Is Cheese Whiz Gluten Free. What People With Celiac Should Know

  • Cheese Whiz is a vastly popular cheese sauce. 
  • Its key ingredient is dairy products, but there are many other ingredients and additives. 
  • Cheese Whiz is not labeled as gluten free, and it is possible to say if it has trace gluten.
  • The ingredients, as seen on Cheese Whiz’s label, are likely gluten free, but there’s no confirmation.

Is cheese whiz gluten free? This is the most important question you will ask all day, because no one can resist the whiz. That is a fact. But seriously, we noticed many people asking about it and we decided to create a deep guide about whether or not cheese whiz is gluten free.

We will also provide many more useful information about this product and give you some recipes to make your own. Let’s get to it.

Who doesn’t love some ooey gooey cheese dip with their chips, titbits, and veggies? To complement every kind of crunch, the creaminess of cheese sauce is necessary.

So, when that creamy cheese comes in a bottle, ready to pour, heat, and serve, this heart does a little dance of joy. Among the store-bought cheese sauces in the market, Cheez Whiz is one of the most popular. But is Cheez Whiz gluten free?   

The product does not bear a gluten free label, which means it is not tested or made in a certified gluten free environment.

If you look at the list of ingredients, you will notice that the product has some coloring and flavoring agents or ingredients, which may or may not contain gluten.

So, it is not possible to tell with certainty whether Cheez Whiz is free from gluten and is safe for gluten-intolerant people. 

Is Cheese Whiz Gluten Free – What is Cheese Whiz

is cheese whiz gluten free

Whether you snack on chips or serve tacos to guests, cheese sauce is indispensable. It’s delicious and rich – the ultimate dose of yumminess.

It brings a soul-soothing creamy balance to all things crispy and crunchy. But what do you do if you feel too lazy to make it? Store-bought cheese sauce like Cheez Whiz is the answer.

Cheez Whiz is a delicious cheese sauce that everyone loves. But does it contain gluten?   

Many store-bought sauces are loaded with thickeners and other additives that are naturally full of gluten. So it’s natural to wonder if Cheez Whiz, too, uses such thickeners.

Plus, there’s the question of other ingredients, preservatives, and flavoring and coloring agents. If you check the list of ingredients, you won’t find anything that looks gluten-rich. But we can’t assume they are gluten free ingredients.

For instance, Cheez Whiz contains added coloring and flavoring agents, Worcestershire sauce, maltodextrin, and modified starch. There are many variants of these products with traces of gluten, which can add gluten to Cheez Whiz.

The primary ingredients of Cheez Whiz are dairy products, which are free from gluten, but the other ingredients have the chance of adding gluten in small amounts.  

Cheez Whiz is a product by Kraft Foods, a brand that mentions gluten products used in its products clearly on the label.

Based on that, one could assume that Cheez Whiz is gluten free, but it’s best not to go with such an assumption.

Usually, when you try to contact the customer care service of the company, you will not get any confirmation that the cheese sauce is made of gluten free ingredients only.  

Besides, there is always the possibility of cross-contamination. Traces of gluten get transferred to the sauce during manufacturing, storage, processing, or packaging of the sauce or any of its ingredients because of shared facilities. Cheez Whiz does not bear a “gluten free” label.

That means neither the final product nor the ingredients are tested. Its manufacturing facilities are also not tested or certified.

So, even though the label of the product does not mention any gluten-rich ingredient, it’s still not possible to conclude that Cheez Whiz is gluten free.

Patients with severe allergy conditions have reported that eating Cheez Whiz has made them ill, while others with mild levels of intolerance have not had problems.

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So, it’s better to try it in very small amounts only to test if your body reacts to it.

Ingredients in Cheez Whiz that Might Contain Gluten

Cheez Whiz, which is a product of Kraft Foods, does not have a mark of certification that it is gluten free.

But most celiac patients and gluten allergic people tend to trust the brand because it is known to reveal gluten products on the label.

Many food brands hide gluten sources under unfamiliar names. But Kraft is known to list out ingredients clearly. The label of Cheez Whiz lists out the ingredients used. 

Of the ingredients that go into making this delicious cheese sauce, nothing might seem harmful or gluten-rich. However, since Cheez Whiz is not tested or certified as gluten free, you need to be wary of certain ingredients that are present in this sauce.

These ingredients have the potential to contain gluten. The ingredients that might have gluten are as follows –

  1. Maltodextrin – Maltodextrin may be made from wheat, though the processing renders it gluten free. However, there’s still a possibility of trace gluten in maltodextrin. 
  2. Modified Food Starch – While most modified food starches available in the United States are gluten free, some variants may contain wheat.
  3. Worcestershire sauce – It is a mixture of many ingredients. This rich sauce may end up with gluten from vinegar, molasses, corn syrup, caramel sauce, etc.
  4. Added flavors and colors – Additives such as coloring or flavoring agents may contain gluten.

