If you are a foodie who’s in love with all things cheesy and creamy – cream cheese probably features in your recipes quite often. And what’s more popular than Philadelphia Cream Cheese? However, if you’re celiac or allergic to gluten, you might wonder – is Philadelphia Cream Cheese Gluten Free?
According to the product’s ingredients list, Philadelphia Cream Cheese is naturally gluten free. But it is not certified as a Gluten Free item, and those who are hypersensitive to gluten must be careful about trace gluten and cross-contamination.
So the question is, should you trust the list of ingredients published by the brand on the package? How will you make sure that you don’t get allergic reactions or fall sick after consuming Philadelphia Cream Cheese? Keep reading and find the answers to all your questions.
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Is Philadelphia Cream Cheese Gluten Free – and Complete Safe?
As you may notice in the ingredients list shared above, Philadelphia Cream Cheese is not made from any gluten-containing grain. Hence, it is naturally Gluten Free. The UK website of this product also mentions clearly that the world’s favorite Philadelphia does not contain any gluten ingredient.
However, is being naturally Gluten Free enough for you to trust the product to be safe for you? That’s a million-dollar question for a celiac or gluten-intolerant person, especially if they are severely allergic to gluten. Even if the product doesn’t have gluten grains, it may still not always be safe.
That’s because the final product or its ingredients may come in contact with gluten-rich ingredients during production, processing, or manufacturing due to cross-contamination. Trace gluten can be highly unsafe as it may cause allergic reactions in people who are hypersensitive.
Philadelphia Cream Cheese is not certified as Gluten Free. So it does not undergo any test to check if its gluten content is within the permissible limit, i.e., 20 ppm. Its facilities may also be an area of concern as the brand produces gluten-rich products, too, and the production units are not tested.
There’s no way to confirm whether or not the same facilities used for Philadelphia Cream Cheese are also used for other gluten-containing food items. Hence, cross-contamination is a high possibility in these units. Plus, the additives used may also have gluten content in them.
Most celiac and gluten intolerant people trust Kraft Heinz’s ingredients list and vouch that Philadelphia Cream Cheese is a trusted product. However, we suggest that you test the product in small amounts to observe how your body responds to it and determine if it causes allergic reactions.
Related Post:- Is Manwich Gluten Free?
What is Philadelphia Cream Cheese?
Before we find out about the gluten content of Philadelphia Cream Cheese in detail, you should know what it is. You may know that cream cheese is an excellent option for many sweet and savory items to add creaminess to them. Philadelphia Cream Cheese is among the most famous.
As you would expect from any cream cheese, Philadelphia Cream Cheese is soft and has a mild taste. Its key ingredients are milk and cream, into which lactic acid gets added to form curds. When the curds are heated, stabilizers are required to finally get the soft, delicious cheese.
Philadelphia Cream Cheese’s ingredients list includes –
- Whey protein concentrate
- Cheese culture
- Guar gum
- Xanthan gum
- Carob bean gum
- Vitamin A Palmitate
In addition to the popular plain cream cheese, you’ll find a wide range of Philly cream cheese spreads in delicious flavors, which obviously contain certain flavoring agents. There are also combinations of snacks and dips, where the dips feature the world’s favorite cream cheese.
Did you know that even though this product has “Philadelphia” in its name, it has nothing to do with Philadelphia? This cheese was developed in New York in 1872 by accident by a dairyman from Chester named William Lawrence. It was in 1880 that “Philadelphia” was added to the name.
This was a marketing strategy because the region was known for creamy cheese products and dairy farms. Philadelphia Cream Cheese went through many other changes, and today, it is owned by the well-known Kraft Heinz, one of the most reputed food companies in the world.
Is Kraft Heinz Celiac Friendly?
Kraft Heinz products do not have gluten free certifications. This means its products do not undergo the tests required to prove that they have less than 20 ppm of gluten in them – or that the ingredients used and the production facilities are completely free from gluten to prevent trace gluten.
However, Kraft Heinz is a brand that’s trusted by the celiac community because of the clarity it maintains. If any of its products contain gluten due to the ingredients or additives, the brand indicates it clearly. So referring to the label will help you understand if the product is safe or not.
It mentions wheat, rye, barley, oats, triticale, Mir, Spelt, Kamut, and Farina/Farro/Far. All of these are possible gluten sources. The brand doesn’t just talk about key ingredients. Its gluten-related declarations also include additives like flavors. It also uses distilled and gluten-removed vinegar only.
Not getting certified does not necessarily mean it contains gluten. It’s very much possible that the brand uses safe ingredients and clean production units but does not want to undergo the complex procedure of testing its wide range of products or the facilities checked to get the certification.
Is Cream Cheese Gluten Free?
According to the Code of Federal Regulations, in order to be considered as cream cheese, it must contain 33% milk fat by weight of the finished product, 55% or less moisture by weight, and pasteurized dairy products. This uncured cheese primarily contains milk, cream, lactic acid, and stabilizers.
All of these are inherently free from gluten. Hence, cream cheese is considered naturally gluten free. However, there is a possibility that the final product contains trace gluten due to the additives or as a result of cross-contamination. So it is always better to find certified cream cheese.
You have to be particularly careful if you are going to choose a flavored cream cheese option. Many brands that use naturally Gluten Free ingredients do not check with their suppliers to know about the gluten content of the additives. They also do not mention the sources of these added ingredients.
So if your favorite cream cheese brand is not certified or if you buy it from the farmer’s market, it is best to consume it in small amounts first to observe how your body reacts to it. If you do not want to take a chance, you can always choose a trusted brand that works for you or go for certified options.
Certified Cream Cheese Options
If you don’t want to take any risk and wish to eliminate Philadelphia Cream Cheese from your life, there are options you can choose instead. Find the list of products that you can use instead of Philly cream cheese – to make anything from cheesecake to pasta – as long as all ingredients are gluten free!
- Judee’s Cream Cheese Powder – This product proudly announces that it’s Gluten Free on the package. All you need is to add water and whisk to get your own cream cheese.
- Amazing Keto Cream Cheese Powder – Another cream cheese powder with the “Gluten Free” mark on the package, this one, too, needs you to mix it with water.
- Betty Crocker Gluten Free Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting – This easy-to-use cream cheese is ideal as frosting and completely celiac-safe, as it says on the pack.
- Good Dees Just Add Water Cream Cheese Frosting Mix – This mix allows you to make your own cream cheese that’s Gluten Free and safe, as its package announces.
- Cultures for Health Cream Cheese Starter Culture – This is an interesting starter culture to make your own cheese from scratch using milk – and it is Gluten Free, too!
Is Philadelphia Cream Cheese Gluten Free – and absolutely safe for someone with celiac disease or gluten intolerance? You now have the answer to this question. Kraft Heinz is mostly trusted by the celiac community. It’s likely that you will be able to enjoy this delicious cheese without falling ill.