Gluten-free diets have become increasingly popular in recent years, with more and more people avoiding gluten for medical reasons or by choice. For those with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, sticking to a strict gluten-free diet is essential to managing symptoms and preventing complications. But even for those without gluten-related medical issues, eliminating gluten from your diet can provide certain benefits like improved digestive health, increased energy levels, and better weight management. As the demand for gluten-free foods rises, more and more companies are offering gluten-free versions of popular products. One such product is YORK peppermint patties – but are they truly gluten-free? Keep reading to find out.
What is Gluten?
Gluten is a general name for the proteins found in wheat, barley, rye and other related cereal grains. The two main proteins that make up gluten are gliadin and glutenin. For most people, gluten poses no issues and can be consumed without problems. But for those with celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity, even tiny amounts of gluten can trigger symptoms and cause damage to the small intestine. People with these conditions must adhere to a strict lifelong gluten-free diet, avoiding any foods, beverages or medications that contain gluten.
Some common symptoms of gluten intolerance include:
- Bloating, gas and abdominal discomfort
- Diarrhea, constipation or other digestive issues
- Headaches and fatigue
- Skin rashes
- Joint pain
- Brain fog and difficulty concentrating
Over time, consuming gluten can damage the villi in the small intestine, which are tiny, finger-like projections that line the intestinal wall and absorb nutrients from food. This can lead to malnutrition and a host of related complications. The only treatment is adhering to a gluten-free diet to allow the intestinal villi to heal.
What Makes a Food Gluten-Free?
For a food product to be considered gluten-free, it must meet certain standards set by the FDA:
- It cannot contain any type of wheat, rye, barley or crossbreeds of these grains
- The food must not contain any ingredients derived from gluten-containing grains
- It can’t have an ingredient that’s derived from a gluten-containing grain that hasn’t been processed to remove the gluten
- The food must contain less than 20 parts per million (ppm) of gluten
Reading ingredient labels carefully and looking for a “gluten-free” label can help identify truly gluten-free products. Oats are naturally gluten-free but are often contaminated with gluten because they’re grown near fields of wheat. So any products containing oats also require a “gluten-free” label to confirm they are uncontaminated.
Are YORK Peppermint Patties Gluten-Free?
After careful review of the ingredients, YORK peppermint patties do NOT contain any gluten-containing grains or ingredients derived from them. The main ingredients in YORK patties are sugar, corn syrup, palm oil, peppermint oil, dextrose and cocoa. None of these contain gluten.
Additionally, the manufacturer clearly labels YORK patties as being gluten-free right on the packaging. So you can enjoy these refreshingly cool minty treats without worry if you follow a gluten-free diet!
Here is the full ingredient list for YORK Peppermint Patties:
- Corn syrup
- Palm kernel oil
- Peppermint oil
- Cocoa processed with alkali
- Natural and artificial flavor
- Carnauba wax
- Yellow beeswax
- Confectioner’s glaze
- Titanium dioxide color
- Carnauba wax
As you can see, no gluten-containing ingredients are present. The gelatin may come from a source that consumed gluten such as pigs, but the gelatin itself does not contain gluten after processing. Based on this assessment, YORK patties are considered gluten-free by both the manufacturer and consumer standards.
Are All YORK Products Gluten-Free?
While YORK peppermint patties are gluten-free, not all products made by YORK are gluten-free. Here is a quick overview:
Gluten-Free YORK Products
- YORK Peppermint Patties
- YORK Wintergreen Patties
- YORK Sugar Free Peppermint Patties
- YORK Sugar Free Peppermint Bites
- YORK Eggnog Flavored Bites
- YORK Gingerbread Flavored Bites
Not Gluten-Free YORK Products
- YORK Chocolate Covered Peppermint Patties
- YORK Peanut Butter Crisps
- Anything in the YORK Fruits product line
Always carefully read the ingredients and labels on all YORK products to determine if they are gluten-free or not. Do not assume that just because the original peppermint patties are gluten-free that all products will be – check each one individually.
Why Are Some YORK Products Not Gluten-Free?
For certain YORK products, the recipes and manufacturing processes used contain gluten in some way. Here are a few reasons why these products are not gluten-free:
- Use of wheat flour – Some products like YORK Fruits Snacks contain wheat flour as a main ingredient. This automatically makes the product not gluten-free.
- Cross-contamination – Even if a product doesn’t directly contain gluten ingredients, cross-contamination during manufacturing can introduce gluten. The same equipment is often used for multiple products.
- Barley malt – This natural flavoring derived from barley contains gluten. It’s found in the YORK chocolate covered peppermint patties.
