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Does Trader Joe’s Gluten-Free Flour Have Xanthan Gum? (Answered)

Does Trader Joe’s Gluten-Free Flour Have Xanthan Gum

Regular flour at Trader Joe’s contains wheat, which is not gluten-free friendly- so how do gluten-free Trader Joe’s customers create tasty baked goods? 

Trader Joe’s takes customers’ needs and desires to heart, such as the desire for quality gluten-free products. They utilize products with and without xanthan gum, a known gluten-free binder for baked goods. They also use starches instead of xanthan gum, sometimes in their gluten-free flour.

Trader Joe’s is a neighborhood-style grocery store that prioritizes customers- but do they understand what type of gluten-free flour their customers want? In the rest of this article, we’ll be breaking down all things xanthan gum with Trader Joe’s. 

Understanding Gluten-Free Flour and Xanthan Gum

What is Gluten-Free Flour Used For?

Gluten-free flour has no wheat, rye, or barley in it. Gluten-free flour is usually finer than regular flour, requiring more liquid for baking. 

Those who have gluten intolerances use gluten-free flour. 

What is Xanthan Gum?

Xanthan gum is a complex sugar. It’s a food additive created through fermentation. Aside from being used in cooking, it’s also in household objects like cosmetics. 

In baking, it acts as a food-thickening agent and a stabilizer. Xanthan gum can do this because it is a hydrocolloid, which binds water and forms a gel-like consistency. 

Benefits of Xanthan Gum in Gluten-Free Baking

Xanthan gum is a popular additive in flour for gluten-free baking because:

  • It prevents the baked goods from being too crumbly
  • It improves the texture
  • It holds the baked goods together

The wheat in flour helps bind ingredients together- without it, everything crumbles. Xanthan gum is a binder. That’s why your flour needs to have something like the xanthan gum in it when baking gluten-free. 

Trader Joe’s Gluten-Free Flour

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Trader Joe’s gave gluten-free shoppers a reason to celebrate when they released their first gluten-free flour products to the shelves in 2013. It has remained a staple for many Trader Joe’s shoppers. 

How It’s Made and Packaged

Trader Joe’s makes gluten-free flour in a nut-free facility with equipment only for gluten-free products. 

The company is very strict when it comes to its allergen control program. They ensure high-quality cleanliness in all of their associated vendors to prevent contamination. 

Labeling and Ingredient Information

Every Trader Joe’s Gluten Free All Purpose Flour bag averages 3.3 cups of flour or 15 servings at ¼ cup per serving. 

Here is a list of all utilized ingredients inside Trader Joe’s Gluten Free All Purpose Flour:

  • Brown rice flour
  • Potato starch
  • White rice flour
  • Tapioca starch

To check the current price and availability of Gluten Free Flour, click here to view the selection on Amazon.

Is there Xanthan Gum in Trader Joe’s Flour?

When Trader Joe’s first introduced their Gluten-free flour in 2013, it did not contain xanthan gum. However, in 2022, Reddit users complained about the company adding xanthan to their gluten-free flour. 

Generally, though, Trader Joe’s does not utilize xanthan gum in their original gluten-free flour product. Instead, the original recipe relies on starch to bind ingredients together when baking with their flour. 

Trader Joe’s uses a minimal amount of xanthan gum in most of their gluten-free products. They want to ensure the dough stays together without causing any change to taste or risks to health. 

Trader Joe’s Gluten Free White Bread has less than 2% if you’re looking for a product with minimal xanthan gum.

Is Xanthan Gum Safe in Gluten-Free Flour?

Xanthan gum has multiple uses, from flour to cosmetics and home decorating. It may seem unsafe to bake with the same substance used for pasting wallpaper. However, the FDA claims xanthan gum is a safe food additive.

But that does not mean there are no potential risks. Consuming too much xanthan gum can cause digestive issues. 

A study of people who consumed large amounts of xanthan gum showed these associated symptoms:

  • Gas
  • Altered bacteria in the gut
  • Increased bowel movements
  • Softer stool

Research is continuing about potential risks, but at this time, it appears only to affect the digestive system temporarily. 

Consuming Gluten-Free Flour Without Xanthan Gum

It is completely possible to avoid xanthan gum in your gluten-free flour. Always check the ingredients list first before purchasing. 

Customer favorite alternatives for flour without xanthan gum include King Arthur’s Multipurpose Flour and Bob Red Mill’s Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour.

Neither of these options is available at Trader Joe’s, so you must shop elsewhere to purchase them. 

Is Gluten-Free Flour Better with Xanthan Gum?

Whether or not gluten-free flour is better without xanthan gum comes down to personal preference. You may discover that you are intolerant to xanthan gum after experiencing stomach issues. It’s important to understand whether you can tolerate its presence. 

However, xanthan gum makes gluten-free baking much easier. It keeps your baked goods together and improves their texture. Most gluten-free bakers opt to use it. 

If you want control over how much xanthan gum is inside your recipes, you can purchase a separate package of xanthan gum and a bag of gluten-free flour that does not contain it- that way, you can add in the desired amount yourself. 

You can always find alternatives to xanthan gum in baking. There are a few recipes on the internet for homemade gluten-free flour without xanthan gum if you want to go to that amount of trouble. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Does All Gluten-Free Flour Have Xanthan Gum?

Not all gluten-free flour has xanthan gum. Some gluten-free flour products use potato starch and tapioca starch as binders instead. 

Final Thoughts

Most bakers use xanthan gum because it is easy, but the research is still lacking about the potential side effects it could cause- making many others hesitate. It also causes a lot of stomach discomfort if too much is consumed. 

Trader Joe’s Gluten Free All Purpose Flour originally did not contain xanthan gum. However, it recently changed the recipe, and most of its other gluten-free products contain amounts of xanthan gum. 

If you want to avoid xanthan gum in your baked goods or have control over the amount, your best option is to opt for a substitute closer to Trader Joe’s original gluten-free flour product, such as King Arthur’s Multipurpose Flour. 


Shane is a fitness enthusiast who also has a passion for trying and cooking new foods. His favorite stores to shop at include Trader Joe's, Wholefoods Market, Sprouts, Stater Brothers, and Target.

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