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Purely Decadent Dairy Free Ice Cream

March 3rd, 2010

EDIT: Please see the comments for this posting for a great explanation from Mark Clute of Turtle Mountain, and their assurance that their products are gluten free. We apologize for our assumption that their product caused problems for my wife.
Carton of Dairy Free Ice Cream
Well after finishing the carton of Purely Decadent Dairy Free Ice Cream I purchased, I think I realized what may be making me sick. I thought it was the chai I was drinking, but is it this lovely carton of ice cream that is organic and seemingly gluten-free? Apparently the Organic Brown Rice Syrup, can be made through a fermentation process in which barley is sometimes added. See this posting Is Brown Rice Syrup Really Gluten-Free? by Liz Schau

The food labels are so confusing. The FDA definitely needs to better regulate these food labels. For now here is a list of ingredients to avoid at Celiac.com

Update: This posting was revised on March 4, 2010 in response to a comment by Gabriella. She was nice enough to post a web address to the allergy information on the products made by the company, Turtle Mountain, the maker of Purely Decadent. There is now a link directly to their listing of gluten-free products on the recommendations page.

I originally verified this product for being gluten-free by using the online database, Zeer.com. They identify the Brown Rice Syrup as potentially containing gluten.

I picked up another carton of the Purely Decadent Peanut Butter Zig Zig today at the store. Last night when I ate a cup of this ice cream, I did not suffer from an upset stomach, so I am back to believing that it is was the organic chai, or perhaps my stomach wasn’t ready for the whole milk I mixed in the chai. This is all very confusing to me and any further recommendations about going gluten-free would be greatly appreciated.

Update: On March 9, 2010 a comment was received from the quality control manager at Turtle Mountain, the manufacturer of this product. He has explained that Turtle Mountain has never used Brown Rice Syrup in this product, and instead uses Tapioca Syrup. This is an “and/or” statement on the list of ingredients. Click on the comments link to see his full remarks about the product.

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  1. Gabriella
    March 4th, 2010 at 12:02 | #1

    My son has Celiac disease and cannot tolerate any gluten at all in his diet. Turtle Mountain is rigorous about undeclared allergens not ending up in their products, and our family has come to trust them to insure that no gluten ends up in any of the gluten-free products we give to our son. Perhaps you are sensitive to some other ingredient in the product, or perhaps you did not choose a gluten-free flavor. (Not all of the Purely Decadent flavors are gluten-free.) To be sure the flavor you choose is gluten-free, you can check the allergen id table at the company’s website here: http://turtlemountain.com/health/allergies.html

  2. March 4th, 2010 at 12:16 | #2

    Thanks! My wife just started her gluten-free diet, so information like this is invaluable!

  3. March 4th, 2010 at 19:13 | #3

    Thanks Gabriella for the information. I have been having a rough week trying to figure things out. There are so many things that seem to be controversial. Is it safe to eat oats? What about the brown rice syrup? I am just really confused. I do like the ice cream, I was just mad it seemed to be something else I couldn’t eat.

  4. March 7th, 2010 at 19:45 | #4

    Thanks for sharing this post, and for linking my article on brown rice syrup. There is always a chance of possible gluten contamination in any processed food, and so becoming familiar with the product and the company is so important. Brown rice syrup will not always be processed from gluten sources, but sometimes it is, and it is best for sensitive people to be aware.

    Thanks for the great information!

  5. Mark Clute
    March 9th, 2010 at 15:50 | #5

    Hi Kelly: I am very sorry to hear that you got sick, but the cause of your sickness could not have been from the Turtle Mountain Ice Cream shown in the picture for the following reasons:

    1. Turtle Mountain does not use brown rice syrup in their products. The label is set up to provide an option during manufacturing to use either the tapioca syrup or brown rice syrup. This decision is based on the availability and cost of the two raw materials but due to an abundant supply of organic tapioca syrup and its relative price Turtle Mountain has never had to purchase any brown rice syrup. This type of labeling is akin to baked goods labels that have oil listings such as “contains soybean oil and/or safflower and/or canola oil.” When dealing with commodities that are functionally interchangeable it makes good manufacturing sense to label in this manner.

    2. Turtle Mountain maintains an exceptional allergen prevention and cross-contamination program. This involves testing of the rinse water between products that contain allergens to validate the cleanliness of the system and testing of the first product through the system and the finished goods.

    3. Turtle Mountain identifies possible allergen risks within their ingredients prior to use, and where necessary, mandates that the supplier test on a lot-by-lot basis the ingredient to ensure that it is allergen free. Subsequently, when ingredients are received they are validated to make certain that the suppliers testing has been completed as required. This is done either through a Certificate of Analysis program, an allergen test validation, or both.

    All of Turtle Mountain’s products are clearly labeled with the allergens contained therein. If the container says that it is gluten free, you can rest assured that it is and subsequently feel free to eat it safely.

    Please feel free to contact me, if you have any further questions or concerns.

    Mark Clute
    Quality Control Manager
    Turtle Mountain, LLC

  6. March 11th, 2010 at 12:33 | #6

    @Mark Clute
    Mark, Thank you very much for the follow up. I apologize for jumping to conclusions, starting the gluten-free diet has been very hard on my wife figuring out what to eat, and finding out what she react to. It’s great to know your company takes this so seriously, and we will be trying your products in the future.

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