Where to Find Gluten-Free Spices and Seasonings

A variety of spices in open containers

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If you have celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity, every ingredient you cook with must be free of gluten, including the spices you use to flavor your food. And believe it or not, the dried spices you pick up in the grocery store or order online—even single ingredient spices like cinnamon and basil—can be cross-contaminated with gluten.

Gluten in Seasonings

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) conducted a study of spices in 2010–2011. According to the research report, a total of 268 ground spices, consisting of a single ingredient, were sampled and analyzed for the presence of gluten. The results concerned some who follow a gluten-free diet.

In the Canadian study, 63 samples (24% of samples tested) contained detectable levels of gluten ranging from 5 ppm to 20,000 ppm. Five of the gluten-containing samples were made by domestic manufacturers and 58 were imported.

The majority of those samples (62 of 63), however, had a level of gluten that "would not pose a risk to a sensitive individual." The organization noted that a deciding factor in whether the spice posed a health risk was the amount a person would consume during an average meal.

For many, these findings serve as a reminder to be careful about choosing ingredients. You shouldn't grab just any brand of spice if you're on a gluten-free diet; it's important to shop for ones that are the least likely to contain gluten.

If you're particularly sensitive to trace gluten, look for those with gluten-free certification, which means they're tested to below 10 parts per million of gluten and the manufacturers follow other best practices to keep gluten out of the final product.

Gluten-Free Spices

To guide your shopping, the major spice brands in the United States provide statements on the gluten content and potential gluten cross-contamination in their seasoning products. But to make absolutely sure a particular spice or blend has no trace gluten, check with the company.

Durkee

Durkee sells more than 92 individual spices plus a wide variety of blends. The brands Spice Islands and Tones are made by the same company, ACH Food Companies, Inc. The spices for all three brands are processed in the same plant.

ACH says that their single-ingredient spices are processed on dedicated lines that are not used to process products that contain gluten, and that 99% of its spice blends should be gluten-free. The exceptions are mixes that contain modified food starch, which is used as a thickener or texture stabilizer.

Generally, though, modified food starch is also gluten-free. Modified food starch can be made from gluten-free sources such as corn, maize, and tapioca, but, in rare cases, can also be produced from wheat.

If a food product in the United States lists modified food starch on the ingredient list, but wheat is not also listed on the label, the food is safe for gluten-sensitive individuals. If wheat is used as the source of the starch, it must be declared on the label.

Frontier Co-op

This purveyor of bulk and organic spices states that, "While spices and herbs are naturally gluten-free, we do not test for gluten in all products, only those certified gluten-free (by GFCO) under our Simply Organic brand."

The company notes that it does not "make gluten-free claims for any other products because even tiny amounts of gluten can be a problem, and these may be present in our facility or the facilities of our suppliers."

Magic Seasonings

Louisiana chef Paul Prudhomme created this line of seasoning mixes, which includes well-known spice blends such as Poultry Magic, Magic Seasoning Salt, and Fajita Magic. According to the company, all the blends are considered gluten-free to 20 parts per million (GF-20) except for Breading Magic and Gumbo Gravy Magic.

McCormick

McCormick is one of the most widely available brands of spices in the United States. Although the company does use gluten grains in some of its products, McCormick lists these prominently in the ingredients list. In addition, any products containing grain-derived ingredients are processed on separate lines.

McCormick does not test its raw ingredients for gluten cross-contamination. However, Gluten Free Watchdog has tested many McCormick spices and spice blends.

McCormick is expanding its line of gluten-free products, including some spice and herb blends such as its Salt-Free and Perfect Pinch products. Search for "gluten free" on the McCormick website to see a full lineup of these products.

The Spice Hunter

The Spice Hunter website states: "Our spice and spice blends do not contain gluten. Our Organic Dip & Seasoning Mixes, Turkey Brines, and Global Fusion Rubs are certified gluten-free by the Gluten Intolerance Group."

Spicely Organics Spices

Spicely covers all the bases. Its products are certified vegan, Kosher, organic, and gluten-free by the Gluten-Free Certification Organization. The company carries more than 50 individual spices plus another 50 or so seasoning mixes.

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11 Sources
Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Gluten-Free Living. Are spices gluten free? Updated June 20, 2019.

  2. Government of Canada. 2010-2011 Gluten in Ground Spices. Food Safety Action Plan. Updated September 4, 2018.

  3. Gluten-Free Watchdog, LLC. Special report: Gluten contamination of spices. Updated 2013.

  4. Gluten Intolerance Group of North America (GIG). GFCO Certification Scheme Manual Rev. 2020.1. Published 2020.

  5. Gluten-Free Lifestyle. Tone's/Durkee's/Spice Island.

  6. Beyond Celiac. Is modified food starch gluten-free?.

  7. Beyond Celiac. Modified Food Starch. Published September 6, 2011.

  8. Frontier Co-Op. Frontier co-op FAQs.

  9. Magic Seasoning Blends. Frequently asked questions.

  10. Gluten Free Watchdog. McCormick.

  11. Spicely Organics. Certifications.