- Oats – Any products containing oats require gluten-free labeling if uncontaminated. YORK oat-containing products lack this label.
- Maltodextrin – This additive can be derived from wheat and contains gluten unless specifically labeled gluten-free.
So if you see any gluten-containing grains, flours, additives or flavorings in the ingredients list, that YORK product is not gluten-free. Stick with the items that are specifically labeled as gluten-free to be safe.
What About Cross-Contamination at the Factory?
Even if a YORK product meets all the requirements to be gluten-free, some people wonder about the risk of cross-contamination at the manufacturing facility. Since gluten-containing products are made on some of the same equipment, could traces of gluten get into the gluten-free items?
According to YORK, they take stringent precautions to prevent cross-contamination of their gluten-free products. Here are some of the steps they take:
- Use separate equipment and production lines for gluten-free products
- Schedule gluten-free production before any gluten items
- Thoroughly clean all equipment prior to a gluten-free production run
- Test the gluten-free products to ensure no detectable gluten before packaging
- Label all finished gluten-free products clearly
Following these procedures minimizes any risk of gluten cross-contamination at the YORK facilities. The brand states that all items labeled gluten-free test below the FDA limit of 20ppm of gluten.
Finding Gluten-Free YORK Products
You can find YORK peppermint patties and other gluten-free YORK products at most major grocery stores, convenience stores, drug stores and big box chains like Walmart and Target. They are typically located in the regular candy aisle, but some stores may also stock them in the gluten-free section for easier identification. Major online retailers like Amazon also carry gluten-free YORK products.
When purchasing online, always carefully read the item descriptions and ingredients to verify the specific product is gluten-free. Watch out for bulk packs that may mix gluten and non-gluten items together. And check that any oat-containing products are specifically labeled gluten-free to ensure they are uncontaminated.
Enjoying YORK Peppermint Patties Gluten-Free
The refreshing cool and creamy mint filling of YORK Peppermint Patties makes them an indulgent treat that most people can enjoy without issue. But for those adhering to a gluten-free diet, it’s important to confirm these tasty snacks are indeed gluten-free before consuming. By carefully reviewing the ingredients and manufacturing practices, it’s clear that the original YORK patties are a gluten-free indulgence you can feel good about savoring.
Stick to the plain YORK peppermint and sugar-free options, and avoid the specialty flavors that contain gluten. Also verify any other YORK products before purchasing to ensure you don’t get any unwanted gluten. With so many great gluten-free choices from YORK, you can satisfy your sweet tooth without the worry. Moderation and variety are still key for overall health, but the occasional gluten-free treat like YORK peppermint patties can be part of a balanced gluten-free diet when enjoyed sensibly.
The Bottom Line
- Gluten is a protein found in grains like wheat, barley and rye that some people cannot tolerate.
- People with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity must follow a strict lifelong gluten-free diet to manage symptoms.
- YORK Peppermint Patties and some other YORK products are labeled gluten-free and do not contain any gluten ingredients.
- But not all YORK products are gluten-free, so check labels and ingredients carefully.
- YORK follows procedures during manufacturing to prevent cross-contamination of gluten-free items.
- You can find gluten-free YORK products in the candy aisle at most major grocery and retail stores, both in-person and online.
- The original YORK peppermint patties are a delicious gluten-free treat that most gluten-free diet followers can safely enjoy.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are YORK peppermint patties dairy free?
No, YORK patties contain milk derivatives like lactose and milkfat and are not dairy-free. Those with dairy allergies or on a vegan diet should avoid them.
Can celiacs eat YORK peppermint patties?
Yes, people with celiac disease can safely eat the regular YORK peppermint patties labeled gluten-free, but should avoid other YORK products that contain gluten.
What candy is gluten free?
Many popular candies are gluten-free, including plain M&M’s, Snickers, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, plain Hershey’s chocolate bars, Skittles, Starburst, lollipops, and licorice. Always check labels.
Does gluten free mean wheat free?
Yes, for a food to be certified gluten-free, it must not contain any type of wheat or wheat-based ingredients. So gluten-free foods are also wheat-free.
Are YORK peppermint patties vegan?
No, YORK patties contain gelatin and other animal derived ingredients like beeswax. So they are not considered vegan or vegetarian.
Checking ingredients diligently and asking questions is key for those on a gluten-free diet who still want to enjoy occasional sweet treats. While not every YORK product may be gluten-free, fans of their iconic peppermint patties can rest assured these tasty snacks do meet strict gluten-free standards. By following sound manufacturing practices and labeling products clearly, YORK provides the gluten-free community with a refreshing gluten-free indulgence they can feel confident enjoying.