentos?

Mentos also offers several sugar free mint options and flavors. According to Mentos, most sugar free varieties are also gluten-free to 20 parts per million. This includes:

  • Mentos Sugar Free Freshmint
  • Mentos Sugar Free Strongmint
  • Mentos Sugar Free Fruit
  • Mentos Sugar Free Pure Fresh

The sugar free gum options from Mentos are NOT gluten-free. As well, those sensitive should note the sugar free candies are also produced on shared equipment with gluten products. But sugar free mint Mentos can be another option for those seeking gluten-free candy.

Cross-Contamination Questions

For people with celiac disease and NCGS, cross-contamination of gluten is a primary concern. Even if a product does not directly contain gluten ingredients, shared production equipment, processes and facilities raise the risk of gluten exposure.

Some key questions regarding Mentos and cross-contamination include:

  • Are the mint and fruit flavors produced on dedicated gluten-free equipment? Or shared lines? What about personnel, storage, etc.?
  • How is gluten contamination prevented within the facilities?
  • What testing is done to verify gluten-free status? To what threshold sensitivity?
  • Where are Mentos candies manufactured? Are facilities free of gluten?

Mentos states that their gluten-free varieties are produced on shared equipment with gluten products. They note the risks this poses to sensitive individuals. Some facilities may process wheat, while others do not use gluten at all. Manufacturing takes place in factories in the Netherlands, Bulgaria, China, Brazil and Indonesia.

Unfortunately, Mentos does not provide detailed information about gluten testing or thresholds. Their statements of gluten-free status to 20ppm or less provide some reassurance. But it is uncertain how rigorous allergen controls and validations are within the various facilities.

Those managing celiac disease or NCGS will need to weigh their own level of sensitivity and risk acceptance. While Mentos mint rolls appear generally safe, they may not meet the needs of those highly sensitive or seeking a 100% dedicated gluten-free facility. In those cases, fully certified gluten-free candies may be a better option.

Gluten Free Certifications

For consumers seeking the highest level of assurance, an independent gluten-free certification can provide validation of robust controls.

GFCO Gluten Free Certification

The Gluten Free Certification Organization (GFCO) offers gluten-free certification for products that meet their standards. Certified products must contain 10ppm or less of gluten. GFCO also requires testing of both ingredients and finished products, stringent sanitation practices, employee training, and periodic on-site audits of facilities. A GFCO certification means facilities are not necessarily dedicated gluten-free, but rigorous protocols are in place to avoid cross-contamination.

GIG’s Gluten Free Certification

The Gluten Intolerance Group (GIG) offers certification through their Gluten Free Certification Organization (GFCO) program. Manufacturers must demonstrate protocols to control gluten through ingredient control, document control, equipment control and final product testing. Certified products must test below 10ppm of gluten. The GIG certification program provides robust validation for highly sensitive consumers.

Nima Gluten Sensor

For additional at-home testing, consumers can use a Nima Gluten Sensor. This portable device uses a disposable capsule to detect gluten levels down to 20ppm. Individual Mentos candies can be tested for peace of mind regarding gluten levels. While not foolproof, it can provide an extra layer of assurance.

Finding Other Gluten-Free Candies

While standard Mentos mint rolls are considered gluten-free, some individuals wish to avoid the risks of manufacturing facilities that also process gluten. Thankfully, there are dedicated gluten-free candy options available:

  • YumEarth – Organic gluten-free candy, lollipops and gummies.
  • Surfsweets – Gummy bears and other gummies, sour candies.
  • SmartSweets – Low-sugar gummy candies and sour sweets.
  • Vermont Nut Free Chocolates – Assorted artisan chocolates, free of gluten and nuts.
  • Taste Joy – Chewy gluten-free candies and gummies.
  • Make Meaning – Mini candy with positive affirmations, gluten-free.

There are also many gluten-free licorice, caramel, and chocolate bar options. Reading labels and researching diligently helps identify products produced in dedicated facilities. For the highest standards, looking for reputable third-party certifications provides peace of mind.


The popular Mentos brand of mints does provide some gluten-free options, specifically the original mint rolls and sugar free varieties (aside from gum). However, all other Mentos candies either contain gluten outright, or risk significant cross-contamination concerns. Individuals with celiac disease or NCGS wishing to consume Mentos should verify each product’s ingredients, understand advisory statements regarding shared equipment, and make personal determinations on tolerance risk. For those desiring assured gluten-free status, turning to independently certified products remains the safest option.

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