Let’s talk about Pringles! The classic snack chips are crispy and delicious, but do they contain gluten? We’re here with details and alternative snack suggestions.
Pringles stackable chips have been a snacktime staple since they were introduced back in 1968. They were seen as a fresh alternative to traditional potato chips, which were often broken and greasy. Pringles’ tall, cylindrical containers and saddle-shaped chips were such a success that their creator, Fredric Baur, asked to be buried in a can of Pringles after he passed away!
If you’re new to eating gluten-free foods, you may be examining your favorite snack foods in a whole new light. Many types of chips are naturally gluten-free, but what about crispy, crunchy Pringles? Are Pringles gluten-free?
Short answer: Sadly, no, Pringles are not gluten-free. Their ingredients list includes wheat starch, and wheat is a natural source of gluten.
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Are Pringles Gluten Free?
The Pringles FAQ page does not beat around the bush, stating simply, “Pringles are not gluten-free.” While the number one ingredient in Pringles is dried potatoes, they also contain wheat starch, which does contribute gluten to the mix.
Because of the wheat starch present in Pringles, they are not a healthy choice for anyone with celiac disease, gluten intolerance, or other gluten-related disorders.
What Are Pringles Made of?
Pringles are made from the following ingredients:
- Dried potatoes
- Vegetable oil (corn, cottonseed, high oleic soybean, and/or sunflower oil)
- Degerminated yellow corn flower
- Rice flour
- Mono- and diglycerides
- Wheat starch
These ingredients are mixed to form a “potato dough,” then fried and seasoned before being stacked in the iconic cylindrical cans.
Which Chips Are Gluten Free?
While Pringles are off the table, many other chips are safe to consume as part of a gluten-free diet. The Food and Drug Administration defines “gluten-free” as foods containing less than 20 parts per million (ppm) of gluten. The following chips resemble Pringles and meet that criteria:
- The Good Crisp Company (Classic Original, Outback BBQ, Sea Salt & Vinegar, Spicy Jalapeno, Aged White Cheddar, and Sour Cream & Onion)
- Lay’s Stax* Potato Crisps (Original, Sour Cream & Onion, Mesquite BBQ, Cheddar, Salt & Vinegar, and Buffalo Wings with Ranch)
- Schar Curvies (Original, BBQ, and Paprika)
Beyond Pringles-shaped chips, the majority of potato chips and tortilla chips are gluten-free as well. For more information, click here to read all about gluten-free potato chips, or click here for a deep dive into gluten-free corn tortilla chips.
*Please note that some flavors of Lay’s Stax may contain gluten. Stick to the flavors that appear on this list of gluten-free products manufactured by Frito-Lay.
Pringles contain wheat starch, so they are not a safe choice for celiacs, people with gluten sensitivities, or those with a wheat allergy.
Individuals with celiac disease suffer autoimmune reactions when they eat gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye. When celiac patients eat gluten, they are likely to experience immediate abdominal pain as well as gradual, long-term damage to the small intestine.
Original Pringles, like all other flavors of Pringles, contain wheat starch, so they are not gluten-free. Fortunately, there are several gluten-free alternatives. For curved, crispy, potato-based chips that are gluten-free, look for The Good Crisp Company, Schar Curvies, or Lay’s Stax in certain flavors, including Original.
Many other potato chips are also gluten-free. Check packaging to make sure!
Pringles come in 25 different flavors in the US, and all of them contain wheat starch. Original Pringles Crisps, Scorchin’ Crisps, Wavy Crisps, and Reduced Fat Crisps all contain gluten. There are not any gluten-free Pringles.
The Good Crisp Company, Schar and Lay’s Stax sell gluten-free chips that are similar to Pringles but do not contain any wheat ingredients.
The Bottom Line
Pringles are unfortunately not a gluten-free food. All varieties of Pringles contain wheat starch, and wheat is one of the primary natural sources of gluten.
If you’re a chip lover maintaining a gluten-free diet, don’t despair! There are several gluten-free options akin to Pringles (same “hyperbolic paraboloid” shape and similar flavors). Look for The Good Crisp Company, Schar Curvies, and Lays Stax in certain flavors including Original, Sour Cream & Onion, Mesquite BBQ, Cheddar, Salt & Vinegar, and Buffalo Wings with Ranch.
Typically, big box grocery stores’ potato chips (such as Lays potato chips, Ruffles potato chips, Kettle Brand potato chips, and Cape Cod potato chips) and corn chips are also gluten-free, but always check packaging to make sure! Salty snacks with “certified gluten-free” on the label not only contain no gluten ingredients, but are also produced in a facility free from cross-contamination with gluten-containing ingredients.