Find out if rice flour is safe for your gluten-free diet, what it’s used for, and some gluten-free rice flour brands.
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Are you working on getting started with a gluten-free diet and wondering what types of flour are safe for you to eat?
Or are you finding yourself looking at products at the store, reviewing the ingredients lists, and not being clear on whether or not products with rice flour are a smart gluten-free choice?
In the gluten-free world, rice flour is a common ingredient you’ll find in many recipes and many products at the grocery store. But is it a good option for us folks who are trying to stay away from gluten?
In this post, we’re going to talk all about rice flour: what it is, what it’s made from, what it’s used for, and answer the question “is it gluten-free?”
We’ll also talk about specific types of rice flour – white rice flour and brown rice flour, and finally wrap up with some brands of gluten-free rice flour you can look for at the grocery store or online.
Find out how rice flour works with your gluten-free diet in this post!
What is rice flour?
Rice flour is a type of rice that is made from – you guessed it – rice! It is often used in gluten-free cooking as a replacement for all-purpose flour or in a blend with other gluten-free flours to create a baking mix blend that can be used for many different recipes.
Rice flour comes in two main types: white rice flour and brown rice flour. We’ll talk about both of these and how they fit into a gluten-free diet below.
What is rice flour made from?
Rice flour is made from finely ground rice. White or brown rice can be used in the products we find at the store under the name of “rice flour.”
What is rice flour used for?
Rice flour is often used in gluten-free baking mixes, cakes, cookies, or recipes that call for a lighter flour in baking. It can also be used as a thickening agent, like cornstarch or arrowroot starch, because of it’s high starch content.
You’ll also find many store bought gluten-free products that contain rice flour, like Asian-style rice noodles, pasta, rice-based gluten-free tortillas, and gluten-free breads.
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.
You can find gluten in whole grains, but also in many processed foods as well. Many processed foods have hidden gluten in them in the form of gluten or wheat derivatives.
These are also in the form of flavorings, binders to keep ingredients together, or other additives.
Read on: What is gluten in food? The basics of a gluten-free diet
Is rice gluten-free?
Rice is considered a gluten-free grain and most types of rice are gluten-free, like brown rice, white rice, jasmine rice, wild rice, basmati rice, arborio rice, and glutinous rice.
The most important thing to know about rice is that it is often manufactured on the same lines and processing equipment as other whole grains. Grains of many different kinds are processed on the same equipment, including gluten-free grains and sometimes grains that contain gluten.
If you are sensitive to even tiny amounts of gluten, you’ll want to avoid buying rice or rice flour from bulk bins at the grocery store. Choose only rice and rice products that come in a package that has been processed on a dedicated gluten-free line if you have that level of sensitivity.
Read on: Is rice gluten-free?
Is rice flour gluten-free?
Rice flour is naturally gluten-free and is considered safe for a gluten-free diet as long as the type of rice used has not come into cross contact with other gluten-containing grains.
It’s a good idea when purchasing rice flour or other products that contain rice flour to look for a gluten-free label on the packaging. This will help ensure that the rice flour has been tested and the brand for sure can state that there is no more than 20ppm of gluten in that product.
It’s a good idea to avoid buying rice flour in bulk bins if you have a gluten sensitivity or Celiac’s disease and these places have a very high chance of cross contamination with scoops being moved from one bin to another.
Is white rice flour gluten-free?
White rice flour is a gluten-free flour. Since white rice is naturally gluten-free, you can feel confident in buying and using this type of flour for your gluten-free diet, whether you buy the flour or a food that contains white rice flour as an ingredient.
Be sure to review the packaging for a gluten-free label to help you know you’re choosing the right option for your diet.
Is brown rice flour gluten-free?
Brown rice flour is a safe option for a gluten-free diet as long as the packaging shows a gluten-free label. This will help you know that this product has been tested for gluten and that the brand who makes it ensures there is no more than 20ppm of gluten in the product.
You can also buy products with brown rice flour as an ingredient as long as you look for that gluten-free label. If there is no gluten-free label, you can assume there is a potential for cross contamination with gluten during the manufacturing process, even if there aren’t any gluten-containing ingredients in that product.
Brands of gluten-free rice flour
Most brands of rice flour are gluten-free, but just to make sure you know what brands to look for and what options are available to you, this list of gluten-free rice flour brands should help you next time you’re shopping.
- Arrowhead Mills
- Authentic Foods
- Big Green
- Bob’s Red Mill
- Earthborn Elements
- Ener G
Looking for a gluten-free all-purpose flour blend? Check out these 5 best gluten-free flour blends.
If you’ve been making your way to a gluten-free diet and wondering how rice flour will fit in, I hope this post has helped you get the information you’ve been looking for.
Most rice flour, both white rice flour and brown rice flour, are naturally gluten-free. Check for a gluten-free label to make sure you’re buying a brand that works well for your gluten-free diet.
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