Is Ghirardelli Chocolate Gluten-Free? Here’s What to Know

Is Ghirardelli Chocolate Gluten-Free? Here's What to Know

It’s sometimes difficult to find gluten-free chocolate since many chocolate companies don’t market their items as gluten-free products. This can cause confusion. That’s because companies aren’t required to label traditional gluten-free foods as gluten-free. Although chocolate doesn’t have gluten, things like extra ingredients or cross-contamination can make it trickier to determine if a product is gluten-free.

When you’re searching for gluten-free chocolate, it’s likely that Ghirardelli will come up on your radar. While solid chocolate bars might have a gluten-free cocoa powder base, a chocolate candy bar could contain gluten. According to the Ghirardelli website, the company’s gluten-free products aren’t specifically listed, but there are ways to determine if a particular product will fit into your dietary needs.

Discover if Ghirardelli chocolate is gluten-free, a gluten-free definition, and how to check if a product isn’t clearly labeled gluten-free

What Is Gluten-Free? The FDA Definition

Is Ghirardelli Chocolate Gluten-Free? Here's What to Know

According to the U. S. Food and Drug Administration, gluten-free edible products (for labeling purposes) don’t contain wheat, barley, rye, or crossbred grain hybrids. If gluten is removed from grains such as gluten-free flour from wheat, then the label might not say gluten-free. Ingredients that are traditionally gluten-free, such as chocolate, sugar, or cocoa powder, aren’t listed as gluten-free since they are naturally gluten-free foods.

If you’re ordering Ghirardelli chocolates online, keep in mind that the product’s ingredients aren’t listed on the website. You can view ingredient information on each product’s packaging.

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Is Ghirardelli A Gluten-Free Company?

Is Ghirardelli Chocolate Gluten-Free? Here's What to Know

For 170 years, the iconic Ghirardelli Chocolate Company has been satisfying sweet tooths around the world. Founded in San Francisco in 1852 by Domenico Ghirardelli, a chocolatier from Italy who started his career in South America, his namesake company has offered an array of scrumptious luxury chocolates to consumers.

This makes the company the third oldest chocolate maker in America.

Since gluten did not present much of a problem prior to the 1940s, the Ghirardelli Chocolate Company did not need to market its products as gluten-free for many years. Since many of its products that are chocolate or cocoa-based are naturally gluten-free, the company has not updated its website to list individual chocolate products as gluten-free.  

The good news is that Ghirardelli is an expert in the chocolatier business. From nib to chocolate chip, Ghirardelli takes their mission seriously and controls the entire manufacturing process to ensure quality chocolate products. In fact, they only produce top-quality chocolate by rejecting up to 40% of any cocoa beans that come in.  

Next, they strip off the outer shell to roast the seeds, called nibs, with an in-house process. Once the nib is roasted, equipment powders it to particles as fine as 19 micrometers. This process gives Ghirardelli products both a smooth, chocolatey texture and an indulgent taste.

How To Check For Gluten-Free Ghirardelli Chocolate

Is Ghirardelli Chocolate Gluten-Free? Here's What to Know

If you suffer from celiac disease or gluten intolerance, you know how important it is to avoid even a smidgen of gluten in your diet.

If you’re ordering online and can’t view the chocolate package in person, check if there is a photograph on the website that shows the product’s ingredient list. If the item is basically pure chocolate and sweetener, it’s likely that it’s naturally gluten-free. Check allergy warnings to see if the product is processed in a facility that also processes gluten to avoid any cross-contamination surprises.

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Which Ghirardelli Chocolates Are Gluten-Free?

Is Ghirardelli Chocolate Gluten-Free? Here's What to Know

Although Ghirardelli doesn’t list any specific gluten-free products on their website, there are several delicious Ghirardelli Chocolate options for your snacking and baking needs that meet the FDA’s gluten-free definition.

The good news is that many Ghirardelli chocolates, although not specifically listed as gluten-free, qualify as gluten-free products.

These include Ghirardelli Milk Chocolate chips, 60% Cacao Bittersweet Baking Chips, 72%, and 86% Cacao bars, and 92% squares, Classic White Baking Chips, and Sweet Ground White Chocolate Powder. Their basic chocolate baking bars also don’t contain any gluten ingredients.

Is Ghirardelli Chocolate Gluten-Free? Here's What to Know

Other products don’t make the gluten-free list. For example, since Ghirardelli’s Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips does have wheat at the top of its ingredients list, it isn’t considered gluten-free. If you’re looking for other types of baking or hot cocoa items, the company’s Mocha Hot Cocoa, Unsweetened Chocolate, Semi-Sweet Baking Bars, Unsweetened Cocoa Powder, and Premium Double Chocolate Mix hit all the gluten-free requirements.

Keep in mind that some Ghirardelli chocolate items have barley, so there’s always the chance for cross-contamination with a gluten product during the manufacturing process. To avoid even a hint of cross-contamination, a facility would need to have separate equipment and spaces for producing gluten-free products and products that contain gluten. 

Can I Make Gluten-Free Recipes With Ghirardelli Chocolate?

Is Ghirardelli Chocolate Gluten-Free? Here's What to Know

You’ve probably seen a thousand delicious gluten-free recipes from toasty hot chocolates to velvety chocolate cakes that use Ghirardelli chocolate. While many gluten-free websites such as Chicago Now, Bread and Butterfly Blog, or Yummly use Ghirardelli chocolate to make gluten-free recipes, not all chocolates used may be gluten-free.

Most gluten-free recipes rework traditional recipes with gluten-free flours to qualify as gluten-free. If you’re celiac or gluten-sensitive, it’s a good idea to pay extra attention to what kind of chocolate you are using as well. If it’s just sweetened or semi-sweet chocolate without any flour, then you’re likely safe on the gluten-free front.

Make sure to read the full ingredients list found on every Ghirardelli chocolate product and consult your doctor before consuming anything that may contain gluten if you are sensitive to the allergen.

If you are super sensitive or concerned about cross-contamination, you can skip Ghirardelli chocolates altogether and opt for a brand that specifically identifies its chocolate products as gluten-free. A great Ghirardelli chocolate option that is gluten-free is the Hu brand which includes gluten-free basics like Cashew Butter and Raspberry Dark Chocolate, ChocoZero’s Hazelnut Bark that is even keto, or Lily’s Salted Caramel Milk Chocolate.

If your favorite brand is Ghirardelli, don’t despair. Although some products that contain flour might be off the table, there are many options from snacking squares to baking chips and cozy hot cocoa to make any gluten-free recipe that you desire.

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