Does pretzel crisps have gluten?

Quick Answer

Pretzel crisps are not gluten-free. Most pretzel crisps contain wheat flour, which has gluten. However, some brands like Glutino offer gluten-free pretzel crisps that are made without wheat.

What are pretzel crisps?

Pretzel crisps are a thin, crunchy snack that look like small pretzel crackers. They were introduced by the Snack Factory in 2004 as a low-fat, low-calorie snack option. Traditional pretzel crisps are made using wheat flour, vegetable oil, and salt. They have a crispy, cracker-like texture and come in a variety of flavors like original, garlic parmesan, cinnamon sugar, and buffalo wing.

Do regular pretzel crisps contain gluten?

Yes, regular pretzel crisps contain gluten because they are made with wheat flour.

Wheat flour contains gluten proteins, which can cause issues for those with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity. The two main gluten proteins found in wheat are gliadin and glutenin. When wheat flour is mixed with water, these proteins form elastic strands that give breads and other baked goods their chewy texture.

All varieties of regular pretzel crisps list wheat flour as their first ingredient. Therefore, original, garlic parmesan, honey mustard & onion, buffalo wing, and other standard pretzel crisp flavors are not gluten-free snacks.

Why wheat has gluten

Wheat is one of the three grains, along with barley and rye, that naturally contain gluten. Gluten is made up of storage proteins called prolamins and glutelins. When flour is mixed with water, these proteins form elastic strands that allow dough to rise and give baked goods their spongy texture.

Below are the main gluten proteins found in wheat and what they do:

– Gliadin gives dough extensibility and is responsible for the viscous, flexible properties of gluten.

– Glutenin gives dough elasticity and strength so it can rise and hold its shape.

– Other minor gluten proteins in wheat include triticins, purinins, and albumins.

While gluten provides useful properties for baking, it causes issues for those with gluten intolerance disorders like celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity. That’s why many wheat-free and gluten-free alternatives exist today.

Are gluten-free pretzel crisps available?

Yes, some brands like Glutino offer gluten-free pretzel crisps made without wheat. These gluten-free pretzels are baked with ingredients like corn flour, potato starch, and rice flour instead.

Some of the more common gluten-free pretzel crisp flavors include:

– Glutino gluten-free original pretzel crisps
– Glutino gluten-free salted caramel pretzel crisps
– Glutino gluten-free cinnamon sugar pretzel crisps
– Glutino gluten-free sourdough pretzel crisps
– Glutino gluten-free everything pretzel crisps

Glutino pretzel crisps are certified gluten-free to less than 10 parts per million. They can be eaten safely by those following a gluten-free diet for medical reasons, like celiac disease. However, some pretzel crisps made in facilities that also process wheat could risk cross-contamination.

Other gluten-free pretzel brands

In addition to Glutino, other brands offering gluten-free pretzel crisps and gluten-free pretzels include:

– Sheila G’s brown rice gluten-free pretzel crisps
– Katz gluten-free pretzels
– Schar gluten-free pretzels
– O’Doughs gluten-free pretzels
– Unique Pretzels gluten-free pretzel crisps
– Better for You! gluten-free pretzel crisps
– Paleka gluten-free pretzel crisps

Carefully reading the ingredients label and looking for a certified gluten-free logo can identify these wheat-free pretzel options. Choosing pretzels made in dedicated gluten-free facilities further reduces any risk of cross-contamination.

Are sourdough pretzels gluten-free?

No, sourdough pretzels are not gluten-free. Even though sourdough bread uses a fermented starter instead of yeast, regular wheat flour is still used to make the dough. Since wheat contains gluten, sourdough pretzels will also have gluten unless made with alternate flours.

Some individuals mistakenly think the fermentation process may break down or get rid of the gluten in sourdough. However, research shows that while fermentation may help reduce some problematic short-chain carbohydrates like FODMAPs, gluten proteins remain intact.

