Is there gluten in strawberries?

The short answer is no, strawberries do not naturally contain gluten. Gluten is a protein found in grains like wheat, barley and rye. Since strawberries are a fruit and not a grain, they do not contain gluten.

What is Gluten?

Gluten is a general name for the proteins found in wheat, rye, barley and triticale. The two main proteins that make up gluten are gliadin and glutenin. When flour and water are mixed together and kneaded, these proteins form elastic strands that give bread and other baked goods their chewy texture.

For people with celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity, consuming gluten triggers an immune response that damages the small intestine. This can lead to a variety of gastrointestinal and other symptoms. The only treatment for celiac disease is a strict lifelong gluten-free diet.

Are Strawberries a Gluten-Free Food?

Yes, strawberries are naturally gluten-free. Strawberries are a fruit, not a grain. They grow on small plants in the genus Fragaria and are not related to wheat, barley or rye.

Here are some key reasons strawberries are gluten-free:

  • Strawberries are a fruit, not a grain.
  • They do not naturally contain gluten proteins like gliadin or glutenin.
  • Strawberries do not belong to the Poaceae or grass family of plants that produce gluten-containing grains.
  • The fleshy red part of the strawberry that we eat comes from the enlarged receptacle of the flower, not the seeds.

In their raw, natural form, strawberries contain no gluten whatsoever. However, there are some important exceptions, outlined below.

Exceptions: When Strawberries May Contain Gluten

While strawberries are naturally gluten-free, there are some cases where gluten may be introduced:

  • Flavored strawberries: Some pre-cut packaged strawberries have flavorings or toppings that contain gluten, like cookies crumbles or brown sugar streusel. Always check the ingredients.
  • Processed strawberry products: Strawberry-flavored processed foods, like Pop Tarts with strawberry filling, strawberry muffins, or strawberry breakfast cereals may contain gluten from wheat flour or barley malt.
  • Cross-contamination: Strawberries can pick up traces of gluten during growing, processing or preparation if they come into contact with gluten-containing grains. This is most likely in mass production.

So while fresh, whole strawberries are gluten-free, products containing strawberries may not be. The key is to stick to plain, unadulterated strawberries and double-check the ingredients on any manufactured food products.

Other Fruit That’s Naturally Gluten-Free

Like strawberries, most fruits are naturally gluten-free. Here are some other examples of fruits that don’t naturally contain gluten:

  • Apples
  • Bananas
  • Blackberries
  • Blueberries
  • Cherries
  • Grapes
  • Oranges
  • Peaches
  • Pineapple
  • Plums
  • Raspberries
  • Watermelon

However, the same cautions apply. Avoid flavored fruit snacks, fruit fillings or toppings that may contain gluten. And while the fruits themselves don’t contain gluten, they are frequently processed on shared equipment, increasing the risk of cross-contamination.

Gluten-Free Diet Tips

Here are some tips for following a gluten-free diet while enjoying fruit:

  • Read food labels carefully and look for any indication that the product contains gluten.
  • If buying packaged fruit, check the ingredients list for additives that may contain gluten.
  • Focus on buying fresh produce and fruit. Opt for fruits and vegetables from the produce aisle, farmer’s market or your own garden.
  • Rinse fresh fruit under running water to help reduce the risk of cross-contamination.
  • Avoid processed fruit snacks, pastries and desserts, unless they are specifically labeled gluten-free.
  • Look for a dedicated gluten-free certification on packaged foods to ensure safety standards are met.

With a few smart dietary practices, you can safely include strawberries and other fresh fruits as part of a gluten-free lifestyle.


Strawberries do not naturally contain gluten. As a fruit, strawberries lack the gluten-containing grains that are problematic for people with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity. However, some flavored and processed strawberry products may contain gluten from added ingredients. To stay gluten-free, enjoy fresh strawberries and other fruits in their whole, unprocessed form and verify packaged products are gluten-free.

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