If any of these ingredients in Cheez Whiz were naturally gluten-rich, you’d expect the brand to mention it clearly. However, we can’t ignore the fact that – 

  • Cheez Whiz is not certified as gluten free, which means there’s no way to confirm that these are naturally gluten free and free from cross-contamination. 
  • It’s not possible to tell if and when the formulation of the product has changed and whether the company is sourcing only gluten free products to make the sauce.
  • We cannot get confirmation from their representatives or customer care executives that the sauce or its ingredients are gluten free and made in a safe facility. 
  • It has reportedly triggered allergic reactions in a few people with severe allergy or celiac condition, causing them to fall ill. 

However, it is also to be noted that a large number of people with celiac disease or gluten allergy trust Kraft Foods.

They enjoy Cheez Whiz without falling ill at all. So, as we say about all products that don’t have gluten ingredients on the label – make sure to test the product first by consuming only a small amount of it to see how your body reacts to the sauce, and do so if you are not severely sensitive.

Cross-Contamination in Cheez Whiz

As we have mentioned above, the absence of the “gluten free” seal on the package of Cheez Whiz says that the final sauce and its ingredients are not tested, and the facilities used for manufacturing, storing, processing, and packaging are not certified either.

So, shared facilities are a possibility, which means that the sauce or its ingredients can end up with trace gluten due to unintentional contact with gluten.

This kind of cross-contamination may take place at any level. Cross-contamination may leave small traces of gluten in Cheez Whiz, and there’s no way to tell if the amount of gluten present in this cheese sauce is below the permitted level of 20 ppm.

Apart from this, cross-contamination is also a possibility at home, if you dip a spoon or spreading knife for spreading the sauce on gluten foods into the sauce. 

It is essential to maintain a separate set of storage containers and spreading knives for gluten free products so that cross-contamination does not affect the cheese sauce – or any other food that is consumed by everyone in the family, whether or not they have an allergy.

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Sometimes, when we unknowingly end up leaving trace gluten in our foods, but it is easy to prevent such cross-contamination.

A Little more about Cheez Whiz

Cheez Whiz is a popular name in the world of bottled cheese sauces, which, frankly, are the answer to every lazy cheese lover’s woeful prayers to Lord Cheesus Christ.

Cheez Whiz sits on the shelves of all local stores, waiting for you to pick a product from its wide range of flavors.

You simply need to drizzle it over any boring food, and by the grace of His Cheesiness, it will instantly be transformed into “delicious”.    

In the early days of Cheez Whiz, its main content was real cheese, though highly processed. Interestingly, Cheez Whiz isn’t just another accidental invention like the Nacho cheese or a homely product that went big.

It was developed in the lab by food scientist Edwin Traisman and his team at Kraft. The dream was to prevent people from wasting precious time and energy in peeling plastic covers from cheese slices. 

The product was first advertised in 1952 in Britain as a liquid cheese that could replace cheddar on the toast slice in their favorite Welsh Rarebit.

The pre-melted cheese became an instant hit with the Brits who didn’t like the arduous process of melting cheddar on toast. Later that year, Cheez Whiz came to the US market and was welcomed by the cheese-lovers of the United States with grand love. 

Since then, the formula of Cheez Whiz has undergone changes. But the biggest change was when they removed the cheese. While the base of the product is still dairy, it is actually whey protein, a milk byproduct.

The yellow cheesiness comes from additives like flavoring or coloring agents. But it’s considered a “healthy junk food” due to the presence of CLA, an acid that burns fat and builds muscles.  

Cheez Whiz Alternative Brands that are Gluten Free 

Are you not ready to experiment with your health by testing Kraft’s Cheez Whiz? Have you already tested it, and the result has not made you happy?

No, it doesn’t mean that you have to give up on the miracle of ready-to-serve cheese sauce that comes in a bottle.

Fortunately, there are some other cheese sauce options available in the market. These declare their gluten free status proudly, and they’re safe for you. 

Here’s a list of the gluten free cheese sauce brands that you can try – 

Ricos 

This brand is the name behind America’s beloved nacho cheese, and it also has a wide range of cheese sauces. Ricos’ website clearly states that all its cheese sauces are free from gluten, making them safe.

Schwartz

is cheese whiz gluten free
via tesco

Schwartz is for the picky shoppers who don’t touch products without a “gluten free” seal. You can’t miss the seal on its gluten free Cheese Sauce’s box. Be careful, though. Its other pour-over sauces have gluten.  

