IS THERE GLUTEN IN CONVERSATION HEARTS?

Brach’s Conversation Hearts go hand in hand with Valentine’s Day. Before you profess your love with a “UR HOT”, find out about Brach’s Conversation Hearts gluten-free ingredients and what Brach’s has to say about processing these coveted candies.

I spoke with Kaelyn at Ferrara Candy Company (Ferrara owns Brach’s). Kaelyn informed me that all Brach’s Conversation Hearts are gluten-free. Ferrara products contain only Corn Gluten. I did ask her how this was determined, and she told me Ferrara identifies gluten-free products as those without gluten ingredients along with the product being processed in a facility that does not contain gluten. The following Brach’s Conversation Hearts do not contain any form of gluten in their ingredients:

  • Large Conversation Hearts
  • Tiny Conversation Hearts
  • Sweet & Sour Conversation Hearts
  • Tropical Fruit Conversation Hearts
  • Very Berry Conversation Hearts
  • Friendship Exchange Mix 40 Count
  • Tropical Fruit Conversation Hearts 5 Pack
  • Lemonheads & Friends Conversation Hearts

All the above Brach’s Conversation Hearts products are packaged in a wheat-free facility. However, for those of us with other allergens, it’s important to know that the hearts are packaged where milk, eggs, almonds, coconut, peanuts and soy are used in the production of other products.

HOW DO I KNOW IF MY VALENTINE’S DAY CANDY IS GLUTEN-FREE?

The US FDA requires companies to clearly identify when a food contains one of the Top 8 allergens. This rule also applies when a product is manufactured or packaged on lines with products containing any of these allergens. You’ll see this with a “CONTAINS” or “MANUFACTURED/PACKAGED” statement.

The eight foods identified by the law are Milk, Eggs, Fish (e.g. bass, flounder, cod), Crustacean shellfish (e.g. crab, lobster, shrimp), Tree nuts (e.g. almonds, walnuts, pecans), Peanuts, Wheat, and Soybeans.

This means you will be able to clearly identify when wheat is present via CONTAINS WHEAT. This is one of the times it’s okay to ALL CAPS SHOUT.

I’m now going to stomp all over your celebratory dance of easy allergen identification. Why? While the FDA requires the Top 8 allergens to be listed, gluten does not just come in the form of wheat. Gluten-containing ingredients such as Barley, Malt Extract, Oat Bran, Rye, and Triticale (hybrid of wheat and rye) are NOT required to be noted in the CONTAINS statement. Check out other forms of gluten in my Gluten-Free Candy post here.

So even though a quick label scan doesn’t show “CONTAINS WHEAT”, this does NOT mean the food doesn’t contain gluten.

This is why I sound like a broken record when I mention how important it is to read ingredient labels every.single.time.

BRACH’S CONVERSATION HEARTS ALLERGEN INFORMATION

Q: Do you process and/or pack products that contain allergens?

A: Product manufactured and/or packaged on lines in which other products containing any of the “Big 8” will contain an allergen statement. Allergens listed explicitly in the ingredients may not be listed dually in the allergen statement. For every Ferrara product that contains allergens, we list a CONTAINS statement immediately following the ingredient list on all of our packages, which clearly indicates which allergens are present. If there is no CONTAINS statement following the ingredient list, then the product has no allergens. Additionally, however, Ferrara uses a MADE IN statement, which reflects any allergens within the manufacturing facility where the product is made out of an abundance of caution for those concerned with allergies.

Please refer to the packaging, as the packaging contains the most current ingredient and allergen statements. Products may be manufactured at more than one location and processes may change from time to time. Packaging is updated anytime a change is made to the production location of any item.

Q: I have Celiac Disease; will I be able to enjoy any of your candies?

A: For gluten-free, product-specific information, please contact Ferrara Candy Company, Inc. Consumer Relations by completing the Contact Us form. Due to changes that may occur in the manufacturing and packaging environments, Ferrara Candy Company, Inc., does not provide allergen or gluten-free lists on this site.

via Ferrara FAQ

BEWARE OF BULK AND REBAGGED CANDY

Looking to satisfy your sweet tooth with a gluten-free candy (or 20)? Stay away from candy bins, bulk candy, and rebagged candy. Filling those candy bags from a candy bin is fun (until it gets weighed and you realize you’ve spent an obnoxious amount of money on sugar). But there’s more than danger to your wallet. Bulk bins can easily become cross-contaminated. When you have malt balls next to gluten-free Tootsie Rolls, there’s an extremely high chance of the candies becoming intermixed or the same scoop being used. The same risks happen with bulk and rebagged candy. I’ve also seen rebagged candy without ingredient labels for sale in candy shops.

Don’t take the chance. Go with the original, unsealed package. This will give you (and your body) peace of mind as you get your sugar rush on.

VALENTINE’S DAY GLUTEN-FREE CANDY

Stay tuned for my full listing of gluten-free Valentine’s Day candy!

OTHER GLUTEN-FREE CANDY BY FERRARA

All of Black Forest’s organic gummy bears and fruit snacks are Certified Gluten-Free. Laffy Taffy, Atomic Fire Balls, Bob’s Sweet Stripes, and Lemonheads are gluten-free and clearly labeled on their packaging. Manufacturing processes and ingredients can change, so even if you know a product is gluten-free, re-check the labeling.