We have had an increasing number of customers inquire if Goat Milk Soap is Gluten Free. Happily, the answer is YES. But let’s delve a little further into the issue for a more complete understanding.
What is Gluten?
Basically, gluten is a mixture of two proteins, that when mixed together, aggravate Celiac disease. This disease is an autoimmune disorder where the ingestion of gluten leads to damage in the small intestine. It is estimated to affect 1% of people worldwide. Read more at http://celiac.org/celiac-disease/what-is-celiac-disease/#I6Qj4hz2DXwz0sPu.99.
Handcrafted soap is sometimes considered suspect because of the use of Vitamin E as an anti-oxidant. It is used to prevent the oxidation of the fats and oils in the soap and possible eventual rancidity. Please note, an anti-oxidant and a preservative are not the same thing. (Future blog discussion!)
Some Vitamin E supplements are derived from wheat germ oil. If the Vitamin E is from wheat germ oil that has not been highly refined, then the Vitamin E could potentially contain gluten. Yet, under the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act, highly refined oils and ingredients made from these oils are EXEMPT from allergen labeling. Why?
“A benefit of refining edible oils is that the refining process renders them virtually free of allergenic protein according to information provided on the Institute of Shortening and Edible Oils website. According to the Institute of Shortening and Edible Oils, the vast preponderance of edible oils consumed in the U.S. are highly refined and processed to the extent that allergenic proteins are not present in detectable amounts. Scientific studies indicate that refined oils are safe for the food-allergic population to consume.(1)
How do we derive Vitamin E?
At Honey Sweetie Acres, we believe in transparency. We want our customers to know what they are using in their products. At a major event last fall, a “celiac” sufferer asked about our Vitamin E and its source. I did not believe our supplier used wheat germ oil, however I wasn’t 100% sure either. So we went to the manufacturer and asked. We are happy to report that our Vitamin E comes from non-GMO soybean oil, one of the most edible oils in the US. Therefore, it is gluten free and so is our soap, with just one exception.
Hops and Gluten
We mention our Hops-N-Goat soap because there are those who believe that Hops contain gluten. Hops are actually a flower and have no relation to gluten producing grains. The gluten in most beers comes from specific grains used in the brewing process. We currently use the traditional Yeungling Lager in our soap, so the potential for a slight amount of gluten in the Hops-N-Goat bars does exist.
As always, if you have any questions, please contact us!