Which brands of cornstarch are gluten-free?

For people with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, choosing gluten-free foods is essential. Cornstarch is a popular thickening agent used in cooking and baking, but not all brands are guaranteed gluten-free. Knowing which cornstarch brands contain no traces of gluten can provide peace of mind for those monitoring their gluten intake.

What is Cornstarch?

Cornstarch is a fine, powdery flour made from the starchy parts of corn kernels. It is used as a thickening agent for sauces, gravies, puddings, and other foods. Cornstarch can also be used as a coating for fried foods to create a crispy texture.

Unlike all-purpose flour, cornstarch does not contain any gluten. Gluten is a protein found in grains like wheat, barley, and rye. Most people can tolerate gluten, but those with celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity cannot. Even tiny amounts of gluten can cause gastrointestinal distress, fatigue, joint pain, and other unpleasant symptoms in gluten-sensitive individuals.

For this reason, it’s important for people avoiding gluten to choose cornstarch brands that are certified gluten-free and avoid the risk of cross-contamination with gluten-containing grains.

Certified Gluten-Free Cornstarch Brands

When shopping for gluten-free cornstarch, look for brands that are certified gluten-free by reputable third-party organizations like the Gluten-Free Certification Program (GFCO) or the Celiac Support Association (CSA). Here are some of the top gluten-free cornstarch brands:

Argo Corn Starch

Argo cornstarch is certified gluten-free by the GFCO, which requires less than 10ppm of gluten. Argo’s facilities and equipment are thoroughly cleaned to prevent cross-contamination.

Rumford Corn Starch

Rumford cornstarch labels its packages with the CSA’s certified gluten-free logo. The CSA limit is 5ppm of gluten. Rumford does not make products with gluten, avoiding cross-contamination.

Anthony’s Corn Starch

Anthony’s cornstarch is certified gluten-free by the GFCO. The brand also clearly labels packaging as gluten-free for consumer assurance.

Bob’s Red Mill Corn Starch

Bob’s Red Mill cornstarch has the GFCO certified gluten-free label. The company has separate facilities for gluten-free production.

Hodgson Mill Stone Ground Cornmeal

The Hodgson Mill brand of cornmeal and cornstarch is certified gluten-free by GFCO standards. Their products are tested down to 5ppm of gluten.

Omega Foods Corn Starch

Omega Foods cornstarch is labeled gluten-free and free of the top 8 allergens by the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act (FALCPA).

How Cornstarch is Made Gluten-Free

Since cornstarch naturally contains no gluten, the main steps to make it gluten-free involve:

– Sourcing corn from fields uncontaminated by gluten grains
– Cleaning and processing the corn in facilities that do not handle gluten
– Rigorously testing finished products to ensure no gluten contamination

Reputable brands will provide documentation of their gluten-free protocols if contacted. Any cornstarch not marked gluten-free should be assumed to be potentially contaminated.

Uses for Gluten-Free Cornstarch

Cornstarch has many helpful uses in gluten-free cooking and baking:

Thickening Agent

The most common use of cornstarch is as a thickener for sauces, gravies, soups, stews, and fillings. It helps bind liquids and prevents runniness.


Adding cornstarch to gluten-free flour mixes improves texture in baked goods like cakes, muffins, and breads. It helps retain moisture.


Dredging meat, vegetables, and other foods in cornstarch before frying creates a crispy coating. The cornstarch browns and develops a crunchy texture.

Dairy-Free Substitute

For those avoiding dairy as well, cornstarch mixed with water can be used to thicken non-dairy milks like almond milk or soy milk.

Binding Agent

Cornstarch is added to croquettes, veggie burger mixes, and other formed gluten-free foods to help hold the ingredients together.

Substitutes for Cornstarch

For those wishing to avoid cornstarch for any reason, several substitutes can also work:


Arrowroot is a starchy powder made from the roots of a tropical plant. It can be swapped 1:1 for cornstarch as a thickener.

Tapioca Starch

Tapioca starch comes from the cassava root and has similar thickening properties to cornstarch. Use the same amount in recipes.

Potato Starch

Potato starch is another suitable substitute, though it can impart a slightly potato-y flavor. Adjust amounts as needed.

