Gluten-Free Potato Chips (Updated May 2016)

These potato chips are free of questionable ingredients and cross-contamination

bag of potato chips
You need gluten-free potato chips. Roderick Chen / Getty Images

Potato chips ought to be naturally gluten-free — after all, they're made with potatoes, right? Unfortunately, it doesn't always work that way in practice, since some brands of chips contain gluten ingredients, while others are subject to gluten cross-contamination in production.

Fortunately, there are multiple options for gluten-free potato chips, many of which you'll likely find at your local grocery store.

We're not quite at the point where it's possible to grab just any bag of potato chips and assume it's gluten-free, though, so read on to determine which brands are safest.

Potato Chips That Are Reliably Gluten-Free

These snack food brands either certify their products as gluten-free, label them "gluten-free," or provide a list of products they consider to be gluten-free.

• Cape Cod potato chips. The company that makes these chips, a subsidiary of Snyder's-Lance, actually is headquartered on Cape Cod and offers factory tours. The chips themselves are marked "gluten-free," which means they meet the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's standard of fewer than 20 parts per million of gluten.

• Eatsmart Naturals potato chips. Eatsmart Naturals produces one certified gluten-free potato chip — its Garden Veggie Crisps. The brand, owned by Snyder's of Hanover, also makes a variety of other potato chip products that don't contain gluten ingredients, but aren't guaranteed to be gluten-free.

• Food Should Taste Good chips. Food Should Taste Good holds gluten-free certification for all its chips (including gluten-free tortilla chips and gluten-free multigrain chips in addition to potato chips) through the Gluten-Free Certification Organization (GFCO), which tests to make certain products contain less than 10 parts per million of gluten.

Its gluten-free potato chip flavors include sweet potato, barbecue sweet potato, salt and pepper sweet potato, and salt and vinegar sweet potato chips. Food Should Taste Good produces both full-sized bags and snack bags; the latter make great additions to school lunches.

• Frito-Lay Brand potato chips. In 2011, Frito-Lay began testing its products for gluten, and reports that the products on this list, including many Lays, Ruffles, and Stax potato chip flavors, contain less than 20 parts per million of gluten. Other products, including many flavored chips, contain no gluten ingredients but may be manufactured on the same lines as gluten products, and aren't tested to see if they meet the 20 parts per million gluten standard. Definitely exercise some caution when choosing Frito-Lay chips — while they're readily available almost everywhere, many people (both sensitive and not so sensitive) have reported getting glutened from them.

• Garden of Eatin' potato chips. This brand, a subsidiary of the Hain Celestial Group, marks some — but not all — of its products gluten-free.

They should meet the minimum FDA standard of fewer than 20 parts per million of gluten. Be aware that the "gluten-free"-labeled products most likely are produced in the same facility as gluten-containing products, including Garden of Eatin' multi-grain chips, which contain both wheat and barley and are obviously not gluten-free. Before buying Garden of Eatin' products, always check the packaging, both to look for the "gluten-free" symbol and to make sure there are no suspect ingredients listed.

• Kettle Brand potato chips. All Kettle brand potato chips are certified gluten-free by the GFCO and are processed in a gluten-free environment, according to the company's gluten statement. That includes the company's Kettle Brand baked, reduced fat, organic, and krinkle cut potato chips. Kettle Brand TIAS, meanwhile, don't contain gluten ingredients but are processed in a shared facility and have a risk of cross-contamination. (Avoid Kettle Brand nut butters — they're processed on shared equipment.) You can purchase Kettle's gluten-free potato chips in regular-sized bags and in snack-sized bags, too. I buy these for my family, and I've had good luck finding them in the natural/health food section of my regular supermarket (as opposed to the regular snack/chip section).

• POPchips potato chips. POPchips "pops" its potato chips as opposed to baking or frying them, which allows them to contain a lot less oil than regular potato chips. As of February 2013, all the company's chips are certified gluten-free (just make sure not to pick up a really old bag — only products with a "best by" date of August 2012 or later are certified). POPchips offers seven flavors, including original, sour cream and onion, barbeque, sea salt and vinegar, sweet potato, parmesan and garlic, and jalapeno. Some of the chips contain dairy ingredients, but none contain soy, according to the company.

• Terra potato chips. All chips made by Terra (a Hain Celestial company) are now marked "gluten-free," indicating they meet the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's less than 20 parts per million of gluten standard. Options include regular potato chips, sweet potato chips, a wide variety of vegetable chips (think taro, parsnip, and yuka), and flavors that range from basic salt and pepper to jalapeno chili. Although I haven't seen any Terra chips that aren't marked gluten-free, make sure any bag you're considering buying contains the "gluten-free" logo on the package.

• Utz potato chips. Utz brand snack chips maintains a list of products that meet the FDA's gluten-free standard. However, you should exercise caution with Utz products as some people report reactions to them. If you tend to be quite sensitive to trace gluten, stick with one of the certified gluten-free manufacturers.

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