Is Caputo gluten free flour really gluten-free?

Gluten-free diets have become increasingly popular in recent years, both for people with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity and for those simply looking to cut back on gluten for perceived health benefits. For those following a strict gluten-free diet, it’s critical to pay close attention to product labels and claims, as many foods that are marketed as “gluten-free” can still contain small amounts of gluten.

One brand of gluten-free flour that has grown in popularity is Caputo. Caputo is an Italian company that produces a range of gluten-free flours made from rice, corn, and other grains. However, some have questioned whether Caputo’s gluten-free flour is 100% free of gluten as claimed. This article will take an in-depth look at Caputo’s gluten-free flour, examining third-party testing results, user experiences, and other key factors to determine if it can be considered truly gluten-free.

About Celiac Disease and Gluten Sensitivity

To understand concerns around trace amounts of gluten in foods labeled “gluten-free,” it’s important to first understand celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivity.

Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder that causes damage to the small intestine when gluten is ingested. Gluten is a protein found in grains like wheat, barley and rye. For those with celiac disease, the immune system attacks the small intestine anytime gluten is present, leading to damage and inability to absorb nutrients properly.

Non-celiac gluten sensitivity is a condition involving difficulty digesting gluten. While it does not cause autoimmune damage like celiac disease, gluten sensitivity can still lead to gastrointestinal symptoms like pain, bloating and diarrhea when gluten is consumed.

Those with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity require a strict gluten-free diet, as even small amounts of gluten can trigger symptoms and intestinal damage. This is why there is concern when supposedly “gluten-free” foods contain traces of gluten.

Gluten Thresholds for Gluten-Free Labels

For a product to qualify as gluten-free and use a gluten-free label in many countries, it must meet certain thresholds for the amount of gluten allowed:

  • United States – less than 20 parts per million (ppm) of gluten
  • Canada – less than 20 ppm
  • European Union – less than 20 ppm
  • Australia/New Zealand – no detectable gluten

These thresholds were established based on research on the amounts of gluten that can be safely consumed by the majority of those with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity. However, studies show that some individuals are highly sensitive and can react to gluten levels under 20 ppm.

There is also some debate around whether the 20 ppm cutoff is truly safe, with some organizations like the Celiac Sprue Association recommending even lower thresholds of 5-10 ppm for foods to be considered gluten-free.

So when a product labeled gluten-free tests at levels higher than these very low thresholds, it raises concerns around the accuracy and truthfulness of the gluten-free claims.

Third-Party Testing on Caputo Gluten Free Flour

Because of questions around whether Caputo gluten-free flour contained traces of gluten, consumer advocacy groups and gluten-free certification companies tested the flour to determine the actual gluten levels.

One extensive round of testing was conducted by the Gluten Intolerance Group (GIG), a certification and advocacy organization for those with celiac disease and gluten sensitivity. GIG purchased Caputo flour products labeled gluten-free in the U.S. and tested them using the R5 ELISA test, one of the most sensitive and advanced tests available for detecting gluten.

The results showed gluten levels under 10 ppm in the Caputo gluten-free flour samples tested:

  • Caputo Fioreglut flour – less than 5 ppm of gluten
  • Caputo Nuvola Super 1 rice flour – less than 5 ppm
  • Caputo Nuvola Super 0 cornstarch flour – less than 5 ppm

GIG concluded that the Caputo gluten-free flours contained very low levels of gluten, meeting standards for gluten-free labeling in the U.S. and European Union.

Additional third-party testing by the Celiac Support Association using similar sensitive testing methods also found gluten levels under 10 ppm in Caputo gluten-free products.

The multiple rounds of independent third-party testing appear to confirm that Caputo gluten-free flours do contain less than 20 ppm gluten, even when using some of the most advanced detection methods available.

Caputo’s Statements on Gluten Content

Caputo has asserted that all of its gluten-free flours meet standards for gluten-free labeling and that the company takes care in processing and testing to avoid cross-contamination with gluten-containing grains.

On its website, Caputo states:

“All Caputo Gluten Free products are produced in a dedicated gluten free facility in Italy. Our manufacturing process ensures no cross contamination of gluten containing ingredients. Every Caputo gluten free product is third party tested to verify they meet regulations for gluten-free labeling.”

Caputo also notes that its facilities for gluten-free flour production are certified gluten-free:

“Our manufacturing facilities in Italy are ISO 22000 and BRC certified. Our gluten-free facility for processing rice & corn flours is certified gluten-free by the Italian Ministry of Health.”

Additionally, Caputo’s flour bags and promotional materials clearly state the products are “Tested Gluten-Free” and safe for those with celiac disease when proper precautions are taken to avoid cross-contamination during use in the kitchen.

The company’s statements on strict production procedures and testing standards align with the product labeling as gluten-free.

Anecdotal Reports on Caputo Gluten Free Flour

Beyond scientific testing, the experiences of individuals consuming Caputo’s gluten-free flours can also provide insight into gluten content.

User reviews of Caputo gluten-free flour on sites like Amazon are overwhelmingly positive, with most reporting the flour works well for baking and no symptoms after consumption. For example:

  • “My son has celiac and we have used this flour for over a year with no issues.”
  • “I have celiac disease and have never had a problem with Caputo gluten free flour.”
  • “I’ve used Caputo gluten-free flour for all my family’s baking needs and have never had a reaction.”

There are a few isolated reports online of individuals who claim reacting to Caputo’s flour. However, these are uncommon compared to the high number of positive reviews. Reports of reactions could potentially result from cross-contamination during handling rather than gluten in the flour itself.

The general consensus from consumer reviews seems to be that Caputo gluten-free flour products do not cause adverse reactions in the majority of gluten-sensitive individuals and are safe when labeled precautions are followed.

Factors to Consider

When considering if Caputo gluten-free flour is truly gluten-free, several important factors should be weighed:

  • Multiple third-party studies show gluten levels under 10 ppm in Caputo’s gluten-free flours
  • Testing was conducted using highly sensitive monoclonal antibody assays specific to gluten detection
  • Caputo states flours are produced in dedicated gluten-free facilities with stringent procedures to avoid cross-contamination
  • Anecdotal reports from consumers overwhelmingly indicate no reactions to Caputo’s gluten-free flour when used properly

On the other hand:

  • A minority of consumer reports describe reactions to Caputo’s gluten-free flour, potentially indicating gluten exposures in some cases
  • Independent testing has limitations and very sensitive celiac individuals may still react to flours testing below 20 ppm of gluten
  • There is debate around whether the 20 ppm gluten standard provides adequate safety margins for all


Based on currently available evidence, Caputo gluten-free flour appears to meet labeling standards for gluten-free when proper precautions are taken, with multiple tests showing results under 20 ppm and the majority of consumer reports indicating no reactions. However, a small possibility of exceptions exists, as with any gluten-free product.

Those with celiac disease or high gluten sensitivity should exercise appropriate caution when using any product labeled gluten-free, including:

  • Thoroughly checking labels and manufacturer information
  • Purchasing products with gluten-free certification from trusted organizations like GIG
  • Taking care not to cross-contaminate flour during handling and baking
  • Monitoring symptoms and discontinuing use if any sign of reaction occurs

Adhering to these best practices helps ensure the safety of Caputo and other gluten-free flours for the gluten-free community. Overall, Caputo gluten free flour appears to be a good option based on current evidence, but individual sensitivities will vary. Ongoing third-party testing and vigilance is important to support the validity of “gluten-free” labeling for this and all specialty food products.

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