Blue bag of Cool Ranch Doritos and Red Bag of Nacho Cheese Doritos.

Are Doritos Gluten-Free? (Plus, Certified GF Alternatives!)

It depends on the variety. While there is a long list of Doritos products with no gluten ingredients, currently only one Doritos variety (Simply Organic White Cheddar) is tested and labeled gluten-free.

And one product clearly contains wheat and is not gluten-free. Let’s dig into the details.

Gluten-Free (Tested, Validated & Labeled Gluten-Free)

Frito-Lay maintains a list of products that are tested and validated gluten-free. There is currently one Doritos variety on that list:

  • Doritos Simply Organic White Cheddar Flavored Tortilla Chips are Gluten Free!

Unlike the traditional flavors, the Organic White Cheddar version has the added bonus of no artificial flavors or colors.

Doritos Products with No Gluten Ingredients

The following Doritos chips do not contain gluten ingredients. However, they are not labeled gluten-free. They may be subject to cross-contact on shared lines, and Frito-Lay does not test to validate that they contain below 20 ppm of gluten. However, Frito-Lay thoroughly cleans equipment between production runs.

  • Doritos Nacho Cheese
  • Doritos Cool Ranch
  • Doritos Salsa Verde
  • Doritos Spicy Nacho
  • Doritos Poppin’ Jalapeño
  • Doritos Flamin’ Hot Nacho
  • Doritos Flamin’ Hot Cool Ranch
  • Doritos Flamin’ Hot Limón
  • Doritos Flamas
  • Doritos Tapatío
  • Doritos Taco Flavor
  • New! Doritos Dinamita Flamin’ Hot Queso
  • New! Doritos Dinamita Tangy Fiery Lime
  • New! Doritos Dinamita Smoky Chili Queso
  • New! Doritos Dinamita Hot Honey Mustard
  • New! Doritos Dinamita Chile Limón

This list was confirmed by a call with Frito-Lay as of the date of this article. You can call to verify the latest information regarding gluten-containing ingredients. The telephone number for Frito-Lay is (800) 352-4477. It only takes a few minutes, and the representatives I have spoken with have consistently been friendly and helpful. They have the information at their fingertips, so you can get an immediate answer without waiting days for a nutrition department contact to get back to you.

Doritos Product Containing Gluten

  • Doritos Spicy Sweet Chili Flavored Tortilla Chips (purple bag) contain wheat and are not gluten-free.

Certified Gluten-Free Doritos Alternatives

Not only are these dupes certified gluten-free, but many are cleaner products, leaving out things like red dye 40 and msg and using real ingredients. Some are vegan, kosher, or higher in proteins, and some taste just like Doritos.

Budget Option

For an affordable choice, Walmart’s Great Value Nacho Cheese & Garden Ranch Tortilla Chips are both labeled gluten-free.

Ingredients & Why I Called Frito-Lay

Here’s the ingredients list for the popular Doritos Nacho Cheese variety:

Corn, Vegetable Oil (Sunflower, Canola, and/or Corn Oil), Maltodextrin (Made From Corn), Salt, Cheddar Cheese (Milk, Cheese Cultures, Salt, Enzymes), Whey, Monosodium Glutamate, Buttermilk, Romano Cheese (Part-Skim Cow’s Milk, Cheese Cultures, Salt, Enzymes), Whey Protein Concentrate, Onion Powder, Corn Flour, Natural and Artificial Flavor, Dextrose, Tomato Powder, Lactose, Spices, Artificial Color (Including Yellow 6, Yellow 5, and Red 40), Lactic Acid, Citric Acid, Sugar, Garlic Powder, Skim Milk, Red And Green Bell Pepper Powder, Disodium Inosinate, And Disodium Guanylate. CONTAINS MILK INGREDIENTS.

Natural Flavor showed up repeatedly for all flavors of Doritos.

It’s important to understand gluten labeling laws, in order to see how there can be hidden gluten in this ingredient.

  • Gluten-free claims on food products are optional.
  • If a product label does make a gluten-free claim, it must meet the FDA standards for a gluten-free product.
  • Top 9 allergens declarations are mandatory and must be properly labeled on any product containing a top 9 allergen. Wheat is a top 9 allergen. Barley and rye are not, and do not have to be declared on the product label.
  • Therefore, a product without a gluten-free claim has to declare all wheat ingredients, but it does not have to delare barley and rye. (If this bothers you as much as it bothers me, support the Food Labeling Modernization Act.)
  • “Natural flavor” can mean there is hidden malt derived from barley.

If a product is not labeled gluten-free, “natural flavor” on the ingredient list requires getting additional information from the manufacturer’s website or by calling/emailing customer service.

Celiac Considerations

Eating a product made on shared lines and with no gluten-free claim is a personal decision that each celiac makes every time we shop. Some facts to consider when making your decision about Doritos:

  • There is a risk of gluten cross-contamination for the Doritos products without a gluten-free claim.
  • Frito-Lay thoroughly cleans equipment between production runs.
  • Frito-Lay has one product that is tested and labeled gluten-free, offering one high-confidence option for shoppers with celiac disease.
  • There are similar gluten-free (some certified gluten-free) alternatives on the market.
  • There can be a mental health cost to an overly restrictive diet.

My personal decision: I don’t miss Doritos and am more than happy to eat the gluten-free Doritos alternatives. I frequently buy products that are made on shared lines (we all do, as this is rarely disclosed). However, when there are alternatives, I generally choose certified gluten-free or labeled gluten-free products over those with just “no gluten ingredients”. For me, the scales are tipped in favor of the gluten-free options. Plus, I like that the alternatives here are generally healthier products.

Would I let my daughter, who also has celiac disease, eat Doritos at a friend’s party? Probably, but she would choose gluten-free Flamin’ Hot Cheetos from the Party Pack!

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