Food Fondles

Is Captain Crunch Gluten Free or a Cereal Offender? The Answer You Must Know!

is captain crunch gluten free

Cereal breakfast has been a household staple for many, and this leaves those who follow a gluten-free diet to wonder whether the iconic cereal brand – Captain Crunch, or more affectionately known as Cap’n Crunch – might be gluten-free. Many of us have a love-hate relationship with Cap’n Crunch. After all, it is crunchy and sweet, very sweet. Yet, because it so sweet, it usually triggers warning bells for those looking for a healthy diet. But of course, Cap’n crunch still deserves its own post of whether ‘is captain crunch gluten free’, because it is so deliciously yummy.

What Is Cap’n Crunch?

Nobody should not know what Cap’n Crunch is. Nobody.

He’s not related to Cap in MCU though; it’s actually a corn and cereal product line manufactured by Quaker Oats Company. Guess what’s the mascot? Yes, it’s Cap, albeit an 18th-century version of a captain with white moustache. The original Cap’n Crunch cereal is made of sweetened, square-shaped cereal pieces from corn and oats. It resembles tiny, crunchy pillows – and if one isn’t attentive enough, it could be mistaken as Quaker Oatmeal Squares.

Cap’n Crunch has a wide range of options to cater to consumers’ ever-changing taste with some seasonal flavours. Some of the permanent flavours include the peanut butter crunch and crunch berries. I know of friends who really look forward to seasonal launches like the Halloween Crunch, and the Superman Crunch back when the movie Superman Returns was all the rave. But is captain crunch gluten free?

Is Captain Crunch Gluten Free?

Ever since I’ve started a gluten-free diet, it’s been difficult to give up certain comfort foods. Baguettes are my weak spot. Whenever I walk past a bakery, I do take an extra whiff, as I vicariously recall the last time I ate a bagel. I can relate to those who have to give up certain comfort foods – even more so if it’s a childhood comfort food – when starting on a new dietary restriction.

But unfortunately, is captain crunch gluten free? To answer the million-dollar question on whether Cap’n Crunch is safe for people who are to follow a gluten-free diet, the answer is ‘no’.

Ingredients in Captain Crunch

Even with a variety of options, the core ingredients remain largely the same: corn flour, oat flour, sugar, brown sugar, palm and/or coconut oil, salt, sodium citrate, natural flavour, artificial flavour and some other stuff which I can’t really pronounce (No wonder they supposedly taste so good!).

Although it does not contain any of the main culprits of gluten – wheat, barley and rye – the ones that I’ve highlighted in bold above are the dubious ones which should make one think twice whenever you see them listed on the ingredient list.

See Also: Is Spam Gluten Free?

Are Oats Gluten Free?

Oats themselves are naturally gluten-free. However, there is a significant caveat when it comes to the gluten-free status of oats because of one reason – they are easily contaminated during the manufacturing process. And by easily, I mean very easily.

Oats are usually handled in the same processing facilities that handle wheat, barley and rye, and that causes cross-contamination. Furthermore, the equipment used to harvest oats are usually the same as those used to harvest wheat, barley and rye in neighbouring crops, explaining the frequent contamination of oats with gluten. Therefore, for people who are gluten intolerant looking to purchase oats, it is paramount to purchase oats which are certified gluten-free.

And unfortunately, the oat flour used in Cap’n Crunch is notcertified as such. On the official website, it is also confirmed that this line is not gluten-free because of the possibility of cross-contamination by suppliers. Furthermore, the oat grains could be accidentally mixed with kerns of other grains because they all simply look too similar to be separated from one another.

What are natural flavouring and artificial flavouring?

Natural flavours are chemical compounds derived from plants or animals and artificial flavours are re-produced in a laboratory. They sound like they should be gluten-free, but the problem lies with the fact that food companies are not required to disclose what makes up these flavours. Navigating food choices in the realm of gluten-free diet is a labyrinth. This is even more complicated for those who not only face gluten sensitivity, but more so gluten intolerance, especially those combatting celiac disease.  Therefore, ‘natural flavours’ and ‘artificial flavours’ simply provide little clarity and little confidence to those looking for certainty in a gluten-free diet.

See Also: Is Dextrose Gluten Free?

See Also: Is Sriracha Gluten Free?

Gluten Free Alternatives to Captain Crunch

This does not mean that those following a gluten-free diet are resigned to eating eggs, yoghurt, and more eggs for breakfast every day.

There are a range of alternatives that you can consider – just perhaps sans an adorable mascot on the box.

Conclusion: Is Captain Crunch Gluten Free

So, in answer to the question – is captain crunch gluten free? Cap’n Crunch is not gluten-free. If you’re following a gluten-free diet, then unfortunately, you’ll need to steer clear of the entire Cap’n Crunch line. Going gluten-free does not mean that one’s dietary options are going to be severely impaired – it just means that one needs to be a tad bit more diligent in finding gluten-free options. Yes, we may not be able to eat Cap’n Crunch anymore, but hey, the alternatives don’t sound that bad. In fact, if you do realise, the gluten-free alternatives actually sound a lot better, and much, much healthier.

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