Thai Kitchen Sweet Red Chili Sauce

I’ve used Thai Kitchen for years. They have a number of very tasty products labeled gluten free. One such product I have used for years is their Sweet Red Chili Sauce. It’s fantastic in stir fries, but I’m going to have to find another brand for that item now; or figure out a homemade one.

Recently I noticed glucose syrup was listed as an ingredient. I think the formula must have changed because I wouldn’t have used it before if I’d seen that in there. Why? Because far too often, glucose syrup is derived from wheat. Or barley every now and then.  And “from wheat/barley” products never have a good end result for me. For the record, they’re owned by McCormick, and McCormick is not an easy company to get answers from.

So before I used it, I sent an e-mail to Thai Kitchen.

What I wrote: I need to know what the glucose syrup source is, please, so that I can decide if this product is safe for me. (Keep in mind I didn’t specify that I needed to know if gluten was the source, because I wanted to see what they’d say. And there are things I am actually allergic to, on top of having Celiac Disease; like wheat, gluten removed or not.)


What I got back:

Thanks for reaching out about our Thai Kitchen Sweet Red Chili Dipping Sauce.

We disclose major allergens on our ingredient listing, but we understand that many individuals have sensitivities to other ingredients. While a complete ingredient listing is proprietary, if there a specific ingredient you have an allergy to, we can let you know if it is present in the product.

Thai Kitchen Sweet Red Chili Dipping Sauce does not contain gluten. Gluten and gluten products, when present, will always be declared on the product label by the common name of the gluten source such as “barley”, “wheat”, “rye”, “oats” or “triticale”.

It is important that you read the ingredient statement on your package at the time of purchase to ensure accurate, up to date information.

Our facilities have allergen, sanitation, and hygiene programs in place. Our employees follow good manufacturing practices and are trained in the importance of correct labeling and the necessity of performing thorough equipment clean-up and change over procedures to minimize cross-contact of ingredients.

If any product has a Gluten-Free claim, the product and the manufacturing line has been validated Gluten-Free.

If we can be of further assistance, please feel free to reply by email or call us at 1-800-967-8424 between the hours of 9:00 am and 7:00 pm, Monday – Friday EST. We hope to have the continued pleasure of serving you.

Sincerely,

Gozel
Consumer Affairs Specialist


Italic emphasis is mine. What I got out of this:

  1. Read the label every time because formulations change at any given time. Surprise!
  2. They say they’ll list if gluten is a source, but refer back to the problem with point #1. Also, they were EXTREMELY resistant on refusing to tell me what the glucose syrup is actually from, which tells me that it is very likely to be wheat or barley, and there’s some reason they don’t want to tell their customers this.
  3. When will companies learn that you cannot sanitize away gluten? And that it’s not an allergen for Celiacs?
  4. Minimize – not avoid.
  5. Validated by whom?

What I replied:
I just want to know what grain your glucose syrup is sourced from. I have too many no-go-foods to try to list them all. I am not asking for a complete ingredient list, I am ONLY asking to know the source of the glucose syrup. There are more than the top 8 allergens that people have issues with. Many companies put glucose syrup (wheat), or glucose syrup (corn), etc; that information should not be proprietary.

When you tell me it is proprietary instead of answering, it does raise red flags, however. Transparency with autoimmune diseases and allergies is EVERYTHING.

In my experience GMP is not Celiac safe.  Have learned this the hard way. And I have friends with other issues that said they’ve gotten sick by companies using GMP and thinking it’s good enough.

Validated gluten-free by whom?


What I got back:

Thanks for reaching out about our Thai Kitchen Sweet Red Chili Dipping Sauce.

Please be advised that 3762801055 (US) – Thai Kitchen Sweet Red Chili Dipping Sauce was not formulated to contain gluten in it. This includes the glucose syrup that is present in our product.

If we can be of further assistance, please feel free to reply by email or call us at 1-800-967-8424 between the hours of 9:00 am and 7:00 pm, Monday – Friday EST. We hope to have the continued pleasure of serving you.

Sincerely,

Gozel
Consumer Affairs Specialist


Okay, sure…. but as many of us have learned the hard way, “not formulated to contain gluten,” can far too often mean, “we started with gluten but we think we took it all out”.

What I replied:

You’re still refusing to be transparent about the source of the glucose syrup. I’m not asking for your full ingredient listing or amounts. I’m not trying to recreate your product. I am simply trying to determine if it is safe for me to keep using it or if I should throw away the unopened bottle that I have in my possession. You said you can’t give a full ingredient list. I have made it very clear that is not what I asked for.

Further assistance? You have yet to assist me.

Nearly all glucose syrup IS sourced from gluten, for the record, and companies believe, wrongly, that the gluten can be distilled or hydrolyzed out. Celiac insides will disagree strongly with this assessment. Gluten-removed is not gluten free.

And like I said, gluten isn’t my only concern, and there are way too many to list.

I simply want to know what the glucose syrup is created from?

Or should I post everywhere that Thai Kitchen won’t come clean about their ingredient source when asked by someone who genuinely wanted to know if it was safe to eat? Frankly, I don’t remember glucose syrup being an ingredient in past years, because it is an ingredient I strive to avoid because of its questionable origins.


I waited for 5 days (they’d been responding within hours or so before). No response. So clearly they decided this wasn’t worth their time any more, so here’s the post about it! Has anyone else tried to get Thai Kitchen to reveal the source of their glucose syrup? What was your experience?

And yes, now I’m suspicious about all of their gluten free products…

Subscribe to Comment Notifications
Notify of
guest
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments