Does Swanson chicken broth contain gluten?

Chicken broth is a common ingredient used in many recipes. For people with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, it’s important to use a chicken broth that is guaranteed gluten-free. Swanson is one of the most popular brands of chicken broth sold in grocery stores across the United States. But does Swanson chicken broth actually contain gluten?

What is Gluten?

Gluten is a group of proteins found in grains like wheat, barley, and rye. For most people, gluten is harmless. But for those with celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity, gluten triggers an autoimmune reaction that damages the small intestine. Even tiny amounts of gluten can cause issues for those who are gluten intolerant.

Some of the symptoms caused by gluten include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Bloating
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches

Over time, eating gluten can result in serious complications like osteoporosis, infertility, neurological conditions, and certain cancers. That’s why it’s critical for people with celiac disease or gluten intolerance to avoid even trace amounts of gluten in foods and beverages.

Gluten Hiding in Unexpected Places

Many people assume that gluten is only found in bread, pasta, baked goods, and other obvious grain products. But gluten can actually be lurking in all sorts of unsuspected foods and drinks. For example, soy sauce, salad dressings, soups, broths, sauces, seasonings, vitamins, prescription medications and even lip products may contain gluten as an additive.

Cross-contamination is another way gluten sneaks into foods. If a gluten-containing food comes into contact with a gluten-free food, trace amounts can be transferred. That’s why celiac patients must be vigilant about only consuming certified gluten-free products.

The Benefits of Chicken Broth

Chicken broth is valued for its multitude of culinary uses. It serves as an aromatic base for soups, stews, risotto, and sauces. The collagen in chicken broth has gut-healing properties that can help treat leaky gut syndrome. Chicken broth is also a good source of hydration when someone is sick.

For those avoiding gluten, chicken broth can be a tasty gluten-free ingredient to cook with. But it’s essential to choose a broth that has been tested and confirmed gluten-free.

How Chicken Broth May Contain Gluten

There are a few different ways that gluten could make its way into a chicken broth:

1. Wheat-based thickening agents

Many commercial broths use wheat flour or wheat starch to thicken the broth and give it a richer mouthfeel. Clear gluten-free broths avoid additives like flour.

2. Hydrolyzed wheat protein

Hydrolyzed wheat protein is a common flavor enhancer found in packaged foods like broth. It is extracted from wheat gluten, so it contains gluten.

3. Shared equipment

Some factories make multiple products on shared equipment. So gluten-containing foods may be processed on the same machinery as chicken broth, leading to cross-contamination. Dedicated gluten-free facilities are the safest choice.

4. Barley malt

Barley malt is used sometimes in chicken broth as a sweetener. Since barley contains gluten, broths with barley malt should be avoided.

How to Check if Chicken Broth Has Gluten

To determine if a particular brand of chicken broth is gluten-free, check the ingredient list and look for:

  • Hydrolyzed wheat protein
  • Wheat flour
  • Wheat starch
  • Barley malt

Avoid any broth that lists these ingredients. Also look for a “gluten-free” certification symbol from organizations like GFCO, Certified Gluten-Free, or Gluten Intolerance Group.

If a broth doesn’t have a gluten-free certification or you’re still unsure, consider contacting the manufacturer. Many companies have customer service lines and can verify if their products are gluten-free.

Swanson Chicken Broth Ingredients

Now let’s examine the ingredients in Swanson’s chicken broth:

Swanson Chicken Broth Nutrition Facts

Serving Size 1 cup (240ml)
Calories 45
Sodium 780mg
Protein 5g
Carbohydrates 2g

Swanson Chicken Broth Ingredients:

  • Chicken stock
  • Sea salt
  • Yeast extract
  • Chicken fat
  • Flavor
  • Spices

The ingredient list for Swanson chicken broth looks gluten-free. It does not contain any wheat-based ingredients or barley malt.

Swanson chicken broth is made in a dedicated gluten-free facility, according to Swanson’s website. They also state their broth is tested to verify it meets the FDA requirements for gluten-free certification.

Is Swanson Chicken Broth Certified Gluten-Free?

Swanson chicken broth products are certified gluten-free by the Gluten-Free Certification Organization (GFCO). The GFCO tests products to make sure they contain less than 10 parts per million of gluten. This rigorous certification gives celiac patients assurance that Swanson chicken broth is safe to consume.

On Swanson broth packaging, you can look for the GFCO certification logo to confirm the broth is gluten-free. The GFCO logo will appear as follows:

Swanson broths labeled as gluten-free are tested every 2-4 hours during production. This frequent testing ensures the products remain below the allowable limit for gluten content.

Varieties of Swanson Chicken Broth

Swanson produces a variety of chicken broths, including:

Swanson Organic Free Range Chicken Bone Broth

This bone broth is made with bones from free-range chickens raised with no antibiotics or added hormones. It contains collagen and 10g of protein per serving. The organic broth is certified gluten-free.

Swanson Natural Goodness Chicken Bone Broth

Swanson’s natural goodness bone broth uses bones from chickens raised with no antibiotics ever or added growth hormones. It is also certified gluten-free.

Swanson Organic Chicken Bone Broth

The organic chicken bone broth is made from bones of chickens raised with no antibiotics ever or added growth hormones. It’s gluten-free.

Swanson Chicken Broth

Swanson’s original chicken broth uses chicken stock made from real chicken. It’s gluten-free and contains no MSG.

Swanson Unsalted Chicken Broth

For those looking to limit their sodium intake, Swanson offers an unsalted chicken broth with 70% less sodium than the original. It’s gluten-free.

Swanson Chicken Cooking Stock

Chicken cooking stock has added vegetables like carrots, celery, and onions. The cooking stock is also certified gluten-free.

Is Swanson Chicken Broth Safe for People with Celiac Disease?

The GFCO certification confirms that Swanson chicken broth is safe for people with celiac disease and gluten sensitivity. Swanson broths clearly labeled “gluten-free” contain less than 10 ppm of gluten. This amount falls well below the FDA gluten-free labeling standards:

  • Less than 20 ppm of gluten for foods with a gluten-containing ingredient
  • Less than 10 ppm of gluten for products certified gluten-free

For people with celiac disease, consuming Swanson chicken broth that is certified gluten-free and produced in a dedicated facility presents minimal risk of cross-contamination. Swanson broth is an ideal choice when you need a tasty gluten-free cooking ingredient.

Other Gluten-Free Chicken Broth Options

In addition to Swanson, other brands offering certified gluten-free chicken broth include:

Pacific Foods Organic Chicken Bone Broth

Pacific Foods bone broth is certified gluten-free and made from bones of chickens raised without antibiotics or added hormones. It contains collagen and 9g of protein per serving.

Kitchen Basics Unsalted Chicken Cooking Stock

Kitchen Basics cooking stock is certified gluten-free. It’s produced in a dedicated gluten-free facility.

Imagine Free Range Chicken Broth

Imagine Foods free range chicken broth is certified gluten-free and made from free-range chicken raised with no antibiotics ever or added growth hormones.

Bonafide Provisions Chicken Bone Broth

Bonafide Provisions bone broth is certified gluten-free, Whole30 approved, and paleo-friendly. It’s made from chicken bones simmered for 24 hours.

Kettle & Fire Chicken Bone Broth

Kettle & Fire bone broth contains 10g collagen protein per serving. It’s certified gluten-free by the Paleo Foundation.

Homemade Gluten-Free Chicken Broth

Making your own gluten-free chicken broth at home is an option if you want total control over the ingredients. To make homemade broth:

  • Start with high-quality chicken and bones from a trusted source
  • Avoid adding grains or malt
  • Use fresh herbs and spices to flavor
  • Simmer the broth for several hours
  • Strain the broth through a fine mesh sieve
  • Allow broth to cool before refrigerating or freezing

When preparing broth at home, make sure to thoroughly clean cooking equipment to avoid cross-contamination. Dedicate specific pots, utensils, and cutting boards for gluten-free cooking only.

