Is see peanut brittle gluten-free?

Peanut brittle is a classic candy made from peanuts, sugar, and butter. It has a sweet, nutty flavor and a brittle, crunchy texture. Peanut brittle is popular around the holidays and at candy shops. Many people enjoy the taste of peanut brittle but wonder if it is safe to eat on a gluten-free diet.

Gluten is a protein found in grains like wheat, barley, and rye. People with celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity cannot eat gluten because it damages their small intestine. When following a gluten-free diet, they must avoid foods containing gluten ingredients.

So is peanut brittle gluten-free? The answer is yes, traditional peanut brittle recipes do not contain any gluten. Peanut brittle is naturally gluten-free. However, some mass-produced or flavored peanut brittle products may contain traces of gluten from cross-contamination during processing. People with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity should check labels carefully and look for brands that are certified gluten-free.

Ingredients in Peanut Brittle

Peanut brittle has very few core ingredients:

– Peanuts – Peanuts are naturally gluten-free. They do not contain any wheat, barley, or rye. Most major peanut brands are processed in dedicated peanut facilities, avoiding cross-contamination with gluten.

– Sugar – Most sugar is gluten-free, including white sugar, brown sugar, powdered sugar, and corn syrup. Sugar is refined from plants like sugarcane and beets that do not contain gluten.

– Butter – Pure butter or margarine do not contain gluten. As long as the brand does not have any wheat-based additives, butter is gluten-free.

– Baking soda – Baking soda is gluten-free. It is a leavening agent used in baking.

– Salt – Table salt and natural sea salt do not contain gluten and are permitted on a gluten-free diet.

– Flavorings – Pure vanilla, maple, cinnamon, and other spices used for flavoring are naturally gluten-free.

As you can see, traditional peanut brittle recipes do not call for any ingredients derived from gluten-containing grains. The main components – peanuts, sugar, and butter – are naturally gluten-free foods.

Risk of Cross-Contamination

Although the ingredients that make up peanut brittle are gluten-free, there is still a small risk of cross-contamination with gluten during manufacturing.

Peanuts are typically grown in dedicated peanut fields and processed separately from other crops. However, some mass-market peanut brands may be processed in facilities that also handle wheat, barley, and rye. The equipment used for processing and packaging peanuts could become contaminated with traces of gluten.

Sugar does not naturally contain gluten but is typically processed in large factories. Sugar that is not certified gluten-free has a risk of picking up traces of gluten during production if wheat is also processed in the same facility.

Butter brands that add wheat-based stabilizers pose a risk of gluten cross-contamination. Some large dairy manufacturers make both butter products with and without gluten-containing additives.

While the baseline ingredients in peanut brittle are gluten-free, there is a small chance gluten could make its way into the final product. People with celiac disease should take precautions and look for peanut brittle made by brands that are certified gluten-free.

How Peanut Brittle Is Made

To understand if peanut brittle can pick up traces of gluten during production, it helps to look at the basic manufacturing process:

1. Roasting the peanuts – Raw peanuts are roasted in an oven or conveyor belt oven. This helps bring out their flavor. The only ingredient involved is the peanuts themselves.

2. Mixing the ingredients – The roasted peanuts are combined with sugar, butter, baking soda and any other flavorings in a large mixing pot or vat. At this stage, cross-contamination could occur if any gluten-containing ingredients were added.

3. Cooking the mixture – The peanut brittle mixture is cooked on the stovetop or commercial cooker at a high temperature, which causes the sugar to caramelize. No gluten exposure occurs during the cooking process.

4. Pouring and cooling – The hot peanut brittle mixture is poured out onto baking sheets or tables lined with parchment paper or silicone mats. It is spread into a thin layer and allowed to cool and harden. No gluten contamination takes place while cooling.

5. Breaking into pieces – Once hardened, the peanut brittle slab is broken up into smaller pieces. It may also be put through a grinder to create small chunks or crumbs. This is unlikely to introduce any gluten.

6. Packaging – The finished peanut brittle pieces are packaged into bags or tins for sale. If the facility also packages gluten-containing items, the equipment and packaging area could be contaminated. Dedicated gluten-free facilities are safest.

The highest risk steps for gluten cross-contact seem to be mixing and packaging. Reputable gluten-free brands will use dedicated equipment and thoroughly clean all areas to avoid any cross-contamination. If processed carefully, peanut brittle made without gluten ingredients should be safe for a gluten-free diet.

Are Store-Bought Brands of Peanut Brittle Gluten-Free?

