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Does chicken broth contain gluten, milk, soy? Yes.

Posted By Alison On Jan 8, 2009 @ In Food Allergies,Gluten Intolerance,Products | 48 Comments

Over the holidays I was at a friend’s house, snooping in the pantry, when I decided to pick up a can of that good old-fashioned red-labeled Campbell’s Chicken Broth. I knew it was not gluten-free, but I couldn’t remember the exact details, so I turned it over to read the ingredients.

Yuck. How could anyone a) eat it, and b) think it is in any way close to real chicken broth? I’m not sure what put me off the most: the hydrolyzed wheat gluten, the monosodium glutamate (MSG), the corn oil, or the hydrolyzed soy and corn protein. Mmmm… just like homemade!

And so I began my own little research project on commercial chicken broth, stock and bouillon. I discovered a few things:

  1. some brands of chicken broths have gluten, milk and/or soy, and some don’t
  2. even within one brand, some products have allergens and some don’t
  3. different sizes of the same product can have different ingredients – Safeway brand actually had 3 different sets of ingredients for 3 different sizes of the same product!

Unfortunately, many restaurants use packaged “chicken bases” to make stock or broth for soups, sauces and gravies, so you have to be really careful when eating out.

Here is a list of some major brands and ingredient information (and sometimes my opinion too), as of 1/06/09. Remember, ingredients can change at any time, so always check. If you have another brand you would like to list, please do so in the comments. A ** denotes brands I highly recommend.

BETTER THAN BOUILLON

Better Than Bouillon Chicken Base

  • gluten-free, contains dairy and soy.

CAMPBELL’S

Campbell’s Chicken Broth 14 oz. can

  • contains wheat and soy, plus the addition of MSG and corn oil

COLLEGE INN

College Inn Chicken Broth 99% Fat Free, all sizes

  • contains wheat gluten protein and soybean oil, and MSG

College Inn Chicken Broth Light and Fat Free 50% Less Sodium, all sizes

  • contains wheat gluten protein and soybean oil, and MSG

College Inn Flavored Chicken Broths, all sizes

  • contains wheat gluten protein and soybean oil, and MSG

College Inn Turkey Broth, 18.5 oz. can

  • contains wheat, soy, egg and milk

HERB OX

Herb Ox Sodium Free Chicken Granulated Bouillon

  • gluten-free, dairy-free

Herb Ox Chicken Instant Bouillon and Seasoning

  • gluten-free, contains dairy

IMAGINE FOODS**

Imagine Organic Free Range Chicken Broth, Organic Low Sodium Free Range Chicken Broth, Organic Chicken Cooking Stock

  • gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, all natural ingredients

KITCHEN BASICS**

Kitchen Basics Chicken Broth, 32 oz. box

  • gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, ingredients are all natural

KNORR (this is a brand used in the foodservice industry)

Knorr Chicken Select Base (dry base)

  • contains soy and milk, MSG

Knorr Chicken No MSG Added (dry base)

  • contains wheat and soy

Knorr Ultimate Chicken Base no MSG,  Roasted Chicken, and Low Sodium

  • contains wheat and soy

Knorr Ultimate Gourmet Edge Chicken Base

  • contains milk

Knorr Chicken Bouillon

  • gluten-free, dairy free, contains MSG

MINOR’S (this is a brand used in the foodservice industry)

Minor’s Chicken Base

  • contains wheat gluten, soy, milk, MSG

Minor’s All Natural Chicken Base

  • gluten-free, contains milk

Minor’s Chicken Base no added MSG, and Low Sodium no added MSG

  • contains wheat, soy, milk

Minor’s Chicken Broth Concentrate

  • contains wheat

Minor’s Roasted Chicken Broth Concentrate

  • contains wheat and soy

PACIFIC FOODS**

Pacific Foods Natural Free Range Chicken Broth, Organic Low Sodium Chicken Broth, Organic Free Range Chicken Broth

  • gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, all natural ingredients
  • see Special Diet Reference for all their products

PROGRESSO

Progresso 100% Natural Chicken Broth and Reduced Sodium, 32 oz. box

  • gluten-free, dairy-free

SWANSON

Swanson’s Organic Free Range Chicken Broth, 32 oz. box

  • contains organic yeast extract, which according to the label contains wheat

Swanson’s Chicken Broth 99% Fat Free, 14 oz. can

  • gluten-free and dairy-free, but there is a lot of crap in it, including soy lecithin

Swanson’s Natural Goodness Chicken Broth 100% Fat Free Less Sodium, 48 oz. box or 49 oz. can

  • gluten-free, dairy-free and soy-free, not as much other stuff in it

Swanson’s Chicken Cooking Stock, 26 oz. broth

  • gluten-free, dairy-free and soy-free, more natural ingredients that other Swanson’s

SAFEWAY

Safeway Chicken Broth

  • contains soy protein, MSG

Safeway Chicken Broth Fat Free Reduced Sodium, various sizes

  • 49.5 oz. can contains soy protein, 14 oz. can and 32 oz. box don’t

O Brand Organic Chicken Broth, 32 oz. box

  • gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, more natural ingredients than Safeway brand

TRADER JOE’S

Trader Joe’s Chicken Broth

  • contains gluten (barley malt)

Trader Joe’s Organic Free Range Chicken Broth and Organic Low Sodium Chicken Broth

  • gluten-free
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