By Wendy Stoltz / Last Modified On March 8, 2023
Jello is the basis for most jiggly gelatin-based desserts, which are a firm childhood favorite that has been around for many years. If you are wondering is jello gluten-free, let's cover all the details. At the end of this article, you will feel confident at selecting a gluten-free jello for your next gluten-free dessert.
Jello is a staple at potlucks, hospital trays, school lunches and birthday parties. Jello in any shape or form is so delicious! No one (even adults) wants to miss out. So, let's empower you with knowledge. It's what childhood memories are made of.
For the purpose of this article, we are going to cover all jello products, not just the Jell-O brand.
What Is Jello?
Jello is made from gelatin, water, sugar or artificial sweeteners, artificial flavors, and food coloring. Gelatin in the jello ingredients is the reason for the jiggly wiggly desserts we love.
To make jello, you empty the contents of the packet into a bowl, add boiling water and stir it until the ingredients have dissolved. Add it to a mold if you like. Then let it set in the refrigerator. Thanks to the gelatin being broken by the boiling water, it reconstructs. It is as easy as following the on-pack instructions.
The worst part is the anticipation of waiting for it to set. If you have children around, you can bare testament to the presence of the fingerprints or bumps from the inquisitive fingers just checking if it is done! Which seems like forever for them.
Is Jello Gluten-Free?
So, it is always important to look at the ingredient labels on any products. If you have celiac disease or follow a strict gluten-free diet, you’re bound to wonder, is jello gluten-free or not?
The answer, unfortunately, is it depends. And the answer is twofold.
For the most part, jello is gluten-free. It is not usually too much around the ingredients used but the facilities it is made in. However, brands like Kraft Heinz company do not place a gluten-free label on their products due to sourcing jello ingredients from other local or international suppliers. They are therefore not able to confirm the facilities they source the ingredients from. So, there is always a concern of having potential cross-contamination.
My advice is to buy jello from a reputable company, and check the ingredients labels as you should always do. After consuming any new products, monitor if it has any effect on you. We all have differing levels of celiac or food allergies, so it is best to proceed with caution.
How To Select A Gluten-Free Jello
When I am selecting a gluten-free jello or new product, I like to do the following:
Check the ingredient label - I have been in the habit of checking labels. Gosh, if fruit had a label, I would read it too! Check the ingredients. Generally, jello does not have many ingredients that can cause concern. But you never know, so look. The other thing I look out for is something like "may contain gluten" or "gluten-free". Lastly, look out for anything that mentions it is produced in a facility where cross-contamination may occur.
Check where the product is made, or which company produces it - I like to check where the product is made and have an idea of which countries have stricter laws and food protocols in place when it comes to gluten-free products. I also have certain brands from reputable companies I generally trust.
Phone the company - If I really can't tell I will ring up the company's call center and ask the question until I am satisfied with the answer I receive or view their website for a written statement.
Use reputable and trustworthy online resources - If I am still in a bind or uncertain, I may consult with reputable resources online, like Beyond Celiac.
What Types of Jello Are Gluten-Free?
Here are a few brands of jello for you to choose from:
Kraft is not labeled gluten-free as it may contain trace elements from the ingredients sourced, read the excerpt in the FAQs below from the Kraft Heinz Company.
Some of their gluten-free jellos include:
- Jell-O Berry Blue Gelatin Mix
- Jell-O Gelatin Mix Orange Sugar Free
- Jell-O Gelatin Mix Peach Sugar-Free
- Jell-O Gelatin Dessert Lime
All their jelly dessert powders are certified gluten-free. This means they have not placed their products in a facility where cross-contamination can occur, and they have a 3rd party that reviews this too.
Some of their gluten-free jellos are:
- Simply Delish Plant Based Natural Strawberry Jel
- Simply Delish Plant Based Natural Peach Jel
- Simply Delish Plant Based Natural Orange Jel
- Simply Delish Plant Based Natural Raspberry Jel
This brand is gluten-free as per their product packaging.
Some of their gluten-free jellos are:
- Simple Mixes Natural Strawberry Gelatin Mix
- Simple Mixes Natural Cherry Gelatin Mix
- Simple Mixes Natural Orange Gelatin Mix
- Simple Mixes Natural Lime Gelatin Mix
Frequently Asked Questions
Does the Jell-O Brand Have Gluten In It?
Jell-O is a brand that we all know and love, made by Kraft Heinz Company. They are well known for their extensive range of products ranging from Jell-O puddings, Jell-O cook-and-serve pudding, and more. So, is Jell-O gluten-free? The ingredients within Jello-O do not contain any gluten. However, Jell-O is not certified gluten-free.
Kraft Heinz Company, the manufacturer of Jell-O, states:
“Kraft has a rigorous protocol to ensure that products bearing a gluten-free claim meet the FDA requirement (less than 20ppm gluten). However, you should know that we do not guarantee that our products are gluten-free because we sometimes purchase flavoring, color or spice ingredients from suppliers who do not list every possible source of gluten beyond what is required by law.”
That means there may be trace elements of gluten in the products or cross-contamination. If you can only eat foods labeled certified gluten-free, then you may want to avoid Jell-O.
Does Jell-O Pudding Have Gluten in It?
Jell-O pudding is made with gluten-free ingredients, such as modified cornstarch, artificial coloring and flavoring, sugar, and many other ingredients that don’t contain gluten.
However, it’s not labeled as certified gluten-free. This means that it could be made in a facility with other gluten-containing foods and may have trace elements of gluten. If you have to follow a strict gluten-free diet and cannot handle low amounts of gluten, it is safest to look for certified gluten-free products.
Is Cool Whip Gluten-free?
Cool Whip presently does not have gluten in its ingredients. As always check the labels as products change or suppliers source ingredients from different countries or suppliers.
Other Gluten-Free Desserts
I am sure you are now craving some gluten-free desserts to complement your jello, so go ahead and choose from these desserts!
- Gluten-free banana pudding - Gluten-free banana pudding is one of our all-time favorite desserts. Picture delicious layers of creamy pudding, whipped cream, ripe bananas, and gluten-free wafer cookies all wrapped up into an irresistible dessert.
- Gluten-free blackberry cream cheese pie - This blackberry cream cheese pie recipe is smooth and so creamy. It has the perfect graham cracker crust and is like a gluten-free no bake cheesecake but better.
So, in summary, is jello gluten-free? Jello, regardless of brand, is widely accepted as generally being gluten-free. It’s normally safe for people living a gluten-free life, including those with celiac disease. Follow my tips on choosing gluten-free jello and keep an eye out for potential sources of cross-contact. Don't forget to check for shared spoons on buffets or gluten-containing crusts sometimes used in gelatin desserts at your next party.
Remember that ingredient lists change constantly, so always double-check the ingredients before purchasing a product to be extra cautious.
If you are new to gluten-free, consider doing one of these gluten-free cooking classes.
Do you love jello? Let us know your favorite gluten-free jello desserts so I can add them to my to-do list. Please leave me a comment below letting me know any questions you may have.
Related: Are Funyuns Gluten-Free?
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