by Jeanne Yacoubou, MS
VRG Research Director
Recently a reader contacted The VRG about the Texas BBQ Primal Strips, a meatless vegan jerky. The product label states that it’s gluten-free, but he wondered how that could be when wheat was listed in the ingredients panel.
We contacted Primal Spirit Foods, creators of Primal Strips. Jill, a representative of the company, told us that the Texas BBQ and the Hickory Smoked Primal Strips have been gluten-free since last year. Labeling reflected this. The soy sauce used in the "gluten-free" formulations did contain wheat, and "wheat" was listed on the ingredients panel.
The company had samples of these two varieties of Primal Strips analyzed for gluten in March 2009. Testing by SGS revealed no gluten. Jill said that during the fermentation process of soy sauce production, "the gluten in the small amount of wheat used is transformed. The result is a gluten-free soy sauce."
However, since many people inquired about the labeling, Primal Spirit Foods decided to change to a “wheat-free / gluten-free” soy sauce. The change in ingredient formulation occurred six months ago. Consumers will most likely find older packages on store shelves showing "wheat" and "gluten-free" on the same package. Because the Primal Strips shelf life is seventeen months, some stores may still have it in stock and will sell it before restocking with the reformulated product in its new package. Jill predicted that it may be "another couple of months" before all stores carry only the newer packages showing both "gluten-free" and "gluten-free soy sauce" on the label.
Readers who have further questions or comments may contact Primal Spirit Foods at their website www.primalspiritfoods.com.
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