Rice Dream and Gluten

A couple of weeks ago, I sent an email to the makers of Rice Dream asking for clarification on Rice Dream non-dairy beverages and gluten. In my email I copied and pasted two pieces of information from their website, one showing the list of “gluten free products” which included shelf stable and refrigerated Rice Dream Non-Dairy Beverages. The second item was a Q&A from the Product FAQs page, “Is Rice Dream Non Dairy Beverage Gluten Free?”. The answer here was NO. I expressed in my message that the conflicting information was not acceptable.

I never received a response from Rice Dream, however, today I visited the site again and this is what I found in the Product FAQ’s page, replacing the previous answer –

“Is Rice Dream Beverage a gluten free product?

Yes. Although Rice Dream Beverage is processed using a barley enzyme, the barley enzyme is discarded after use. The final beverage might contain a minute residual amount (less than .002%) of barley protein.”

At least they cleared up the misleading information. FYI, WestSoy Rice Beverage is manufactured by the same company as Rice Dream (The Hain Celestial Group, Inc. ), so chances are good that the same process is used. I was unable to locate any information or gluten free claims on the website.

By the FDA standards, Rice Dream can be labeled Gluten Free. However, it does still contain a minuscule amount of gluten. Some hyper sensitive individuals may not be able to tolerate even this tiny amount of gluten. If you are new to the gluten free diet or have discovered very little tolerance for gluten, using alternatives to Rice Dream might be a wise decision.

Here is the FDA terminology for Gluten Free labeling, you can find all the information here.

“How is the FDA proposing to define the term “gluten-free”?

  1. FDA proposes to define the term “gluten-free” to mean that a food bearing this claim in its labeling does not contain any one of the following:
    • An ingredient that is a prohibited grain
    • An ingredient that is derived from a prohibited grain and that has not been processed to remove gluten
    • An ingredient that is derived from a prohibited grain and that has been processed to remove gluten, if the use of that ingredient results in the presence of 20 parts per million (ppm) or more gluten in the food or
    • 20 ppm or more gluten”

A Safe Bet-

Pacific Rice Milk does not use a barley enzyme in their processing, their brand of non-dairy beverage is gluten free and should therefore, be safe for everyone on a gluten free diet. I highly recommend that anyone on a gluten free and or casein free diet check out the full list of gluten free products by Pacific Foods. (click on the words gluten free under any of the products for the full list.) Personally, I really appreciate and respect Pacific Foods direct answers in the FAQs. (Pacific Natural Foods is an Oregon company, so double yay!)

We are going to run our own little “test” at home to see if K3 can tolerate Rice Dream. So far the rest of us can still have dairy so she is the only one this affects. When I initially read the conflicting information on Rice Dream’s website, I stopped giving K3 Rice Dream and switched to Pacific Foods Rice Milk… I can’t say that I noticed anything significant. However, on our last run to Costco, we stocked up on Rice Dream again because we can get a case of 12 quarts for $13.99. The last several days, K3 has been much more irritable and had a belly ache. This could be related to the Augmentin she is currently taking three times a day. So, once that’s done we will re-evaluate.


About PolkaDotMommy

Wife to a teacher extraordinaire... Mama to Five littles... Conservative Catholic Christian with a Strong Environmentalist Mentality... Respecting Life... Living for our Savior... Learning to trust God in all things.
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7 Responses to Rice Dream and Gluten

  1. Pingback: Hidden Gluten « Looks Good in Polka Dots

  2. Pingback: Gluten Free Rice Dream?????? « Looks Good in Polka Dots

  3. Pat says:

    Great info, thanks! I have been using organic Rice Dream for years & when I was diagnosed with gluten & soy sensitivity 11 months ago I have continued to use it with no problems. I meet with my doctor tomorrow & will ask her about the trace amount of “less than .002%” barley protein in the finished product & if it builds up in my system since I don’t have full blown celiac disease, thank God. I have been avoiding dairy products also just in case I have problems with that also so switching to organic milk isn’t an option yet. I really appreciate your website & have added it to my favorites. Keep up the good work. 🙂

  4. Norbert says:

    Call your Costco and tell them to start carrying it again!! The last time I was there they’d stopped carrying it!

  5. Mae says:

    Even though Hain CLAIMS their rice beverage product is gluten-free, it is NOT. Since I changed from So Delicious coconut milk to Hain’s Rice Dream rice milk I have had increasingly horrific pain in my upper right flank, low-grade fever, terrible fatigue, and horrible diarrhea for the last six months. My body was acting like I had been glutened. I have spent months trying to figure out what I was eating that had gluten in it. The answer was: nothing. Apparently, I was drinking it.

    Two days ago, I did a Google search for “Rice Dream rice milk gluten” and found many celiac forums and Celiac Disease experts cautioning against this brand of rice milk. Many people have written online in celiac forums about how they react badly to Rice Dream rice milk. When I started using Rice Dream rice milk, I had checked out Hain’s website to make sure that Rice Dream was gluten free before purchasing it. They said it was.

    They lie – and the FDA allows this lie.

    Hain uses a barley enzyme in the beginning process of making the milk. Hain is lying when they say on their site: “Is Rice Dream Beverage a gluten free product? Yes. Although Rice Dream Beverage is processed using a barley enzyme, the barley enzyme is discarded after use. The final beverage might contain a minute residual amount (less than .002%) of barley protein.” They state that they use it and then “throw it out.” But apparently it is still in the rice milk no matter what they say because I have reacted strongly to it. In fact, once the barley enzyme is in the rice milk, how in the world can it be separated out?

    Hain also says that any gluten that might be in their product is below the FDA threshold of 20 ppm. But the problem is that the commercial tests for gluten contamination have some difficulty detecting hordein (the type of gluten protein found in barley) when the hordein has been broken down into smaller pieces or protein fragments.

    It is also possible that there is not enough residual gluten left in the product for testing to detect (at least not with current tests), but there is plenty of gluten in Rice Dream rice milk for our bodies to detect it and be damaged by it, especially in people who tend to be very sensitive to even trace amounts of gluten.

    More and more people do not trust the Rice Dream beverage – and they do indeed react like I have reacted. In fact, I drank the Rice Dream rice milk long enough to do further damage to my duodenum. It could take months and months to get over this glutening episode.

    One would think that Hain would be more concerned about the dangers of gluten (and celiac disease) and not sell products that are made with anything that ever contained gluten. I will never buy Hain’s rice milk again or any of their products for that matter because I cannot trust them. And I will join others in spreading information all over the internet about the gluten dangers in Rice Dream rice milk.

    Please do consider what I have said and do not trust what Hain claims their rice milk to be (gluten-free) because it is not.

    The FDA is as much to blame for my glutening as Hain is. The FDA is too lax in what they allow in gluten-free products. 20 ppm is way too high for many Celiacs like myself. Celiac Disease is serious. A teensy tiny bit will make some of us truly suffer. Printing gluten free on a product that has even a smidge of gluten can be toxic for someone like me.

    I have been off the Rice Dream for 2 days. Already the pain is subsiding and I am feeling a bit better.

    I am so angry at Hain, I could spit nails!

  6. Laura says:

    whoah this blog is fantastic i like studying your posts.

    Keep up the great work! You understand, a lot of people are searching round for this information, you
    can aid them greatly.

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