Like many who have Coeliac Disease, I have been taking comfort in the fact that items, once checked and established as definitely 'gluten free' are a comfort when I'm out shopping. In otherwords, I can happily go along and pick them up and place them into my basket or trolley without an added care in the world. This is the daydream and misapprehension that I was up until yesterday happily living under. The only time I had been scanning labels for problems and issues of items containing some form of gluten was if I was purchasing something new, different, out of the ordinary and never purchased before.
How wrong could I have been?!!
For yesterday, I had eaten just a banana and a boiled egg - I knew that both those were perfectly harmless. I had felt a little sniffle coming on - didn't want to catch a cold, as who would? So I took a Vitamin C tablet. I had recently purchased the same bottle that I had had before: it states on the label - No Artificial Colours or Flavours. No Starch,No Milk, No Lactose, No Soya, No Gluten, No Wheat, No Yeast, No Fish, No Porcine.
About an hour after I had munched one - my tummy swelled up - I had swallowed a football! I had turned into Winnie the Pooh! I had been blown up with a air pump! Then I began to get gripes, twinges of pain a feeling of twisting inside followed by a nauseous wave and finally a headache. So I went through the ingredientsm, whatever could have been causing the problem? Then I found it Maltodextrin (but wait a moment - maltodextrin is safe if the product is manufactured in the US, isn't it - the information tells us that wherever we look? This, apparently was made in the US so why the problem? Well those of you who know me will know that I had to investigate further - after all, when something makes you feel ill then it deserves full investigation so I put my Miss Marple hat on and began searching for coeliacs and problems concerning US manufactured maltodextrin.
I found this, which so far is the only explanation I could find - but if any of you have further information please do add it to this post so that everyone else can share the benefits.
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"(1) Maltodextrin, when listed on food sold in the USA, must be (per FDA regulation) made from corn or potato. This rule does NOT apply to vitamin or mineral supplements and medications."
"The interesting thing about maltodextrin for many commercial food manufacturers is that unlike other starch sweeteners, "maltodextrin" (the word by itself) can be used in your ingredient list regardless of the original source of starch."
So the only conclusion that I can come to - as I continue to have a slight headache and a tummy that feels as though a hedgehog family has spent the night in it - is that the source of the maltodextrin used in the vitamin appears to have been made from something other than corn or potato.
So NOTE TO SELF - and possibly to others assuming that if they purchase something on a regular basis it will continue to pose no problem: ALWAYS CHECK THE LIST OF INGREDIENTS AND BE CAUTIOUS ABOUT THINGS THAT COULD POSE A RISK!