I'm not a huge root beer fan, so it had never occurred to me to look into its gluten-freeness. I had always heard that if it was carbonated, it was safe. But, one of my co-workers educated me that we needed to watch out for the caramel coloring and other ingredients.
She went the extra mile to contact A&W root beer about their diet soda. Here's what they wrote back:
November 3, 2008
Dear Ms. Uecker,
Thank you for contacting us about the presence of gluten in our products. Consumer inquiries such as this are appreciated because they provide valuable feedback about our brands.
Gluten is a mixture of complex proteins found in the grain of wheat, barley, oats, rye, rice, corn, and other grains. Many soft drinks, including those produced by our Company contain high fructose corn syrup which is derived from corn and which may contain very small amounts of corn gluten, but no other type of gluten. According to the Celiac Sprue Association, corn gluten
is not of concern to people who have Celiac Sprue disease.
All A&W products (and all of our carbonated drinks in general) are therefore considered gluten free.
We encourage consumers with more specific questions about Celiac Sprue to contact the Celiac Sprue Association at 402-558-0600 or your health care provider.
We appreciate your inquiry and hope you will continue to enjoy our soft drink brands.