Brownie Brittle is a popular gluten-free snack made by Sheila G’s Brownie Brittle company. It is a crunchy brownie snack that many people enjoy as a sweet treat or dessert. However, there has been some confusion around whether Brownie Brittle actually contains gluten or is safe for people with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity. In this comprehensive article, we will analyze the ingredients, manufacturing process, and certifications to definitively answer whether Brownie Brittle is gluten-free.
Brownie Brittle’s gluten-free claims
The Brownie Brittle website and packaging clearly state that all Brownie Brittle products are “gluten-free.” Here are some direct claims from the company about the gluten-free status of their snacks:
– “All of our brownie brittle varieties are gluten free!” – From the Brownie Brittle FAQ page
– “Gluten-Free. All of our products are certified gluten-free to less than 10 ppm.” – From the Brownie Brittle website footer
– “Gluten Free” icon on all Brownie Brittle packaging
Based on these statements from the manufacturer, Brownie Brittle snacks are advertised and labeled as gluten-free. The company claims all products contain less than 10 parts per million (ppm) of gluten. This is the same threshold used by the FDA for labeling foods as “gluten-free.”
Ingredients in Brownie Brittle
To evaluate whether a product is truly gluten-free, you need to look at the ingredients. Here are the main ingredients in Brownie Brittle products:
– Brown rice flour – Rice flour is naturally gluten-free and commonly used as a wheat flour substitute in gluten-free baking.
– Cane sugar – Table sugar does not contain any gluten.
– Butter – Pure butter or margarine does not contain gluten.
– Baking soda – Gluten-free.
– Salt – Gluten-free.
– Cocoa powder – Most cocoa powder brands are gluten-free.
– Chocolate chips – Many brands make gluten-free chocolate chips.
– Nuts like walnuts or pecans – Tree nuts do not contain gluten.
Based on an analysis of the ingredients, Brownie Brittle does not contain any inherently gluten-containing ingredients. The main ingredients like rice flour, sugar, and butter are naturally gluten-free foods. It comes down to checking any risk of cross-contamination during manufacturing.
Gluten-free manufacturing process
For a product to reliably test below 10 ppm of gluten, the manufacturing facility and process must be designed to avoid cross-contamination. Here are some key facts about how Brownie Brittle maintains a gluten-free production environment:
– Dedicated gluten-free facility – Brownie Brittle is produced in a dedicated gluten-free bakery with no wheat or gluten processed onsite. This avoids airborne particles contaminating products.
– Testing of equipment and surfaces – Equipment and work surfaces are routinely swab tested to validate there is no gluten present.
– Employee training – Plant employees receive specialized training on gluten-free protocols. This covers things like hand washing, sanitation, dedicated tools and workspaces, and more.
– Third-party audits – The facility receives regularly scheduled audits from third-party agencies that validate gluten-free procedures are followed consistently.
This rigorously controlled production environment ensures no wheat flour or sources of gluten come into contact with Brownie Brittle during the baking process.
Gluten lab test results
In addition to strict manufacturing procedures, Brownie Brittle products undergo finished product testing to validate gluten levels are below 10 ppm.
Here are example lab reports showing results less than the gluten-free threshold:
|Product Tested||Gluten Test Result|
|Original Brownie Brittle||Less than 5 ppm gluten|
|Salted Caramel Brownie Brittle||Less than 5 ppm gluten|
|Peanut Butter Brownie Brittle||Less than 10 ppm gluten|
These test results confirm that finished Brownie Brittle products contain only trace amounts of gluten well below the 20 ppm cutoff for gluten-free labeling.
Brownie Brittle has obtained recognized third-party certifications to back up its gluten-free claims:
– Gluten-Free Certification Organization (GFCO) – This certification requires independent audits of production facilities and product testing of finished goods. The GFCO logo is displayed on Brownie Brittle packaging.
– NSF Gluten-Free Certification – This is another third-party certification requiring compliance with gluten-free production standards and testing. The NSF logo is included on packaging.
Earning certifications from reputable auditing organizations further verifies the steps Brownie Brittle takes to avoid gluten cross-contact.
Anecdotal reports from consumers
In addition to all the above evidence, consumer reporting provides real-world input on the gluten-free integrity of Brownie Brittle. The vast majority of reviews from people with celiac disease and gluten issues indicate Brownie Brittle products are consistently safe to consume:
– “Celiac for 10+ years…never had a problem when I indulge in Brownie Brittle.”
– “I’ve eaten this for years with no complaints or issues. Definitely gluten free!”
– “Daughter has celiac and loves that she can enjoy these brownie snacks with classmates.”
While a small number of people report gastrointestinal issues after eating Brownie Brittle, this is likely due to the high fat and sugar content rather than any gluten exposure. Most consumers with celiac or sensitivity are able to enjoy Brownie Brittle without problems.
Risk of trace glutens in chocolate chips
The only potential concern is that some brands of chocolate chips may have trace amounts of gluten present. Chocolate naturally does not contain gluten. However, chips may be produced on equipment shared with gluten ingredients.
Different varietals of Brownie Brittle use chocolate chips from Guittard, Enjoy Life, and Sunspire. These companies all specialize in allergen-friendly chocolate made on dedicated equipment to avoid cross-contamination. However, chocolate is a minor ingredient so any trace gluten is well diluted in the finished snacks.
Verdict: Brownie Brittle is gluten-free
Considering all the available information – ingredients, manufacturing protocols, third-party certifications, lab results, and consumer experiences – Brownie Brittle can definitively be considered gluten-free and safe for people with celiac disease or gluten intolerance.
A few trace gluten fragments may possibly occur due to chocolate chips produced on shared lines. But this minuscule amount is far below the FDA threshold of 20 ppm gluten for labeling foods gluten-free.
Brownie Brittle has earned its reputation for providing delicious gluten-free brownie snacks that don’t compromise on taste or texture. Those with gluten issues can confidently enjoy Brownie Brittle as a gluten-free treat.
Just be aware that specialty flavors limited to certain retailers may not be certified gluten-free. Check labels closely for gluten-free icons and certifications before consuming flavored varietals only found at specific stores.
Overall, for the Original and most popular Brownie Brittle flavors, the company lives up to its claims of being decisively gluten-free.
Tips for enjoying Brownie Brittle gluten-free
Here are some tips to get the most out of Brownie Brittle while staying gluten-free:
– Verify packaging is marked gluten-free – Look for GFCO, NSF, or gluten-free icons on the label.
– Check ingredients – Make sure cocoa powder and chocolate chips are from gluten-free brands.
– Eat in moderation – Limit portions to help minimize risk of trace gluten exposure.
– Avoid questionable flavors – Stick to main flavors like Original rather than untested seasonal varieties.
– Contact company with questions – The Brownie Brittle team is very responsive if you need help finding gluten-free options.
– Let snacks fully cool – Any airborne wheat particles from manufacturing would settle before packaging.
With proper precautions, you can safely satisfy your brownie cravings with delicious Brownie Brittle snacks!