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What is Gluten-Free Chocolate?

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  • Written By: G. Wiesen
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 12 November 2016
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Gluten-free chocolate is a type of chocolate confection prepared in a way that ensures gluten and wheat are not present in the final product. This is usually a prepared chocolate like a candy bar, and not raw chocolate intended for use in baking. These types of treats are prepared to ensure that someone with food allergies that include wheat and gluten will be able to eat the chocolate without suffering a reaction. Gluten-free chocolate must be prepared without wheat or gluten included in the snack itself, and is usually made in a factory or location that is also free of gluten.

Sometimes also labeled “wheat free,” gluten-free chocolate is specifically made and intended for people who have food allergies involving wheat and gluten. Gluten is produced in a number of different ways through various food products, typically those that include wheat or similar plants. It is a protein composite that forms when certain parts of a grain are broken up and combined, often with the addition of water to produce a substance that is sticky and stretchy. This is quite important in the production of many types of bread and other products; there are many people with a food allergy to gluten, however, and so products such as gluten-free chocolate provide an alternative for these individuals.

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Gluten-free chocolate is typically produced by ensuring that wheat and similar products are not used in the production of the chocolate. This is primarily a concern with chocolate bars and other forms of processed chocolate, though some chocolate chips for baking may also include gluten or wheat due to production methods. Alternative ingredients are used for emulsifiers and binders in these types of confections, usually soy or soy milk. Gluten-free chocolate will typically indicate a lack of wheat or gluten on the packaging, though environmental concerns should also be considered.

Many types of gluten-free chocolate are still produced in factories or environments in which other food products that contain gluten or wheat are produced. This means that wheat and gluten can be introduced to the product without being an actual ingredient in the product. People with food allergies can often have an allergic response to even small amounts of an allergen, so environmental exposure to wheat and gluten can reduce the benefits of gluten-free chocolate. The packaging for a candy bar or similar confection will typically indicate if the product is made around other foods that contain wheat or gluten.

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Euroxati
Post 3

Even though I don't have a gluten intolerance, I've always been quite fond of gluten free chocolate. I think one reason why is because when eating it, you get to have the best of both worlds. It's a delight for people who love chocolate, and yet people who can't eat gluten can enjoy it as well.

Krunchyman
Post 2

@Hazali - Now that you mention it, I had a similar experience too. For example, one time, I was in my college cafeteria, and I had just put my open chocolate bar down for a second.

However, the problem with this was that people around me were eating sandwiches, and some of the crumbs had fallen on the chocolate, even though I wasn't aware of this at the time.

Though I didn't get much of a reaction, I noticed that I had started to feel a little funny afterwards. This is why you should always be careful with cross contamination.

Hazali
Post 1

In my opinion, the best thing about gluten free chocolate is that like any candy lover, you can highly enjoy the benefits of chocolate without having to worry about the effects of a reaction. However, based on my experience, I would say the biggest problem I've had is cross contamination. Has anyone else had a similar experience?

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