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”?
- 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.