Is Corn Flour Gluten Free?
Corn flour is a type of starch that is used in baking, mostly because it helps create lightness and tenderness in baked goods. However, the fact that it contains gluten doesn’t mean that it’s not suitable for those who have food allergies.
In this article, I will explain how and why corn flour is safe for people with celiac disease and other gluten-related health issues.
Corn flour does have a natural gluten present but they are very small amounts that can be easily removed during processing. Corn flour also has some anti-nutrients such as phytates and lectins.
These substances bind to proteins and make them unavailable for digestion by our bodies. This means that we cannot absorb nutrients from these foods.
However, there are ways to remove or reduce their effects on us.
Celiac disease symptoms after eating corn flour
The gluten in corn can be found in two forms: protein and starch. The amount of each varies depending on what kind of corn you use.
When using whole grain corn, the majority of its content is made up of starch. In contrast, when using white corn, most of its content is made out of protein.
Whole grain corn tends to contain more fiber than refined grains like white corn.
If you have celiac disease, then consuming too much wheat may cause problems for your digestive system.
This is due to the presence of gliadin in wheat. Gluten causes inflammation in the gut lining and damages intestinal cells.
As a result, the body stops absorbing important vitamins and minerals from food. It becomes difficult to digest fats and carbohydrates.
It also makes it harder for the immune system to fight off infections.
Corn allergy symptoms
Symptoms may include itching, hives, tongue swelling, difficulty swallowing, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and breathing difficulties.
Think you may have celiac disease?
Celiac disease is a condition where the body reacts negatively to gluten proteins found in wheat, barley, rye, and some oats.
The symptoms include diarrhea, abdominal pain, bloating, fatigue, and weight loss. If you think you might have celiac disease, talk to your doctor about testing for the condition.
What are the other types of corn starch or flour for common kitchen ingredient?
There are many variations of corn starch or flour in our market today, including yellow, white, sweet, flakey, etc. Each one comes with different properties and uses.
For example, yellow cornstarch is often added to soups and sauces while white cornstarch is commonly used in breading mixes.
Yellow cornstarch is usually less processed compared to white cornstarch. As a result, it retains more nutritional value.
On the contrary, white cornstarch is highly processed so it loses almost all of its nutrition. This white powder comes also with gluten-free all-purpose flour products.
Here’s more :
- Gluten-free baking powder
Gluten-free all-purpose flour is a blend of several kinds of starches. These ingredients help produce lighter textures and better taste in baked items.
They also provide elasticity to dough. They do not require any leaveners since they already contain an acid component.
You should avoid mixing regular flour with gluten-free flour if possible. If you need to combine both, mix only half of the quantity at first. Then add the rest later.
- Gluten-free flour blends
This type of flour is specially designed to replace traditional wheat flour. You will find them in supermarkets as well as online stores.
Some brands come pre-mixed with specific amounts of xanthan gum, guar gum, tapioca starch, potato starch, rice flour, sorghum flour, arrowroot starch, millet flour, buckwheat flour, amaranth flour, teff flour, quinoa flour, brown rice flour, oatmeal, almond meal, coconut flour, hazelnut flour
- Cornflour gluten-free
This cornflour is specifically developed to be used instead of wheat flour. The main difference between this product and others is that it contains no gluten.
The best way to use these products is by combining them with water. Mix until smooth before adding liquid.
- Labeled gluten-free cornmeal
The labeled gluten-free are made using non-glutinous varieties of maize. Cornmeal can be found in most grocery stores.
If you want to make your own cornmeal, simply grind dried whole kernel corn on a blender.
- Pre-made gluten-free flour blends
Pre-made gluten-free flour blends are commonly used for making cookies, cakes, muffins, pancakes, waffles, pizza crusts, biscuits, pastries, pie crusts, tortillas, crackers mixes, pasta, meatloaf, chicken nuggets, hamburgers, sausages, buns, rolls, and much more!
The product of maize kernels is ground up to create a fine flour that has been traditionally used to thicken stews and gravies. It’s great when combined with butter or oil.
It is available in two forms: coarsely milled and finely milled.
- Rice flour
Rice flour is produced from polished rice grains after removing their outer layers. Rice flour is very light and fluffy.
How do I know if my product is gluten-free?
Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour is an alternative to regular flour. GFAPF is made from 100% certified organic ingredients without any additives or preservatives.
All GFAPFs are tested at least twice before being shipped to ensure no cross-contamination occurs between batches.
They are also inspected regularly throughout production to prevent any potential allergens from entering the facility.
What to look for on the label?
The label of the product that shows with gluten or gluten free symbol must have the following information:
- Certification number
- Country of origin
- Ingredients list including source of each ingredient
- Processing method
- Storage instructions
- Nutrition facts panel
- Manufacturer’s name
- Packaging size
This information can help you identify whether the product is safe for consumption.
Always read labels carefully. Some manufacturers may not include all necessary details about the product such as its nutritional value, processing methods, storage conditions, etc.