do starburst jelly beans have gluten

Starburst jelly beans are a popular treat enjoyed by many, but for those with gluten sensitivities or allergies, it’s important to know whether these colorful candies contain gluten. Gluten is a type of protein found in certain grains like wheat, barley, and rye, and it can cause adverse reactions in individuals with gluten-related disorders. In this article, we will explore whether Starburst jelly beans are gluten-free or if they pose a risk for those avoiding gluten in their diet.

Understanding Gluten and Gluten Sensitivities

Gluten is a protein that acts as a binding agent, giving dough its elasticity and helping it rise. While most people can consume gluten without any issues, those with celiac disease, wheat allergies, or non-celiac gluten sensitivities may experience adverse symptoms after consuming gluten-containing foods.

Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder in which the ingestion of gluten leads to damage in the small intestine, resulting in various digestive symptoms and potential long-term complications. On the other hand, wheat allergies and non-celiac gluten sensitivities can cause an array of symptoms, including digestive problems, skin rashes, fatigue, and even neurological issues.

Exploring the Ingredients Label

When determining whether Starburst jelly beans contain gluten, the best place to start is with the ingredients label. Manufacturers are required to list any potential sources of gluten on their product packaging, enabling consumers to make informed choices based on their dietary needs.

Let’s take a closer look at the ingredients for Starburst jelly beans:

IngredientPotential Source of Gluten
Corn SyrupNo
Modified Corn StarchNo
Malic AcidNo
Artificial FlavorsNo
Coloring Agents (including Red 40, Yellow 5, Yellow 6, Blue 1)No

*Dextrin can be derived from various sources, including wheat. However, if the dextrin is derived from wheat, the product is required to list “contains wheat” on the label according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations. Since Starburst jelly beans do not list wheat as an ingredient or contain any allergen warnings regarding gluten, it can be assumed that the dextrin used in their production is gluten-free.

Cross-Contamination Risks

Although Starburst jelly beans do not include any gluten-containing ingredients, it’s important to note the possibility of cross-contamination during the manufacturing process. Cross-contamination occurs when a product comes into contact with gluten-containing ingredients or surfaces, potentially leading to trace amounts of gluten in an otherwise gluten-free product.

It’s essential to consider the manufacturing practices of the brand when assessing the risk of cross-contamination. Some companies have strict protocols in place to prevent cross-contamination, while others may share facilities or equipment with gluten-containing products. Unfortunately, detailed information about the specific manufacturing processes of Starburst jelly beans is not readily available to the public.

Trusted Certifications and Labels

One way to mitigate the risk of cross-contamination is to look for trusted certifications and labels on the packaging. Organizations such as the Gluten-Free Certification Organization (GFCO) and the Celiac Support Association (CSA) offer certifications for products that undergo rigorous testing to ensure they meet strict gluten-free standards.

While Starburst jelly beans do not bear any specific gluten-free certification or label, their ingredient list suggests that the chances of gluten contamination are low. However, individuals with severe gluten sensitivities or celiac disease may choose to err on the side of caution and opt for products with certified gluten-free labels.

Alternative Gluten-Free Jelly Bean Options

If you are concerned about the potential risk of gluten cross-contamination in Starburst jelly beans or prefer to have a certified gluten-free option, there are several brands available in the market. Some popular gluten-free jelly bean brands include:

  • Jelly Belly
  • YumEarth
  • Surf Sweets

These brands offer a variety of flavors, and their gluten-free status is clearly indicated on the packaging, providing peace of mind for individuals with gluten sensitivities.


In conclusion, Starburst jelly beans do not contain any gluten-based ingredients and do not state any allergen warnings related to gluten on their packaging. While the potential risk of cross-contamination cannot be ruled out, the overall likelihood is low. However, individuals with severe gluten sensitivities or celiac disease may still prefer to choose certified gluten-free options to ensure their dietary needs are met. It’s always best to read ingredient labels, look for trusted certifications, and consult with healthcare professionals if you have any concerns or questions regarding gluten consumption.