(Healthline) – Wiggly and jiggly, jello is a popular jelly-like dessert that’s enjoyed worldwide.
It’s often served for dessert in schools and hospitals, but many people also eat it as a low calorie treat.
That said, if you or someone you know has trouble digesting gluten, you may wonder whether jello is compatible with a gluten-free diet.
This article tells you whether jello is gluten-free and provides a gluten-free jello recipe you can make at home.
Gluten-free or not?
While many companies manufacture jello, the name “Jell-O” is a registered trademark of Kraft Foods Group, Inc. and includes jello, pudding, and other dessert products. The term “jello” refers to the gelatin-based dessert.
You can purchase premade jello in individual cups or prepare it yourself using a packaged powder. Regardless, the ingredients are often the same.
Jello’s main ingredient is gelatin, which is derived from a protein called collagen and found in the skin, joints, ligaments, and bones of animals. Usually, gelatin comes from pigs or cows, making it unsuitable for those who avoid pork-based products (1Trusted Source).
Other ingredients include sugar, artificial colors and flavors, and adipic and fumaric acid, which help improve the taste, texture, and quality of the product.
While none of these ingredients contain gluten, many companies avoid certifying their jello products as gluten-free, as it’s often produced in a factory that may contain gluten-containing products or traces of gluten (2Trusted Source).
Therefore, while the ingredients in jello are gluten-free, it’s rarely made in a gluten-free facility.
How to select a gluten-free jello
To ensure that your jello is gluten-free, be sure to look for a gluten-free claim on the package. If you cannot find one, you may risk consuming trace amounts of gluten.
The best way to ensure your jello is gluten-free is to make it yourself. Doing so is easy and involves very few ingredients.
To make gluten-free jello, you need:
2 tablespoons (30 ml) of gluten-free gelatin
1–2 cups (250–500 ml) of 100% fruit juice or fruit purée
1 cup (250 ml) of water
sugar, stevia, or gluten-free sweetener to taste
Start by adding 1/2 cup (125 ml) of fruit juice to a saucepan and warming it over low heat. Then add 2 tablespoons (30 ml) of gelatin and stir well. Once it’s completely dissolved, remove it from heat and allow it to sit for 2 minutes.
Add the remaining juice and water to the mixture and stir well. If you want to make it sweeter, gradually add small amounts of sugar or a gluten-free sweetener until you have reached your desired sweetness.
Finally, add the mixture to a bowl or mold. Cover it with a lid or plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator for at least 3–4 hours.
The bottom line
Jello contains gelatin, sugar, and other preservatives that are naturally gluten-free. Therefore, jello is technically a gluten-free dessert.
However, premade jello products are commonly made in facilities that produce gluten-containing products. As a result, most companies do not guarantee that their jello is gluten-free.
If you’re looking for gluten-free jello, try making it at home. Doing so is easy, fun, and ensures your product is free of gluten.