TCHO Chocolate is gluten-free and produced in a gluten-free facility in Berkeley, California. However, you should always read the label of your favorite chocolate, as some brands do use gluten-containing ingredients or produce their chocolate in facilities that also process foods with gluten.
If you suspect you may have a gluten intolerance, you’re not alone. In fact, research shows that as much as 7 percent of the U.S. population may experience sensitivity to gluten. It’s only natural that those who experience symptoms of gluten intolerance — diarrhea, gas, bloating, fatigue, etc. — try to steer clear of foods that contain the ubiquitous protein. You likely already know that gluten is found in many of the tastiest foods, including pasta, bread, cereal, beer and crackers. But is it in everyone’s favorite sweet treat — chocolate? We’ve got the details below!
Chocolate Is Inherently Gluten-Free
In its purest form, chocolate is, by nature, gluten-free. That’s because the building blocks used to craft quality chocolate bars are cocoa beans, sugar and cocoa butter. None of these ingredients inherently contain gluten. All good chocolate starts with high-quality cocoa beans, which are naturally gluten-free. By themselves, they are also soy-free and vegan, which means it’s generally well-tolerated among those with sensitive stomachs and dietary restrictions.
Side note: Did you know that chocolate isn’t just relatively safe for the gut? It’s also healthy in other ways because it contains the natural plant compound theobromine, which brings a slew of mental and physical benefits. Read our guide to the benefits of theobromine for more info!
Is Milk Chocolate Gluten-Free?
It's important to note that not all chocolate is entirely dairy-free, vegan or plant-based. If you are sensitive to dairy, you want to make sure you stick to dark chocolate since milk chocolate contains dairy. Does milk chocolate contain gluten? Milk chocolate is generally safe for those who have gluten sensitivities, although it may contain additives that are made with gluten. Since dark chocolate is made with a higher percentage of cocoa and contains no added milk solids, it may be safer for people with sensitive stomachs. Checking the label is crucial!
Some Chocolate Has Gluten-Containing Ingredients
Indeed, pure, high-quality chocolate is often free of gluten. But if you have celiac disease or gluten intolerance, this fact alone doesn’t mean you should go scarfing down chocolate by the handful without glancing at the ingredients list (as tempting as that may be). That’s because many chocolate makers add gluten-containing ingredients to their chocolate bars and products. From candy coatings to crispy chocolate bars, you’ll often find gluten sneakily hidden in many common chocolate treats.
Some lower-quality chocolate makers incorporate gluten in their recipes to help make them go a bit further. This may be the case with cheap holiday candy and some chocolates marketed to kids. Added gluten can give chocolate a stretchy quality, so it may be used in candy coatings or other applications requiring a more malleable consistency. Sticking to high-quality, pure chocolate is always a safer bet when you’re looking to avoid gluten.
Always Read the Label
So, how do you know if your chocolate has gluten? The first step is to understand what food items and sneaky ingredients contain gluten. The next step is to thoroughly investigate the ingredients list on any chocolate you intend to eat. Beware of chocolate that contains wheat or barley malt, cookie pieces, caramel flavor, dextrin, maltodextrin, modified food starch, wheat flour and syrups that contain gluten.
Those with gluten sensitivity or celiac disease should always make sure to read the label of every food item they consume, including chocolate. Checking for other indicators such as gluten-free certifications can help as well, but the ingredients list is ultimately the best way to determine if a food item contains gluten. For example, although TCHO is not gluten-free certified, our chocolate is 100 percent gluten-free and produced in a gluten-free facility.
Taste Gourmet Gluten-Free Chocolate for Yourself
At TCHO, we pride ourselves on producing premium-quality gluten-free chocolate for you to snack on, bake with and generally enjoy. Explore our complete collection to find gluten-free baking chocolate, chocolate bars, gift boxes and so much more.