El Mexicano

Another popular choice of cheese sauce for people with gluten intolerance and celiac disease is the El Mexicano nacho cheese sauce. The company’s website distinctly states that its products are gluten free.

There are other brands of cheese sauces, too, that are made from gluten free ingredients. It is important to do a little research about your favorite cheese sauce brands before purchasing them.

You should also check the list of ingredients to figure out if gluten features on it. Testing the sauces is essential to find out how your body reacts to it. But the best idea is to look for labels and confirmation from the brand.     

Homemade Cheese Sauce Recipes

Store-bought cheese sauces are quick and fun, but you can’t deny that making cheese sauce at home is a much healthier option.

This way, you can ensure that not a single questionable ingredient goes into your favorite sauce. You can douse every snack, every boring food item with homemade cheese sauce without worrying about repercussions.

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Check out the following recipes to substitute Cheez Whiz.  

Homemade Cheez Whiz Recipe

is cheese whiz gluten free
Illustration image only, recipe will look different

Let’s start with the recipe for a wholesome sauce recipe with the goodness of real cheese. You will love it!

Ingredients:

  • Cornstarch – 1 tsp
  • Kosher salt – ¼ tsp
  • Garlic powder – ¼ tsp
  • Onion powder – ¼ tsp
  • Mustard powder – ¼ tsp
  • Turmeric – ¼ tsp
  • Sugar (granulated) – ¼ tsp
  • Milk (whole/reduced fat) – ½ cup
  • Cream cheese – 2 oz
  • Cheddar cheese (shredded) – 1 cup

Instructions:

  • Take a small bowl and put the cornstarch in it. Add the powdered garlic, onion, mustard, and turmeric to it and whisk them together. 
  • Add the sugar and whisk again to mix everything well and set the spice mix aside.
  • In a different saucepan, add the milk and cream cheese and set it on a medium-low. 
  • Bring the milk and cheese mix to a simmer, while constantly whisking it. Let the cheese melt in the milk completely.   
  • Now, add the spice mix to the liquid in the saucepan. Continue cooking the simmering mix for about a minute, after which it will start to thicken. 
  • Turn the heat off. Now, add the shredded cheddar into the saucepan and fold it all in gently. The residual heat in the liquid will melt the cheddar while you incorporate it into the hot liquid.

Your homemade Cheez Whiz alternative is ready to be served. You can store all leftover cheese in a sealed container, and it will stay good for around three days.

You just need to reheat it before serving. But you will likely have no leftover cheese sauce to store.  

Homemade Vegan Cheez Whiz Recipe

Illustration only, recipe will probably look different.

If a plant-based diet is your jam, you can still whip up vegan cheese sauce at home. Check out the recipe!

Ingredients:

  • Water – ½-¾ cup
  • Tahini (raw, runny) – 3-4 tbsp
  • Tomato paste – 2 tbsp (heaping)
  • Balsamic vinegar (red wine) – 2 tsp
  • Nutritional yeast – ¼-½ cup
  • garlic powder – 1 tsp
  • Onion powder – 1 tsp
  • Sea salt – 1 tsp

Instructions:

  • Put all the ingredients in a blender and process them till you get a smooth and thick mixture. It should take about 30 seconds. 

Your vegan Cheez Whiz sauce is done! You can also add some chili powder and jalapenos to make the cheese sauce spicier.

You can store the sauce in the refrigerator for a couple of days. The sauce might become a little thick in the fridge. But once you bring it out and stir it, the sauce will once again return to its original texture and will be easy to spread.  

It’s a good idea not to add all your seasonings and nutritional yeast all at once. Add in small amounts so that you can control how strong you want the flavor to be.

Adjust the amount of water you’ll add to the sauce on the basis of the amount of nutritional yeast you add. 

If you use tahini, make sure you use raw, smooth, and runny tahini. You don’t want the overpowering flavor of thick tahini to take over the sauce. Try to look for one with a neutral flavor.

In fact, you can also replace the tahini with cashew butter for a creamier taste and texture.  

Conclusion

Cheez Whiz is a delicious, easy-to-serve, and popular gluten. The sauce and the ingredients reveal nothing harmful.

Many people argue that since its manufacturing company, Kraft, usually reveals gluten sources, it can be assumed that the questionable ingredients in the sauce don’t contain gluten. 

But there is no way to confirm this, and the product doesn’t contain a seal to assure that the sauce is gluten free. Besides, the company, too, doesn’t make any such claim or try to market Cheez Whiz to be safe for people with gluten allergy.

So, it’s better to be cautious and test the product first or choose other cheese sauce options in its place. 

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About the Author: Johnny

I am the senior editor and writer of Gluten Free Heroes, before that, I wrote for various well established online magazines about food and health. I love working out, traveling and eating healthy.