Is Swanson Chicken Broth Whole30 Approved?

The Whole30 diet eliminates grains, sugar, dairy, legumes, and certain food additives. Swanson’s original chicken broth and their unsalted chicken broth are both Whole30 approved.

These Swanson broths contain no added sugar or preservatives like MSG or sulfites. They are appropriate for the elimination phase of the Whole30 diet.

Swanson’s organic chicken bone broth also meets Whole30 guidelines. However, Swanson broths containing vegetables or starches like barley are not Whole30 compliant due to legumes and grains.

Is Swanson Chicken Broth Keto?

Yes, Swanson’s chicken broth fits into a ketogenic diet. Their original chicken broth contains 2g net carbs per serving. This broth can help provide sodium and electrolytes on a low-carb keto eating plan.

Swanson’s organic chicken bone broth is also keto-friendly, with just 1g of carbs per cup. Bone broth offers the added benefit of collagen, which some keto dieters use to help avoid inflammation and joint pain.

When buying broth for a keto diet, check the label carefully since some soup bases and flavored broths contain sugar or starch thickeners. Plain chicken broth or bone broth are the best low-carb options.

Is Swanson Chicken Broth Paleo?

The paleo diet allows poultry, fish, meat, eggs, vegetables, healthy fats, seeds, and nuts. Grains, dairy, sugar, and legumes are excluded.

Swanson’s original chicken broth and their chicken bone broth are paleo diet approved. They contain no grains, dairy, sugar, or legumes.

However, broths with vegetables, barley, or rice would not be considered paleo. Make sure to verify the ingredients when choosing a broth for the paleo lifestyle.

Swanson Chicken Broth vs Homemade Stock

Many cooks prefer the richer flavor of homemade chicken stock compared to store-bought broths. However, Swanson chicken broth can be a handy gluten-free shortcut when time is limited. Here’s a comparison:

Benefits of Swanson Chicken Broth

  • Tested and certified gluten-free
  • Produced in a dedicated gluten-free facility
  • Convenient shelf-stable packaging
  • Widely available at grocery stores
  • Long shelf life of up to 2 years unopened

Benefits of Homemade Chicken Stock

  • Fuller flavor from long simmering time
  • Contains gelatin from bones and collagen
  • Customizable ingredients
  • Avoids additives or preservatives
  • Lower sodium than most commercial broths

Many busy home cooks keep some Swanson chicken broth on hand for convenience, then make small batches of homemade stock when they have time. This hybrid approach provides gluten-free options for all your cooking needs!

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Swanson chicken broth have MSG?

No, Swanson chicken broth does not contain MSG. MSG was removed from all Swanson products in the 1980’s.

Is Swanson chicken broth organic?

Some Swanson broths are certified organic, like their organic free-range chicken bone broth. But their classic chicken broth is not organic.

Is Swanson chicken broth dairy free?

Yes, Swanson chicken broth is dairy-free as it does not contain milk, cream, butter, or any other dairy ingredients. It’s suitable for people with dairy allergies or following a vegan diet.

Is Swanson chicken broth fat free?

No, Swanson chicken broth does contain a small amount of fat from the chicken. But it is relatively low in fat compared to alternatives.

Does Swanson chicken broth expire?

Unopened, Swanson chicken broth will stay fresh for 2 years from the manufacture date printed on the can or carton. Once opened, it will last about 5-7 days refrigerated. Look for changes in color or texture to determine if opened broth has spoiled.

The Bottom Line

Swanson chicken broth labeled as “gluten-free” has been tested to verify it contains less than 10 ppm of gluten. This low level makes Swanson broths safe for people with celiac disease and gluten intolerance when consumed in normal amounts. The GFCO certification provides added assurance that Swanson broth is gluten-free.

With its wide availability and affordable prices, Swanson chicken broth can be a handy staple in your gluten-free kitchen arsenal. Keep some broth cans or aseptic cartons on hand so you always have a gluten-free base for soups, gravies, rice, stews, and more!

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