Wheat Starch in Czech Republic

While I was researching my trip to Prague, I came across a random article about special dietary requirements. I bookmarked this article and I am glad I did. One paragraph in particular caught my eye:

The symbol for gluten free is a wheat stalk with a cross through it, but this does not actually guarantee that it is completely safe – wheat starch is allowed in these products, so bring your reading glasses and check those labels to be absolutely sure!

WHAT??? Wheat starch is allowed in gluten-free products!? This worried me big time. Not only did I have to worry about finding gluten-free foods, but now I had to worry about foods being labeled gluten-free but having wheat starch in them.

wheat starch:  pšeničný škrob

Luckily, I only came across one “gluten-free” product in the Czech Republic that had wheat-starch on the label. Thank goodness I had my translation cheat sheet with me to confirm that indeed I was seeing pšeničný škrob as the key ingredient. It was a bread produced in the Czech Republic. I didn’t buy it.

This week, there have been discussions of “safe” wheat and “gluten-free” wheat starch at the 14th International Coeliac Disease Symposium 2011 in Oslo, Norway. I don’t know about you, but this is just scary to me. I don’t think I could knowingly ingest wheat after 30 years of avoiding it. I would be too nervous

Keep your eyes out for wheat starch in the Czech Republic and other European countries when traveling gluten-free.

Safe gluten-free travels!

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About Erin Smith

Erin Smith was diagnosed with celiac disease in the early 1980s, so she’s been eating gluten-free almost her entire life. Erin has a unique perspective of growing up in the gluten-free community and blogs about living — and enjoying — a gluten-free lifestyle. Erin Smith has been writing her gluten-free lifestyle blog Gluten-Free Fun since 2007. In 2011, she launched Gluten-Free Globetrotter, a website that encourages those with celiac disease to travel the world and not be scared about eating gluten-free domestically and abroad. Erin is also the lead organizer of the NYC Celiac Disease Meetup group, a social community that has grown to over 1500 members in the 8 years she has been organizing the group.
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One Response to Wheat Starch in Czech Republic

  1. Alison says:

    They allow it in GF products in Ireland too. I started feeling sick after eating bread that was labelled GF from a reputable GF company. It was only then that I read the ingredients and was shocked to see “gluten free wheat starch”! Seemed like an oxymoron to me.

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