Are Doritos Gluten-Free?

The short answer: no, most Doritos are not gluten-free. 

Doritos are tortilla chips, which means that the chip itself is mostly made out of corn flour and then flavored with a variety of spices. Unlike many other kinds of grain, corn does not inherently contain gluten. However, Doritos also come in a wide variety of forms and flavors, and some are manufactured differently than others. Most pertinently, most flavors of Doritos are manufactured in plants that also process other products that do contain gluten. So because of this, the gluten content in each chip can vary depending on which flavor you’re eating. 

In fact, as of now, only one kind of Doritos chip can be labeled as gluten-free per the FDA. 

Gluten-free Doritos

According to Frito-Lay, the parent company of Doritos, the only certified gluten-free Doritos option is the DORITOS®️ Simply Organic White Cheddar Flavored Tortilla Chips. 

The Simply Organic White Cheddar Doritos are the only Doritos variety that is guaranteed to contain less than 20 ppm (parts per million) of gluten, which is the cutoff for foods to get the FDA Gluten Free Food Labeling Final Rule. All other Doritos, while not inherently made with ingedients containing gluten, can’t be guaranteed to be safe for consumption if you can’t have gluten. 

Another note: while 20 ppm of gluten is minimal enough to be considered gluten-free by the FDA and is an amount that has been scientifically determined to be safe for most people with celiac disease, you should still exercise caution since it may still contain trace amounts of gluten protein.

It’s also important to consider that this ruling only applies to Doritos products that are distributed in the United States. Other Doritos products sold in other countries might use slightly different ingredients and recipes, which can alter the gluten content. When in doubt, look for a “gluten-free” label on the packaging. 

Doritos that are not gluten-free

Unfortunately, this means that all other Doritos are not currently guaranteed to be gluten-free, and should be avoided if you have a gluten intolerance. While the listed chips themselves aren’t made with ingredients that contain gluten, including barley, wheat, and rye, they are at risk of cross-contamination due to manufacturing practices. Unfortunately, this means that you may need to rule them out at your next snacktime or gathering to avoid any health issues. 

The Doritos flavors that currently aren’t guaranteed to be gluten-free include: 

  • DORITOS®️ Flamin’ Hot®️ Cool Ranch®️
  • Doritos 3D Crunchy Flavored Corn Snacks Spicy Ranch Flavored 
  • Doritos 3D Crunch Corn Snacks Chili Cheese Nacho Flavored
  • DORITOS®️ Flamin’ Hot®️ Nacho Flavored Tortilla Chips 
  • DORITOS®️ Flamin’ Hot®️ Limon Flavored Tortilla Chips 
  • DORITOS®️ Nacho Cheese Flavored Tortilla Chips 
  • DORITOS®️ Cool Ranch®️ Flavored Tortilla Chips
  • DORITOS®️ Spicy Sweet Chili Flavored Tortilla Chips 
  • DORITOS®️ DINAMITA®️ Chile Limon Flavored Rolled Tortilla Chips 
  • DORITOS®️ Spicy Nacho Flavored Tortilla Chips 
  • DORITOS®️ FLAMAS®️ Flavored Tortilla Chips 
  • DORITOS®️ Salsa Verde Flavored Tortilla Chips 
  • DORITOS®️ TAPATIO®️ Flavored Tortilla Chips 

Again, these chips are not inherently made with ingredients that contain gluten, but the risk of cross-contamination from other products made in the same plant means that they aren’t necessarily safe to eat when you have a gluten intolerance or Celiac disease. 

What should gluten-intolerant people consider?

Doritos chips are a staple for savory, crunch-loving snackers throughout the country. The iconic flavored tortilla chip brand is known for its bold flavors and irresistible crunch, making it the perfect casual option for parties, get-togethers, or anytime snacking. Whether you’re going to a chill hang with your friends or celebrating the Super Bowl with a major bash, you’re almost guaranteed to see Doritos offered amongst the grazing options! 

But if you’re dealing with gluten intolerance or a serious condition like Celiac disease that dictates that you can’t have gluten, you will need to avoid consuming Doritos.

What should non gluten-intolerant people know about gluten?

Gluten is a type of protein that is found in certain kinds of grains including barley, wheat, and rye. This protein helps form the structure of many different foods like bread, allowing doughs to rise and “stretch” rather than tear apart. 

Contrary to popular belief, gluten in and of itself is not necessarily a bad thing. In fact, in the absence of a medical condition like a gluten intolerance or wheat allergy, there isn’t a ton of evidence to suggest that you should avoid gluten in the first place. 

But with that said, there are certain subgroups of people whose bodies cannot tolerate gluten consumption. 

Why you might want to avoid gluten

Gluten can cause adverse reactions in people who have medical conditions that hinder them from being able to properly digest it. For example, some people suffer from gluten sensitivity, otherwise known as a gluten intolerance. If they eat gluten, they might experience uncomfortable health issues like tiredness, nausea, headaches, or bloating. Some people with gluten intolerances also report experiencing other symptoms like “brain fog,” depression, diarrhea, constipation, or joint pain. 

Celiac disease is another serious issue that can make some people react badly to gluten. Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder that’s triggered by the ingestion of gluten. If someone with celiac disease accidentally consumes gluten, their immune system views it as a threat and initiates an inflammatory reaction. Unfortunately, this inflammation can damage the small intestine and ultimately lead to long-term digestion issues and even malnutrition as your intestine struggles to absorb nutrients. 

In cases like these, the best way to avoid a reaction and subsequent is to avoid eating gluten in the first place. 

The final verdict: Are Doritos safe to eat if you’re gluten-free? 

Most Doritos flavors aren’t gluten-free; the only one that does earn the gluten-free label is the Simply White Organic Cheddar Doritos. Even though Doritos aren’t normally made with ingredients that naturally contain gluten, potential cross-contamination with other products means that the Simply Organic White Cheddar Doritos are the only Doritos option that is guaranteed to have fewer than 20 ppm of gluten.

Even still, they may still contain trace amounts of gluten protein, so it’s best to exercise caution and maybe think about trying a different brand of tortilla chips once snacktime comes around. 

Photo by Tamas Pap on Unsplash


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