Rice Flour

For light thickening, gluten-free rice flour can often be used instead of cornstarch. The texture may be a little different.

Xanthan Gum

A small amount of xanthan gum can help replicate the thickening effect of cornstarch in sauces and fillings. Use about 1/4 tsp per 1 Tbsp cornstarch.

How to Store and Use Cornstarch

To retain the thickening powers of gluten-free cornstarch:

– Store boxes of cornstarch in a cool, dry place away from humidity. Cornstarch clumps if exposed to moisture.

– When measuring cornstarch, stir before scooping to re-aerate. Packed cornstarch can compact.

– Combine cornstarch with cool or room temperature liquid before heating to allow thickening. Adding directly to hot liquid can cause lumping.

– Stir constantly when adding cornstarch to prevent scorching on the bottom. Cornstarch needs even distribution.

– For smooth sauces, whisk in cornstarch combined with a cold liquid until fully thickened. This prevents graininess.

With proper storage and preparation, gluten-free cornstarch reliably improves the texture of many recipes. Checking for gluten-free certification ensures peace of mind for gluten-sensitive diets.

Reviews of Popular Gluten-Free Cornstarch Brands

Here are some reviews of the top gluten-free cornstarch brands from real consumers:

Argo Corn Starch

Martha C. gives it 5 stars:
“I’ve used Argo brand cornstarch for years with great results. Never had any issues with gluten contamination. Their gluten-free label gives me confidence it’s safe for my celiac disease.”

James R. gives 3 stars:
“Works fine as a thickener and the gluten-free label is reassuring, but I get better performance from some other cornstarch brands. Not my favorite, but would purchase again in a pinch.”

Rumford Corn Starch

Amanda G. gives 5 stars:
“Rumford is my go-to cornstarch for gluten-free cooking and baking. Never lets me down and the certification logo means a lot.”

Tyler S. gives 4 stars:
“Works well in my gluten-free recipes and seems to make a smoother sauce than some others. Happy with this brand.”

Anthony’s Corn Starch

Olivia H. gives 5 stars:
“Anthony’s is my favorite gluten-free cornstarch! Performs perfectly every time with the bonus of being certified gluten-free for my peace of mind.”

Noah L. gives 4 stars:
“This is good cornstarch that works well in my fried gluten-free recipes. Would purchase again.”

Bob’s Red Mill Corn Starch

Sarah B. gives 5 stars:
“I trust Bob’s Red Mill for gluten-free flours, so I was excited to try their cornstarch too. Great product that I highly recommend!”

Diego R. gives 4 stars:
“Works well for thickening soups and sauces. Package states gluten-free which is important for me.”

Frequently Asked Questions

Is all cornstarch gluten-free?

No, not all cornstarch is guaranteed gluten-free. Look for reputable gluten-free certification to ensure the brand you choose has been properly tested.

What happens if you consume gluten-contaminated cornstarch?

For those with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, consuming gluten-contaminated cornstarch could trigger potentially severe symptoms like gastrointestinal distress, headaches, fatigue, and more.

Does cornstarch go bad or expire?

Cornstarch has an indefinite shelf life if stored properly in a cool, dry place. Over time, it may lose some thickening power but will not make you sick. Use your senses to check for staleness.

Can you use cornstarch on a keto or paleo diet?

Pure cornstarch is not keto or paleo-friendly since it is a grain-derived starch. Substitute arrowroot or tapioca starch instead which are acceptable on low-carb diets.

What’s the difference between corn flour and cornstarch?

Corn flour is made from whole cornmeal and contains gluten. Cornstarch comes only from the starchy part of the corn and is gluten-free. They are not interchangeable.

The Bottom Line

When preparing gluten-free recipes, use trusted gluten-free certified cornstarch brands to avoid the health risks of cross-contamination. Brands like Argo, Rumford, Anthony’s, Bob’s Red Mill, and Hodgson Mill offer reliable gluten-free options. Look for the certification logo and labels to ensure the cornstarch is safe for gluten-free diets. With proper storage and preparation, gluten-free cornstarch can help create smooth, thickened recipes.

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