Currently, medical organizations advise that fermentation does not reduce gluten enough to make sourdough safe for people with celiac disease or wheat allergy. There are some anecdotal reports that those with mild gluten sensitivity may tolerate sourdough better than regular bread. But there is no sound research yet to confirm this effect.

Can you make pretzels gluten-free at home?

Yes, it’s possible to make gluten-free pretzels at home using alternate flours like:

– Brown rice flour
– Sorghum flour
– Potato starch
– Tapioca flour
– Cornstarch
– Arrowroot starch
– Quinoa flour
– Buckwheat flour
– Nut flours like almond or coconut flour

Some gluten-free baking mixes that blend these flours in the right proportions can make homemade gluten-free pretzel making easier. You can also find recipes that use xanthan or guar gum to help replicate the stretchy properties gluten provides in regular pretzels.

Shaping gluten-free pretzel dough takes some practice, as the dough will be more brittle than regular wheat-based dough. Boiling briefly in an alkaline solution of baking soda water before baking can also help gluten-free pretzels develop a harder outer shell with a chewy interior.

Pretzel crisp nutrition facts

Most original pretzel crisps provide around 110 calories per 1 oz serving (about 16 crisps). They offer dietary fiber from the whole wheat flour, but are low in protein and healthy fats.

Here is the full nutrition breakdown for a 1 oz serving of original pretzel crisps:

– Calories: 110
– Total fat: 1.5g
– Saturated fat: 0g
– Trans fat: 0g
– Cholesterol: 0mg
– Sodium: 230mg
– Total carbs: 23g
– Dietary fiber: 1g
– Total sugar: 0g
– Added sugar: 0g
– Protein: 2g

Pretzel crisps offer mostly refined carbs from processed wheat flour. But they can provide some vitamins and minerals, including:

– Iron: 6% daily value
– Thiamin: 4% DV
– Folate: 4% DV
– Niacin: 4% DV
– Riboflavin: 2% DV

However, those numbers are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Realistically, most people would get only around 1-2% of their daily nutrient needs from a 1 oz serving of pretzels.

Are pretzel crisps healthy?

Pretzel crisps can be an unhealthy snack due to:

– High sodium content – A serving of pretzel crisps provides between 170-230 mg sodium, which is 7-10% of the daily limit for most adults. Eating too much sodium raises risk for high blood pressure.

– High glycemic index – Pretzels have a glycemic index around 80, meaning they can cause bigger spikes in blood sugar levels compared to low glycemic foods. This may promote insulin resistance.

– Low nutrient density – While pretzels provide some B vitamins and iron, they are lacking in many other vitamins, minerals, protein, and healthy fats found in more nutrient-dense snack options.

– Often made with refined flours – Most pretzel crisps are made with refined wheat flour, which has had the fiber- and nutrient-rich bran and germ removed. Whole grain flours would be healthier.

– Low protein and fiber – With only 2g protein and 1g fiber per serving, pretzel crisps do not promote satiety and fullness as well as higher protein, higher fiber snacks.

That said, pretzel crisps eaten occasionally as part of an overall healthy diet are fine. Look for products made with whole grains and limit portion sizes to help control calories, carbs, and sodium intake. Also choose no-salt-added or low-sodium varieties whenever possible.

Healthier pretzel crisp snack ideas
Choose thin pretzel crisps and top with 1 tablespoon hummus and sliced veggies or avocado
Look for whole grain pretzel crisps and pair with 2 tablespoons light cream cheese
Select unsalted pretzel crisps and spread with 2 tablespoons peanut or almond butter
Pair low-sodium pretzel crisps with 1-2 slices low-sodium deli meat and mustard

Making your own healthy pretzel crisps

You can also easily make baked pretzel crackers at home using healthier ingredients:

– Use whole wheat or ancient grain flours like spelt, barley, or rye instead of refined white flour. This boosts fiber and nutrients.

– Replace some of the refined flour with almond flour or oat bran to increase protein and healthy fats.

– Reduce the amount of butter or oil compared to traditional pretzel recipes.

– Flavor with garlic powder, onion powder, sesame seeds or cracked black pepper instead of salt. Or use just a pinch of sea salt.

