Is there gluten in veggie straws?

Veggie straws have become a popular gluten-free snack in recent years. But with many varieties on the market, it can be confusing to figure out if all veggie straws are actually gluten-free. This article will take an in-depth look at the ingredients in different brands of veggie straws to determine if they contain gluten or not.

What are veggie straws?

Veggie straws are crunchy snacks made from dried vegetables that are sliced into thin strips to resemble straw-like shapes. Some of the most common vegetables used in veggie straws include potatoes, sweet potatoes, beets, and carrots.

Veggie straws provide a crispy, satisfying crunch similar to potato chips, but they are typically made with less oil and fewer artificial ingredients. Many brands advertise themselves as a healthy alternative to traditional potato chips or crackers.

The thin, lightweight structure of veggie straws comes from dehydrating vegetable slices at low temperatures. This removes moisture and concentrates the vegetable’s natural flavors and nutrients. Drying and baking give veggie straws their signature crispy, crunchy texture.

Are veggie straws gluten-free?

Many brands of veggie straws are labeled as gluten-free or made in gluten-free facilities. But it’s important to read ingredient lists carefully, as some varieties may contain questionable ingredients.

Some things to look for on the ingredient list:

  • Grains and flours: Veggie straws made with wheat, barley, rye or oat flours contain gluten. Opt for brands made with rice flour or other gluten-free flours.
  • Flavorings: Hydrolyzed wheat protein, malt extract and other gluten-containing ingredients may be used in flavorings.
  • Starches: Wheat starch contains gluten. Potato, rice, tapioca and maize starches are gluten-free.
  • Cooking oils: Check oil sources like soybean, canola and safflower oil. Barley malt may be used in a cooking oil.
  • Flavorings and spices: Look for natural flavors, spices and herbs. Artificial flavors may indicate presence of gluten.
  • Cross-contamination: Even if a brand is labeled gluten-free, cross-contamination is possible in manufacturing facilities.

Below is a comparison of some top veggie straw brands and whether they contain gluten or are at risk for cross-contamination:

Brand Gluten-Free? Notes
Sensible Portions Garden Veggie Straws Yes Labeled gluten-free. No gluten ingredients.
Calbee Harvest Snaps Yes Labeled gluten-free. No gluten ingredients.
Food Should Taste Good Multigrain Veggie Straws No Contains wheat flour.
Kellogg’s Veggie Straws Yes Labeled gluten-free. No gluten ingredients.
Trader Joe’s Vegetable Straws Unknown “Manufactured in a facility that processes wheat.” Risk of cross-contamination.

As you can see, most major brands of veggie straws are formulated to be gluten-free. But a few varieties contain gluten, so double check labels to be safe. Individuals with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity should also consider potential cross-contamination.

Ingredients in gluten-free veggie straws

For veggie straws to be gluten-free, they must exclude any ingredients containing wheat, rye, barley or oats. Here are some of the most common gluten-free ingredients found in veggie straws:

Base vegetables: Sweet potatoes, white potatoes, beets, carrots and other vegetables naturally gluten-free. Provides nutrients, fiber and bright colors.

Gluten-free flours: Rice flour, tapioca starch, potato starch, corn flour, chickpea flour. Used in small amounts as binders and to add particle adhesion.

Oils: Sunflower, avocado, olive, safflower or canola oil. Adds light crispness and serves as a cooking medium.

Salt: Usually sea salt. Provides flavor.

Spices and herbs: Onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, parsley, basil, oregano and more. Boosts flavor naturally without gluten.

Natural flavors: Derived from gluten-free fruits, vegetables, plants or legumes. Enhances taste.

Sugar: Cane sugar, fruit juice concentrates. Counters bitterness and balances sweetness.

Yeast extract: Improves savory umami flavor. Does not contain gluten.

Vegetable powders: Spinach, tomato, beet. Provides color, nutrients, antioxidants.

Preservatives: Citric acid, lactic acid, vitamin C. Maintains freshness and shelf life.

Manufacturing processes

The manufacturing processes used by veggie straw brands also impacts whether gluten could make its way into the final products.

Here are some best practices used by gluten-free veggie straw manufacturers:

– Dedicated gluten-free facilities: Gluten-free items produced in separate facilities prevent cross-contamination.

– Regular equipment sanitation: Thorough cleaning and sanitizing of equipment between production runs.

– Allergen controls: Following allergen protocols for storage, handling and labeling.

– Supplier control: Requiring gluten-free certificates and testing from ingredient suppliers.

– Testing: Routine testing of finished products to validate gluten-free status.

– Certifications: Getting certification from reputable third-party auditors like GFCO.

However, not all facilities use these controls. Lax allergen procedures or shared equipment with wheat-based foods could allow traces of gluten into otherwise gluten-free veggie straws.

Nutrition comparison of veggie straws vs potato chips

One reason veggie straws have surged in popularity is their nutrition profile compared to regular potato chips. Here’s a side-by-side comparison:

Veggie Straws (28g) Potato Chips (28g)
Calories 110 150
Total Fat 3g 10g
Carbs 19g 15g
Protein 2g 2g
Fiber 3g 1g

As you can see, veggie straws are significantly lower in calories and fat compared to regular potato chips. They also provide more fiber thanks to the vegetables. The added vitamins and minerals from vegetable ingredients gives veggie straws an added nutritional boost over fried potato chips.

