Find out if Bugles corn snacks are gluten-free, what they’re made from, and which flavors are safe for a gluten-free diet.
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If you love Bugles corn chips, you have probably had them on the tips of your fingers to make “finger hats” a time or two. This corn chip has a signature shape, one that mimics the opening of a bugle horn.
Finding snack foods that are safe for a gluten-free diet can be tricky, which is why I thought it would be helpful to dig into this specific snack food. Let’s talk about what Bugles are, what the ingredients are in these corn chips, and find out if they are a good option for folks on a gluten-free diet.
What are Bugles?
Bugles are a type of corn chip made by General Mills. This type of snack is primarily corn with a bugle horn shape, but most people know them as “finger hat” shaped. They have come in a variety of flavors over the years, though their Original is by far the most popular.
According to Wikipedia, they were first introduced in 1966 as a snack by the General Mills company as they were testing many different snack options, like flower-shaped snacks called Daisies, pizza snacks called Pizza Spins, and tub-shaped Whistles. Since then, all of these snacks have been discontinued except for Bugles.
What flavors do Bugles come in?
Bugles come in a variety of flavors and options. Here is the current lineup of Bugles according to the brand’s website.
- Nacho Cheese
- Bold BBQ
- Hot Buffalo
- Chocolate Peanut Butter
What is Bugles made from?
Bugles are essentially a corn chip made from puffed corn that’s been fried. Here’s the ingredients you’ll find in original Bugles, Bold BBQ Bugles, and Nacho Cheese Bugles.
Ingredients in original Bugles
“Degermed yellow corn meal, coconut oil and/or palm kernel oil, sugar, salt, baking soda. freshness preserved by BHT.
May contain wheat and milk ingredients.”
Ingredients in Bold BBQ Bugles
“Degermed yellow corn meal, vegetable oil (coconut and/or palm kernel), sugar. contains 2% or less of: salt, fructose, spices, distilled monoglycerides, baking soda, molasses, brown sugar, paprika added for color, tomato powder, maltodextrin, onion powder, sunflower oil, mustard powder (dried vinegar, mustard seed, salt, turmeric), natural smoke flavor. freshness preserved by BHT.
May contain wheat and milk ingredients.”
Ingredients in Nacho Cheese Bugles
“Degermed yellow corn meal, coconut oil and/or palm kernel oil, sugar, maltodextrin. contains 2 % or less of: salt, monoglycerides, baking soda, dried buttermilk, monosodium glutamate, dried whey, reduced lactose whey, dried onion, tomato powder, natural and artificial flavor, dried garlic, citric acid, dried cheddar cheese (cultured milk, salt, enzymes), spice, paprika extract, disodium inosinate, disodium guanylate, dried enzyme modified cheddar cheese (milk, cultures, salt, enzymes), disodium phosphate, artificial color (red 40 lake, yellow 6, yellow 5). freshness preserved by BHT.
Contains milk; may contain wheat ingredients.”
What is gluten?
Gluten is a protein found in most wheat products, and acts as the “glue” that helps to hold wheat, barley, kamut, spelt, farro, durum, bulgur, rye, and semolina together to maintain their shape.
Gluten is naturally occurring, and therefore is impossible to strip away from the grain. If a grain naturally has gluten in it, there’s no way to make that food gluten-free.
Are Bugles gluten-free?
There are no gluten ingredients in Bugles, however with the note after the ingredients list on the Bugles packaging, we can assume they are not gluten-free.
The note says “May contain milk and wheat ingredients” after all the other ingredients. While this brand of chips could be gluten-free, they’re kind enough to call out the fact that there is likely some cross contamination with gluten on their machinery.
Due to this, I’d avoid Bugles if you’re trying to stick with a gluten-free diet for health reasons.
Read on: Gluten-free chips
Are Bold BBQ Bugles gluten-free?
Though there are no gluten ingredients in Bold BBQ flavored Bugles, there is a note stating that the product may contain wheat ingredients. This is likely due to cross contamination in the machinery that’s used with other ingredients and foods the company manufactures.
Because of this, I’d avoid this flavor of Bugles to be sure you’re sticking with your gluten-free diet.
Are Nacho Cheese Bugles gluten-free?
Nacho Cheese Bugles have a “contains wheat ingredients” note after the ingredients list on its packaging. It’s helpful that this note is here to tell us there is very likely some cross contamination with wheat and gluten during processing. You’ll want to avoid this flavor of Bugles while following a gluten-free diet due to this cross contamination.
If you enjoy Bugles and have been wondering if this is a type of chip and snack that you can regularly have in your diet, I hope this information has helped you get the answers you’ve been looking for. Bugles don’t have gluten ingredients, but aren’t considered gluten-free either.
They likely have cross contamination with gluten during manufacturing and processing, so it’s a wise idea to avoid this snack while trying to stick with a gluten-free diet.