Does Rice Contain Gluten?
All rice (in its natural form) is naturally gluten free. This includes brown rice, white rice and wild rice. Even Asian or Sticky rice, also called “glutinous rice,” is gluten free, despite its name. In this case, the “glutinous” term refers to the sticky nature of the rice and not the gluten protein found in wheat, barley and rye.
Rice is one of the most popular gluten free grain for people with coeliac disease. Many gluten free packaged goods are made with rice instead of wheat.
There are some instances where rice may not be gluten-free. In addition to cross contamination, rice can be made or sold with various spices and sauces that could contain gluten. Some names may be misleading as well. For example, rice pilaf may sound like it is gluten free, however, it is typically made with orzo, which is not gluten free. Always double check ingredient labels to be sure that what you are eating is truly gluten-free. When in doubt, avoid to product or contact the manufacturer to get more information.
Even though rice is naturally gluten-free, it can come into contact with wheat, barley and rye during the growing, harvesting and manufacturing process. Whenever possible, be sure to buy rice that is labelled or certified gluten-free. Avoid buying rice from bulk bins at the grocery store. If you’re eating rice in a restaurant, make sure there are no added ingredients that would make the rice no longer gluten free.
Recently, there have been concerns about arsenic being in rice. Arsenic is a naturally occurring chemical that is found in nature. Consuming high levels of arsenic can be dangerous and unhealthy. Arsenic in rice is a concern for people with coeliac disease because this group tends to eat many more rice based products than those who eat wheat.