When purchasing peanut brittle from the store, check the ingredients list and look for a gluten-free certification to be safe. Here are some common brands and their gluten status:

– Planters Peanut Brittle – Not certified gluten-free but made in a peanut-only facility. The ingredients match a traditional peanut brittle recipe and do not list any gluten. Should be safe for most with gluten sensitivity but there is a very small risk of cross-contamination.

– Johnson & Johnson Peanut Brittle – States on the label it is made in a facility that processes peanuts, tree nuts, milk, eggs and soy. Does not claim to be gluten-free but also does not list any gluten ingredients. Risk of cross-contamination exists.

– See’s Peanut Brittle – Certified gluten-free! Made in a dedicated gluten-free facility. Widely available and a safe choice.

– Amish Originals Peanut Brittle – Made in a dedicated peanut-free and gluten-free facility. Certified gluten-free and safe for a gluten-free diet.

– Divvies Peanut Brittle – Processed in a completely allergen-free facility that is gluten-free, peanut-free and tree nut-free. Gluten-free certified.

As you can see, there are several mainstream and specialty brands that make peanut brittle in dedicated gluten-free facilities. They take care to avoid cross-contamination and confirm the gluten-free status through third-party testing. Buying peanut brittle from a certified brand provides peace of mind.

Is Homemade Peanut Brittle Gluten-Free?

Homemade peanut brittle gives you full control over the ingredients and preparation. Peanut brittle made at home typically just contains roasted peanuts, butter, sugar and baking soda.

Provided you use mainstream gluten-free brands of each component, homemade peanut brittle should be safe from any gluten exposure. Make sure to thoroughly clean cooking equipment to avoid any traces of gluten from other dishes.

Look for peanut brands processed in peanut-only facilities, such as Planters, Smucker’s or Kirkland. Use dairy brands that do not contain wheat-based additives. Pure cane sugar and baking soda are reliably gluten-free. With these simple precautions, homemade peanut brittle can be enjoyed on a gluten-free diet.

Homemade Peanut Brittle Recipe

Here is a basic peanut brittle recipe that is naturally gluten-free:

– 2 cups raw peanuts
– 2 cups white granulated sugar
– 1 cup light corn syrup
– 1/2 cup water
– 1 tablespoon butter
– 1 teaspoon baking soda
– 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Lightly grease with butter or non-stick cooking spray.
2. In a saucepan, combine the sugar, corn syrup and water. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until mixture comes to a boil.
3. Continue boiling without stirring until the syrup reaches 300°F on a candy thermometer, about 5-8 minutes.
4. Remove from heat and immediately stir in the butter, baking soda and vanilla. Mix vigorously for about 1 minute to incorporate air into the syrup.
5. Quickly stir in the roasted peanuts until evenly coated in syrup.
6. Pour peanut brittle onto the prepared baking sheet. Use a spatula to spread it out in a thin layer. Allow to cool completely.
7. Once hardened, break the peanut brittle into bite-size pieces. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.

This homemade peanut brittle avoids any gluten ingredients. As long as you thoroughly clean your cooking area first, it will be safe for a gluten-free diet. Feel free to customize your brittle with the addition of spices, chocolate, coconut, or crushed candy canes.

Are Peanut Brittle Flavors Gluten-Free?

Traditional peanut brittle contains just peanuts and sugar. However, many brands now offer flavored varieties such as chocolate peanut brittle, peppermint peanut brittle, and more. Are these flavored peanut brittle options gluten-free?

It depends on the particular ingredients used in the flavoring. Here are some examples:

– Chocolate peanut brittle – Most chocolate chips and chocolate coating contain no gluten. As long as the brand is made in a dedicated facility, chocolate peanut brittle should be gluten-free.

– Caramel peanut brittle – Caramel candies and sauce are typically gluten-free. Caramel peanut brittle is safe as long as no flour is used as a thickener in the caramel.

– Fudge peanut brittle – Fudge is primarily made from sugar, butter, and milk or cream. Most fudge and fudge-flavored peanut brittle will be gluten-free.

– Peppermint peanut brittle – Natural peppermint extract and peppermint candies are gluten-free. Peppermint peanut brittle is safe for a gluten-free diet.

– Praline peanut brittle – Pralines are classically made with sugar and pecans. Praline flavored brittle will be gluten-free provided no wheat flour is added to the recipe.

– Butterscotch peanut brittle – The main ingredients in butterscotch are brown sugar and butter. Butterscotch flavored brittle is safe without wheat flour.

