Orange juice is naturally gluten-free, even if it has calcium or vitamins added. If you are gluten-sensitive or have celiac disease, drinking orange juice is perfectly safe.
Even knowing that fresh fruits are gluten-free, you might be concerned when you see ingredients other than orange juice on the labels of store-bought orange juice.
Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder that affects the small intestine and can cause serious health problems if left untreated. The Celiac Disease Foundation estimates that 1 in 100 people worldwide have celiac disease, and it affects an estimated three million Americans.
Commercial vs. Freshly Squeezed or Cold-Pressed Orange Juice.
Your best choice would always be pure freshly squeezed or cold-pressed organic OJ, with or without pulp, which will always be gluten-free. Orange juice is packed with healthy nutrients, including calcium, niacin, thiamin, folate, magnesium, and vitamin B.
One of the many reasons to include orange juice in your diet is that one 8-oz glass of pure orange juice provides enough vitamin C to meet the daily needs of an adult, and that is without any added supplements.
However, as we live in the world of the health-conscious, it is never a bad idea to check the ingredients of store-bought juices. Some brands may add gluten-containing ingredients, such as stabilizers or thickeners, so it is always best to check the ingredient list. Commercial juices could be cross-contaminated, so also check with the manufacturer if possible.
What is Cross-Contact?
Cross-contact is when a gluten-free food or food product is exposed to a gluten-containing ingredient or food – making it unsafe for people with celiac disease to eat
It is important to note that cross-contamination can occur during processing or packaging, which can introduce gluten into the juice. For example, Capri Sun, Country Time, and Kool Aid, which are all subsidiaries of Kraft Heinz, a company that also produces multiple products that contain wheat.
If you have a severe gluten allergy or sensitivity, even as little as a gluten-containing crumb can cause significant reactions. It is essential to exercise caution and study the product label carefully before drinking any commercially produced orange juice.
The FDA has established regulations for food manufacturers to label products as gluten-free if they contain less than 20 parts per million (ppm) of gluten. This means that products labeled as gluten-free should be safe for most people with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity.
Cutting out gluten from your diet may seem like a challenging and limiting task. Fortunately, there are many healthy and delicious juice options that are naturally gluten-free, not to mention the delicious gluten-free breads you can enjoy with it.
In summary, pure orange juice is always gluten-free, while processed orange juice may contain gluten due to the addition of other ingredients. When buying orange juice, it’s important to check the label and search for products that are made from pure oranges and don’t contain any gluten-containing ingredients.