Digiorno Gluten-Free Pizza Celiac-Safe? It has Wheat Starch!
Is Digiorno Gluten-Free Pizza celiac-safe? A lot of people wonder this when they look at the ingredients of Digiornos gluten-free pizza and see wheat starch listed.
So let’s talk about it! How can Digiorno Gluten-Free Pizza be celiac-safe if it has wheat starch?
Understanding Celiac and Gluten
Celiac disease is an autoimmune disease triggered by gluten. Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley and rye. Thus, a celiac diet typically is a diet free from those three grains.
So how can a gluten-free pizza have wheat starch in it and still be celiac-safe?
Remember, celiacs react to the protein gluten found in wheat. Starch is a carb, not a protein, so if there is just wheat starch in the product, it will not trigger a reaction.
Digiorno Gluten-free Pizza is Compliant with FDA Labeling Laws
The FDA recognized that gluten derivatives can be safe for celiacs. That’s because celiacs have a generally tolerable exposure threshold of 20ppm.
Which is the FDA allows food products to list themselves as gluten-free as long as they have <20ppm of gluten in them.
And the FDA specifies, you may use gluten derived ingredients, like wheat starch, in gluten-free labeled products as long as they are testing to <20ppm of gluten.
That’s because again, gluten-free means no gluten proteins. Starches aren’t proteins, they are carbs. So technically the starches from gluten grains, like wheat starch, are gluten-free.
Where This Gets Tricky
When it comes to celiac disease, food products with wheat starch that have been tested and confirmed to <20ppm are celiac-safe. This includes Digiorno Gluten-free Pizza.
However, some people with celiac also have a wheat allergy.
And some people might be shopping gluten-free because of a wheat allergy.
And when it comes to a wheat allergy, there is no generally safe threshold of exposure. So in this case, the product may be questionably safe depending on the person.
Additionally, while wheat starch is gluten-free, it is high in fructans. Fructans are what is known as a FODMAP, and for some can trigger very uncomfortable symptoms that can mimic gluten exposure but without the celiac reaction.
Ultimately: Digiorno Gluten-Free Pizza is Celiac-Safe
Ultimately, Digiorno Gluten-free Pizza is celiac-safe. It has wheat starch, a carb derived from wheat, not the proteins. Thus, it should not trigger a celiac reaction. However, given the large range of needs in the celiac population, from additional food sensitivities to food allergies, it may not be suitable for everyone.
Want to be come a label-reading pro with celiac disease? Want to be able to navigate tricky situations like this with confidence and ease?
I cover everything you need to know in my Celiac Crash Course. Click the button below to learn more.