Munching on a bowl of popcorn is the perfect complement to enjoying a movie. There are plenty of ways to enjoy this low-calorie snack, but many often wonder Is popcorn gluten free?.
Popcorn is smothered in butter with a sprinkle of nutritional yeast for a decadent flavor experience that delights your taste buds.
We love popping a few kernels as we load a show on Netflix. However, if you’re dealing with gluten intolerance or Celiac Disease, you might be wondering if it’s a good idea to be eating popcorn, and asking yourself Is popcorn gluten free?.
If it isn’t, then that’s going to put a damper on your movie when you have to run to the bathroom as the plot thickens.
Gluten is the protein found in grains like wheat, barley, and rye. The gluten provides the elasticity in the dough when making baked goods. Gluten also exists in other food products as a thickening agent or a flavor enhancer.
Unfortunately, some brands of prepackaged popcorn fall into this category.
Is there Gluten in Popcorn?
It might surprise you to learn that corn does contain gluten. Corn gluten is fine for people to consume, even those with Celiac disease.
Corn gluten doesn’t cause the same inflammation of the intestinal walls, preventing the development of the auto-immune response that sends you hurtling towards the toilet.
When manufacturers mill corn, they remove the dried husk and residue. As a result, the part of the kernel responsible for causing the auto-immune response isn’t present in popcorn kernels, making them safe to eat.
Corn manufacturers and mills send the corn husks and dried plant material for pet food and livestock feed.
It’s important to note that a small percentage of the population is allergic to corn proteins. However, corn doesn’t contain the same type of gluten found in wheat grains.
What’s the Problem with Popcorn?
The issue with gluten and popcorn isn’t in the corn kernels – it’s with the additives and seasonings found in prepackaged popcorn brands.
As mentioned, gluten has other purposes in food manufacturing. Thickening agents and condiments can contain gluten. These can problems for people who are dealing with Celiac Disease.
Is Movie Theater Popcorn Gluten-Free?
So, you’re thinking about checking out the new movie this weekend, and you’re nervous about eating the popcorn at the theater, and now you’ll find out Is Popcorn Gluten Free at the theater.
The last thing you need is to have to run for the bathroom right at the time when suspense is revealed.
Fortunately, we have good news. The popcorn at the movie theater is safe to eat, even if you have gluten sensitivity. Movie theater popcorn typically only has butter, and some theaters offer butter-free popcorn.
Pick yourself up a tub at the concession stand – but avoid the seasonings. As mentioned, the seasonings might have some trace amounts of gluten in them that sets off your sensitivity problems.
If you’re especially sensitive to gluten, call the theater ahead of the show and ask them about the concessions. Find out if they use gluten-free popcorn or if the seasonings contain gluten.
The safest option is to bring your seasonings to the theater from home, avoiding the chance of a gluten attack halfway through the movie.
How Can I Check If My Popcorn Is Gluten-Free?
If you’re buying prepacked or microwave popcorn, make sure you check the ingredients label. Some manufacturers of pre-popped popcorn produce it in factories where gluten cross-contamination is a possibility. Therefore it’s important to find out Is Popcorn Gluten Free before buying it.
Check the bag for a gluten-free label – most leading popcorn brands mention this on the packaging.
According to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), food labels saying “gluten-free,” “no gluten,” “without gluten,” or “free of gluten” must have less than 20 parts per million of gluten in the food.
What is the Best Gluten-Free Popcorn Brand?
If you want the best option for gluten-free popcorn and are tired of asking Is Popcorn Gluten Free, we recommend buying the corn kernels in the supermarket and popping them on the stove at home yourself. This strategy gives you total control over all the ingredients in the popcorn.
There are several brands of gluten-free popcorn available. These brands also offered gluten-free flavored versions that won’t upset your tummy.
If you’re planning a movie night this weekend, head down to the grocery store and pick up one of these gluten-free popcorn brands.
Angie’s BoomChikaPop is a recommended brand of gluten-free popcorn. You get organic corn kernels, with a range of tasty seasonings available to satisfy your cravings.
This popcorn comes ready-popped, and all you have to do is pour it in the bowl and start snaking.
Some of the delicious flavors available from Angie’s BoomChikaPop include Light Kettle Corn, White Cheddar, Sweet’ n Salty Kettle Corn, White Cheddar, Light Kettle Corn, Real Butter, Cheddar Cheese, and Sweet and Spicy.
If you’re feeling like a decadent treat, pick up one of the dessert flavors like Milk Chocolatey Peanut Butter or Salted Caramel.
All Angie’s recipes come with gluten-free certification from the Gluten-Free Certification Organization (GFCO). This organization requires that foods contain fewer than ten parts per million of gluten.
Angie’s is a non-GMO brand, using all-natural flavors and food colorings. The brand also avoids the use of HFCS in any of its products.
This popcorn brand is an American favorite and the originator of microwave popcorn. As a bonus, it’s gluten-free!
Act II comes in a range of tasty flavors, including Light Butter, Butter, Xtreme Butter, Butter Lovers, Kettle Corn, Movie Theater Butter, and 94% Fat-Free Butter.
Stick a packet in the microwave on high for a few minutes, and you have a steaming bag of popcorn that’s ready to eat. Act II is also a member of the conglomerate ConAgra Brands.
The company promises all Act II popcorn tests for less than 20-parts per million of gluten.
In Closing – Is Popcorn Gluten Free?
Yes, as long as you stay away from the seasonings or go with one of the recommended gluten-free brands.