– Shape into thin crackers and cut squares with a pizza cutter instead of circular pretzel knots.

– Top with sesame seeds, poppy seeds or coarse sea salt before baking for extra crunch and flavor without excess sodium.

Are pretzel crisps keto-friendly?

Most regular pretzel crisps are not keto-friendly because they are made primarily with wheat flour, which contains too many carbs and sugar alcohols like maltitol. This makes regular pretzel crisps a high glycemic, high carb food not recommended on the ketogenic diet.

However, there are some keto pretzel crisp options made with almond flour or flaxseed that can fit into a ketogenic eating plan:

– Legendary Foods Keto Pretzel Crisps are made with almond flour and whey protein. They contain 5g net carbs per serving.

– Mr. Cheese O’s Crunchy Almond Flour Crackers have only 3g net carbs per serving. They are baked with almond flour and cheese.

– Flackers Vegan Flaxseed Crackers are dairy-free and contain 5g carbs per serving. They are made with flaxseeds and nutritional yeast.

When buying keto pretzel crackers, be sure to check the nutrition label and look for options with less than 5-10g net carbs per serving. Track your total carb intake to stay under your daily keto limit.

Pretzel crisps during pregnancy

Here are some key things for pregnant women to consider when eating pretzel crisps:

– Sodium content – Stick to low-sodium pretzel crisps since excess sodium can contribute to swelling and high blood pressure during pregnancy.

– Blood sugar control – Pretzels have a high glycemic index, which can lead to spikes and crashes in blood sugar levels. Focus on pairing pretzels with protein and healthy fat for better glycemic control.

– Weight gain – Pretzels are low in protein and fiber, nutrients that promote satiety. Be mindful of portion sizes to avoid excess weight gain.

– Constipation remedy – The fiber in whole grain pretzel crisps may help relieve pregnancy-related constipation. Stay well-hydrated when increasing fiber intake.

– Heartburn trigger – The high carb and sodium content of pretzels may exacerbate pregnancy heartburn. Limit intake if you experience reflux symptoms.

Overall, pretzel crisps are safe in moderation during pregnancy as part of a balanced diet. Keep portion sizes around 1 ounce and avoid excessive sodium intake to mitigate risks of complications. Focus on whole grain options whenever possible.

Do pretzel crisps expire?

Properly stored, pretzel crisps can typically last for:

– Unopened package: About 6 months past the “best by” date. An unopened airtight package helps prevent staleness.

– After opening: Around 1-2 weeks if stored in an airtight container at room temperature. The lower moisture content allows crisps to remain fresh a bit longer than other baked goods.

– Refrigerator: Around 4-6 months if kept in an airtight container. The cold environment slows staling.

– Freezer: Up to 1 year for best quality if frozen immediately after opening in an airtight container. Allows longer storage but can affect texture.

So an unopened bag of pretzel crisps stored in the pantry should stay fresh for about 6 months past the printed date. But once opened, try to use within a couple weeks. Transfer any uneaten crisps to an airtight container or bag to maintain maximum freshness, whether storing in the pantry or freezer.

Be sure to check pretzel crisps for any signs of staleness before eating, including:

– Softening and reduced crunch
– Change in color or appearance
– Development of a stale, cardboard-like flavor
– Texture changes like hardening or gumminess
– Mold growth – discard moldy pretzels immediately

If sealed and stored properly, the shelf life of pretzel crisps can be prolonged. But it’s always important to rely on your senses too to determine any changes in freshness over time.


In summary, regular pretzel crisps made using wheat flour contain gluten and are not gluten-free. But there are several brands of gluten-free pretzel crisps, like Glutino, made using alternate ingredients that are safe for those avoiding gluten. When buying pretzels, double check the ingredients list and nutrition labels and look for gluten-free certification to ensure the product does not contain any wheat-based ingredients if gluten is a concern for you. Making your own pretzel crisps at home using gluten-free flours is also an option for crafting gluten-free pretzel snacks just the way you like them.

Leave a Comment