So veggie straws can be a healthier substitute for those looking to reduce calories and fat while still enjoying a tasty crunch. Just be sure to confirm the variety you choose is gluten-free if you have an intolerance.

Popular gluten-free veggie straw varieties

Many leading veggie straw brands offer several gluten-free flavors and varieties. Here are some of the most popular kinds:

Simply Balanced Veggie Straws: Available in spinach, beet, and roasted potato flavors. Crunchy texture from potato flour and vegetable juices.

Sensible Portions Garden Veggie Straws: Made with potato, tomato, spinach, and beet. 70 calories per serving.

Food Should Taste Good Multigrain Chips: Features potato, quinoa, flax seeds, and chia seeds for 5g protein per serving.

Calbee Harvest Snaps Snapea Crisps: Baked green pea snacks. Original and hearty herb flavors.

Kellogg’s Veggie Straws: The original veggie straws. Tomato, spinach, and white potato varieties. Just 110 calories per serving.

Trader Joe’s Veggie & Fruit Straws: Potato straws mixed with strawberry, pineapple, or blueberry.

Rhythm Superfoods Beet Veggie Straws: Made purely from sliced beets. No added sugar.

There are also many store-brand and organic options for shoppers on a budget. The recipes and flavors continue expanding beyond classic potato straws.

Tips for finding gluten-free veggie straws

When searching for truly gluten-free veggie straws, keep these buying tips in mind:

– Carefully read nutrition labels and ingredient lists, watching out for grains, flours and starches that may contain gluten.

– Look for a “gluten-free” label on the packaging, or a certification symbol like the GFCO logo. This indicates third-party testing.

– Check the allergen statement to see if wheat is listed. Avoid any products with wheat.

– Buy dedicated gluten-free brands like those labeled “made in a gluten-free facility” for assured safety.

– Search for veggie straw flavors made with just vegetables, oils, and seasonings. Avoid varieties with soy sauce or malt vinegar.

– If you have celiac disease or are highly sensitive, choose brands that are processed separately to prevent cross-contamination.

– When in doubt, look up a brand online or contact the manufacturer to inquire about their gluten-free status and procedures.

– Purchase veggie straws from stores with knowledgeable gluten-free sections and high product turnover for freshness.

Making your own veggie straws at home

For the most control over ingredients, consider making homemade veggie straws:

– Thinly sliced vegetables (sweet potatoes, butternut squash, carrots, parsnips)
– Oil (olive, avocado, sunflower seed)
– Seasonings (salt, garlic powder, chili powder, nutritional yeast)

1. Wash and peel vegetables. Slice into very thin strips using a mandoline or knife.
2. Toss vegetable strips with a Tbsp of oil and preferred seasonings.
3. Arrange strips in a single layer on parchment-lined baking sheets.
4. Bake at 250°F for 1 hour, flipping halfway. Reduce heat if browning too quickly.
5. Remove from oven and let cool completely before serving. Store in airtight container up to 1 week.

Going the DIY route allows you to control the ingredients and avoid any cross-contamination concerns. Get creative with the veggie and seasoning combinations!

Are veggie straws safe for celiac disease and wheat allergies?

For those with celiac disease or wheat allergies, extra care must be taken when choosing veggie straws, even if labeled gluten-free.

Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder triggered by consuming gluten. The immune system attacks the small intestine, damaging the villi that absorb nutrients. Complete avoidance of gluten is required on a lifelong basis.

Wheat allergies also involve an immune reaction to wheat proteins. Symptoms may include hives, breathing difficulties, vomiting, and anaphylaxis. Absolute avoidance of wheat is necessary.

For both conditions, trace gluten exposure can cause reactions. Some considerations around veggie straws include:

– Cross-contamination is possible during growing, processing and manufacturing. Look for dedicated facilities.

– “Gluten-free” labels are not regulated. Manufacturer testing protocols vary.

– Some celiacs react to oats. Opt for brands without oat flour.

– Individual sensitivity levels vary. Entirely gluten-free kitchens may be needed.

– Children are especially vulnerable to inadvertent exposures. Monitor them closely.

– Deceptive labeling like “made in a wheat-free facility” doesn’t guarantee gluten-free status.

If you or a loved one has celiac disease or a wheat allergy, thoroughly vet any veggie straws before purchasing. When in doubt, avoid. Make your own straws from scratch to be safest.


Veggie straws from leading brands like Sensible Portions, Calbee, and Kellogg’s are formulated to be gluten-free, making them a crunchy, flavorful snack option for most gluten-free lifestyles. But a handful of varieties do contain gluten, especially alternatives with multigrain flours.

Individuals managing celiac disease, wheat allergies or sensitivities should carefully inspect labels for any sign of gluten ingredients. And they should consider potential cross-contamination risks, choosing dedicated gluten-free brands and facilities when possible. With so many gluten-free options available though, most can enjoy veggie straws guilt-free as part of a healthy, balanced diet.

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