When I think of raisins, I think of my grandma. Not because they are both kind of shriveled (sorry Grandma). But because Grandma used to make “Ants on a Log” snacks – you know, celery sticks and peanut butter topped with raisins. I’d pick the raisins off because I wasn’t a fan of eating imaginary ants. If only Grandma had thought to smother her raisins in chocolate!
Enter Raisinets – delicious California raisins covered in chocolate. Raisinets are a popular movie theater candy, but before you gobble them up, find out “Are Raisinets gluten-free?”
At the time of this post, all ingredients in Raisinets are gluten-free and all Raisinets packaging is labeled gluten-free. Look for the gluten-free notation (capitalized GLUTEN FREE) on the back of the box or pouch. I contacted Raisenets via their Facebook messenger and received this reply "Hi Maureen, our Raisinets are gluten-free! Enjoy!"
Who owns Raisinets? You’ll see the Nestlé logo on Raisinets boxes and packages. However, in January 2018, Nestlé U.S. Confectionery was purchased by Ferrera Candy Company, so the Nestlé logo will be replaced with Ferrera’s the near future.
It’s important to keep in mind that due to the Raisinets brand trading hands, manufacturing procedures can change, and ingredients can change. I’ve contacted Ferrero Candy Company for clarification on if the gluten-free label will remain. I’ll update this post as soon as I receive a reply.
MY CANDY’S INGREDIENTS ARE GLUTEN-FREE, SO WHY IS THERE NOT A GLUTEN-FREE LABEL?
The only time you’ll see a gluten-free label is if the product has gone through the specific U.S. Food & Drug Administration’s gluten-free food labeling guidelines.
How is “gluten-free” defined in the rule?
In general, foods may be labeled “gluten-free” if they meet the definition and otherwise comply with the final rule’s requirements. More specifically, the final rule defines "gluten-free" as meaning that the food either is inherently gluten free; or does not contain an ingredient that is:
1) a gluten-containing grain (e.g., spelt wheat)
2) derived from a gluten-containing grain that has not been processed to remove gluten (e.g., wheat flour)
3) derived from a gluten-containing grain that has been processed to remove gluten (e.g., wheat starch), if the use of that ingredient results in the presence of 20 parts per million (ppm) or more gluten in the food. Also, any unavoidable presence of gluten in the food must be less than 20 ppm.
Via Questions and Answers U.S. FDA’s Gluten-Free Food Labeling Final Rule
WHY SHOULD I WORRY ABOUT GLUTEN IN CHOCOLATE?
Cacao seeds are harvested from the Cocao tree, fermented, dried, roasted, ground, and tempered. via Ecole Chocolat
The basic ingredients of chocolate are gluten-free:
Dark chocolate: sugar, cocoa butter, cocoa liquor (aka chocolate fluid), and (sometimes) vanilla
Milk chocolate: sugar, cocoa butter, cocoa liquor (aka chocolate fluid), milk or milk powder, and vanilla
White chocolate: sugar, cocoa butter, milk or milk powder, and vanilla
Despite these gluten-free ingredients, there may be gluten lurking in your chocolate. Always triple check the ingredient label. Barley is NOT one of the Top 8 Allergens, so even if you don’t see “Contains Wheat”, your chocolate bar may still contain gluten. Beware: some Lindt, Lindor, and Russell Stover chocolates contain barley.
Education is the best way to protect yourself from getting glutened. Read more about gluten-free candy and chocolate here. Stay up to date on all things gluten-free by subscribing to my monthly Hold the Gluten newsletter!