The presence of wheat flour in food can cause serious issues if you are allergic to wheat or gluten. Although some of the sources for wheat flour are obvious (baked goods and cereals), other foods are covert carriers of wheat flour. Knowing what to look for when researching safe foods for a wheat allergy begins with reading the label and knowing the most common wheat flour carriers.
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Of course, any flour in a baked goods item is wheat flour unless otherwise specified. White flour is made of wheat, but enriched, and it is the basis for most baked goods on the market, including breads, pastries, cakes and muffins. If the packaging or signage near a muffin or pastry does not specify a type of flour, the item is made of wheat.
Wheat flour is used extensively in making cereals. Cereals that contain flakes, and the majority of mass-market kids' cereals, are made of wheat flour. Like the baked goods, cereals made with rice or oat flour will display their contents on the packaging. You can also look at the ingredients section on the label; cereals identify products made with wheat in bold lettering underneath the list of ingredients.
Sauces and Seasonings
Although many cooks don't realise it, wheat flour is used in many sauce and seasoning mixes. In addition to the flavours you paid for, the wheat flour is added to help prevent the mix from caking or clumping within the packet. The flour in larger amounts also serves as a thickener for sauce mixes that activates when water is added and the mixture heated.
Other Foods That Contain Wheat
Wheat is used as an ingredient in many other unsuspecting foods, including beer, coffee alternatives like chicory, pudding mixes and more. Thanks to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the companies that make ready-to-eat foods and other packaged eats must now disclose the wheat contents as it is a common allergen.
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