In preparation for Easter, I’ve been reading labels like a mad woman. I’m pretty positive that all eyes are on me at my local CVS since I’ve been regularly showing up with a magnifying glass (those ingredient letters are tiny!). My kids love Starburst, so my latest mission was to find out “Are Starburst Jellybeans gluten-free?” Read on for details!
ARE STARBURST JELLYBEANS GLUTEN-FREE?
I carefully reviewed the ingredient labels for the following Starburst Jellybeans:
Starburst Easter Duos Jellybeans
Starburst Easter Jellybeans Original Jellybean
Starburst Easter Jellybeans Ice Cream
Starburst Tropical Jellybeans
Starburst Easter Jellybeans Favereds
Starburst Easter Jellybeans Sours
Starburst Easter Jellybeans Original Filled Egg
After reviewing each label, I determined that no gluten ingredients are used. Check out my What Candy Is Gluten-Free page for a breakdown of gluten ingredients to look for (Malt Extract or Triticale, anyone?).
So, from an ingredient perspective, Starburst Jellybeans are gluten-free. However, have they been cross-contaminated in manufacturing or production? For example, Warheads Jelly Beans (gluten-free ingredients) are manufactured in a facility that processes wheat (wheat = gluten).
Starburst is owned by the Mars Wrigley company, so I contacted Wrigley’s customer service (1-800-974-4539) and spoke with Ashley. I was SO impressed with Ashley’s knowledge of Celiac Disease and my need to clarify if Starburst products were gluten-free. The last thing I want to do is gluten our daughter Easter morning! Per Ashley, “Our products do not contain gluten (oats rye, barley, or wheat). Products with gluten are not used in the facility, in the machinery, or in the actual product itself.” Ashley went on to say two of their products, Starburst in wrappers and Skittles, have been tested and are GFCO under the U.S. Food & Drug Administration Guidelines for gluten-free labeling.
Skittles Jellybeans have not gone through the U.S. FDA testing in order to be labeled “gluten-free”. Ashley did note that they cannot guarantee that the “raw materials coming into the plant have not been exposed to gluten”.
What does GFCO mean? GFCO falls under the Gluten Intolerance Group. GFCO is short for Gluten-Free Certification Organization. GFCO certifies companies and manufacturers worldwide using the strictest standards for certification at 10 ppm or less. via GFCO website
It’s fantastic when a company “gets it”. While Starburst Jellybeans have not been tested and officially labeled gluten-free, I appreciate Wrigley’s transparency. It is now up to those of us with Celiac Disease, gluten intolerance, or non-Celiac gluten sensitivity to decide if Skittles jellybeans are something we want to eat.
It goes without saying that the safest gluten-free jelly beans have gone through the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s requirements to obtain the “gluten-free” labeling. Below are four gluten-free jelly bean brands with the gluten-free label.