Always confirm that any additional flavorings used in peanut brittle do not contain gluten. As long as no wheat, barley or rye ingredients are present, flavored brittles can be enjoyed on a gluten-free diet. When in doubt, contact the manufacturer to inquire about their production process and gluten cross-contamination risks.

Are Garnishes and Toppings on Peanut Brittle Gluten-Free?

Peanut brittle may come topped or garnished with additional ingredients like sprinkles, cookie crumbles, crushed candy canes, sea salt, chocolate drizzle or caramel sauce. Are these safe to consume on a gluten-free diet?

It depends entirely on the particular ingredient. For example:

– Sprinkles – Some sprinkles contain wheat flour while others are gluten-free. Check the packaging.

– Cookie crumbles – Cookies most likely contain gluten. Do not eat peanut brittle with cookie crumbles unless they are certified gluten-free.

– Candy canes – Most candy canes are gluten-free, made only from sugar. Crushed candy cane topping is safe.

– Sea salt – All natural sea salt is gluten-free. Sea salt sprinkled on peanut brittle is fine.

– Chocolate drizzle – Provided the chocolate contains no gluten-based stabilizers, chocolate drizzle is safe.

– Caramel sauce – Check that packaged caramel sauce does not contain wheat flour thickener.

Your safest bet is to look for peanut brittle that has no toppings or only includes gluten-free ingredients like sea salt or chocolate. Avoid eating brittles with crumbles or sprinkles unless their gluten-free status has been verified. When preparing your own peanut brittle, choose certified gluten-free garnishes.

What about Peanut-Free or Sugar-Free Peanut Brittle?

For those with peanut allergies, some candy brands offer peanut-free brittle made with nuts like almonds or cashews. The gluten-free status of these products will depend on the ingredients and facility. Some may replace peanuts with a gluten-containing nut like barley.

Sugar-free peanut brittle is also now available, made with sugar substitutes and lower in carbohydrates. These products replace sugar with sweeteners like maltitol, sorbitol, stevia, or sucralose. All of these sugar-free sweeteners are gluten-free. However, sugar-free brittles may be at higher risk for cross-contamination if made in a facility with other gluten sources.

Always carefully inspect the ingredients list and look for a gluten-free certification when consuming peanut-free or sugar-free brittle options. Do not assume they are automatically safe for a gluten-free diet.

Should You Consume Peanut Brittle on a Gluten-Free Diet?

Peanut brittle made without any gluten-containing ingredients should be perfectly safe for those following a gluten-free diet. Traditional peanut brittle contains only peanuts, butter, and sugar – all naturally gluten-free foods.

However, there is a small risk of cross-contamination during manufacturing, especially among mass-market brands. Peanut brittle processed on shared lines with wheat-based products could pick up traces of gluten. People with celiac disease or severe gluten sensitivity may want to avoid uncertified brands.

The safest options are peanut brittles made by reputable gluten-free brands in dedicated nut-free facilities. When prepared at home with mainstream gluten-free ingredients, peanut brittle can be enjoyed worry-free.

People with celiac disease or wheat allergy should also use caution with flavored peanut brittles and added toppings, as some may contain sources of gluten. Check all labels carefully prior to consuming. When in doubt, contact the manufacturer.

As long as you choose major peanut butter brands processed in peanut-only facilities and look for certified gluten-free on the label, peanut brittle can be part of an accommodating, balanced gluten-free diet. The sweet treat can be enjoyed in moderation by most people avoiding gluten.


Peanut brittle makes a tasty gluten-free dessert or snack. The classic candy contains just a few core ingredients – peanuts, butter, and sugar – none of which naturally contain gluten. While many popular peanut brittle brands do not claim to be gluten-free, they are manufactured without wheat, barley or rye and should be safe for most people avoiding gluten in their diets. However, individuals with celiac disease or wheat allergy should take care and look for brands that are certified gluten-free to reduce the very small risk of cross-contamination. When prepared at home using mainstream gluten-free ingredients, peanut brittle can be enjoyed worry-free. Flavored peanut brittles and those with toppings should also be vetted to ensure all components are gluten-free. Overall, peanut brittle can be a delightful gluten-free treat when precautions are taken to select reputable brands and read labels. With the popularity of gluten-free diets, more and more brands today are manufacturing their peanut brittle safely to avoid gluten exposure. This allows those with celiac disease, wheat allergy and gluten sensitivity to partake in this classic candy.

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