Is cornstarch gluten free? Yes. Although it looks similar to flour, cornstarch is actually gluten free. However, it is not as straight forward as one might think. This is because the environment of the cornstarch manufacturing companies may contain cross-contamination. Therefore, gluten can be present in cornstarch unless these companies place extra care in ensuring that the environment doesn’t contain traces of gluten.
What is gluten?
What is gluten and why is it so important? I’m sure everyone must have seen gluten-free labeling on certain food products but many don’t know what it actually means. It is a mixture of two proteins present in cereal grains that add the elastic texture to a dough. Gluten can cause illness in people with celiac illness. It is profoundly found in wheat, barley, bulgur, rye, seitan and triticale.
Celiac disease is a serious immune disease where the consumption of gluten can damage the consumer’s small intestine. When people with this disease eat foods with gluten, the immune system responds by damaging the small intestine. Although the treatment can help ease out the condition, there is no permanent medication and it is a long term or lifelong condition. You can read more about Celiac illness here.
The answer to the question, is cornstarch gluten free is simple but the answer is always attached with a condition because of the cross-contamination risk of companies that process cornstarch. Therefore, if you want to prepare cornstarch at home, you can do so very easily.
- Dip the corn seeds in water and keep it overnight. You will see the seeds have become softer by the next morning.
- Filter out the water and blend it thoroughly until all seeds become a thick paste.
- Use a piece of cotton cloth as a filter and pass the thick paste through the cloth.
- You will now get most of the paste on the cloth.
- Squeeze it and remove as much water as possible.
- Let the remainder dry naturally in warm sunlight.
- Once it is dried, you will get cornstarch. Make sure to use a sieve to get the corn powder you want.
How to be sure that cornstarch I purchase is gluten free?
Unfortunately there is no confirmed way to validate cross-contamination, but referring the package is the only known option. However, if the package claims that the product is gluten free, and if it is manufactured by a reputed organisation, chances are that they are conscious of the matter.
So to answer to the question, “is cornstarch gluten free?”, the answer to the question seems straightforward, cross-contamination makes the context more complex. However, if you stick to a reputed brand or if you make it your self, you can use cornstarch in your food without any fear of gluten being present in cornstarch.
If you like to read more about how to cook mussels to address vitamin B deficiency, you can do so here.