Find out if Corn Nuts are considered gluten-free and safe for a gluten-free diet. Plus learn about some other gluten-free corn snack brands.
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If you enjoy the crunchy bite of Corn Nuts while watching a game or on road trips, you may have wondered what this snack is made from and how they get something so delicious out of simply corn kernels.
Corn Nuts are a popular snack option at many grocery and convenience stores, as well as gas stations for quick stops along a road trip. They are fun to eat, taste great, and come in a variety of flavors too.
If you follow a gluten-free diet, you may have wondered if Corn Nuts are a food you can continue eating. After all, they’re made of corn, so surely they’re gluten-free, right?
We’ll get into the details of this snack food and discover what Corn Nuts are, what the different flavors are that are offered, and what the ingredients are in this popular corn snack. We’ll also answer the big question: are Corn Nuts gluten-free?
Finally, we’ll wrap this post up discussing if Corn Nuts are dairy-free, as well as a few other alternatives to Corn Nuts that are also gluten-free for you to shop for.
Let’s find out if this popular snack food is gluten-free!
What are Corn Nuts?
Corn Nuts are a snack food made by the Kraft Heinz Company. They are corn kernels that have been soaked in water then deep fried to create a crunchy and crispy snack food.
Corn Nuts come in a few flavors and you can find them in the snack food aisle at most grocery stores and convenience stores. Though there are multiple corn snacks available on the market, Corn Nuts are the most popular and recognizable brand.
What are the different flavors of Corn Nuts?
Corn Nuts come in a few different varieties and flavors. Here’s what you can expect to find at the store:
- Corn Nuts Original Crunchy Corn Kernels
- Corn Nuts BBQ Crunchy Corn Kernels
- Corn Nuts Chile Picante Con Limon Crunchy Corn Kernels
- Corn Nuts Ranch Crunchy Corn Kernels
What are Corn Nuts made of?
The ingredients of Corn Nuts will vary depending on the flavor you choose. Let’s go over the different ingredients in the four different flavors. I was able to source these ingredients lists from the KraftHeinz Foodservice website.
Corn Nuts Original Crunchy Corn Kernels Ingredients
Corn, corn oil, salt.
Corn Nuts BBQ Crunchy Corn Kernels Ingredients
Corn, corn oil, contains 2% or less of salt, spices, monosodium glutamate, tomato powder, brown sugar, garlic powder, sodium diacetate, dried molasses, yeast extract, malic acid, acetic acid, sucralose, natural flavor, paprika extract (for color).
Corn Nuts Chile Picante Con Limon Crunchy Corn Kernels Ingredients
Corn, salt, corn oil, contains 2% or less of maltodextrin, spice, onion powder, garlic powder, tomato powder, monosodium glutamate, citric acid, paprika extract (for color), natural flavor.
Corn Nuts Ranch Crunchy Corn Kernels Ingredients
Corn, corn oil, contains less than 2% of maltodextrin, salt, monosodium glutamate, corn syrup solids, tomato powder, onion powder, spices, sugar, garlic powder, sodium diacetate, malic acid, lactic acid, sodium citrate, citric acid, turmeric extract (for color), disodium inosinate and disodium guanylate, vinegar powder, natural and artificial flavor, red 40.
Read on: Is maltodextrin gluten-free?
Read on: Is ranch gluten-free?
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.
Is corn gluten-free?
While many whole grains contain gluten, corn does not. In its natural form straight from the cob, it is always gluten-free.
There are some cases where you’ll want to be careful, however. While corn itself is naturally gluten-free, corn that comes in a sauce or is mixed into a processed food product, like canned soup, may contain gluten.
You’ll want to be diligent about checking ingredient lists if you buy anything except for fresh corn from the produce department of your grocery store. While most frozen corn is gluten-free, you’ll also want to be sure there is no hidden gluten in the form of flavorings or preservatives that have been added to the product.
Read on: Is corn gluten-free?
Read on: Is popcorn gluten-free?
Are Corn Nuts gluten-free?
Corn Nuts are considered gluten-free as there are no gluten ingredients added to any of the flavors of this snack food. When looking around online, I found that many retailers market Corn Nuts as gluten-free and they say they are labeled gluten-free, though I wasn’t able to find that myself.
When I was researching this snack on Amazon, I found a few flavors that weren’t included on the Kraft Heinz website, like Nacho and Chile Picante.
The Nacho flavor contained autolyzed yeast extract, which is most commonly made from barley, making this a flavor that isn’t gluten-free. I’m uncertain if this flavor is still made or not, but you can certainly still buy it online for now.
I wasn’t able to find any gluten-free label on any of these snack foods, so be sure to review ingredients lists before buying this snack.
If you love Corn Nuts, your best choice is going to be their Original flavor as there’s less additives and therefore less opportunities for gluten to find its way into this snack food than the other flavors.
Read on: Is yeast extract gluten-free?
Are Corn Nuts dairy-free?
Corn Nuts contain no dairy ingredients and are therefore considered safe for a dairy-free diet. Even their flavors you’d expect to have dairy, like ranch, don’t use actual dairy products to give them flavoring, so if you avoid dairy, this is a safe snack choice for you.
Other Gluten-free Corn Snack Brands
If you’re looking for another corn snack that’s similar to Corn Nuts and are also gluten-free, you might want to check out some of these options.
Inka Roasted Corn
These corn snacks are made with simple ingredients and promoted as being plant based and gluten-free. They come in four flavors: sea salt, smoked BBQ, habanero chilli, and salt & vinegar.
Read on: Gluten-free pretzels
Read on: Gluten-free chips
If you enjoy snacking on Corn Nuts and have been wondering if these are gluten-free, I hope this information has helped you get the answers you’ve been looking for.
Most Corn Nuts and corn snacks are gluten-free, but it doesn’t hurt to look through the ingredients lists before buying just to be certain.