When modified food starch is listed in the ingredients and the “contains” statement does not list wheat, is it okay to eat?
Hi Kelley. Thanks very much for your question. Modified food starch is commonly found in foods where it is used as a texture stabilizing agent; a thickener; or an anti-caking agent.
While modified food starches can be made from a variety of foods, including corn, waxy maize, tapioca, potato, or wheat, in North America the most common sources are modified corn, waxy maize, and potato. Wheat is only occasionally used as the source for modified food starches in the U.S. If wheat is used as the source, it must be declared on the label as modified wheat starch or modified food starch (wheat).
So, to answer your question, if a food product manufactured in North America has modified food starch listed as an ingredient, but “wheat” is not listed on the label, then it is safe to eat.
In good health,
EA Stewart, MBA, RD
Case, S. (2008) Gluten-Free Diet: A Comprehensive Resource Guide (pp. 51-52). Regina, Saskatchewan: Case Nutrition Consulting Inc.