Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Gluten-Free Chex Cereals coming June 1st, 2009


For all you fans of the famous General Mills Chex cereals products that have not been able to eat these cereals since being diagnosed with Celiac Disease or Gluten Intolerance, it appears we will soon (June 1st supposedly - though I presume inventory will take some time to get into the distribution channel and hit shelves everywhere) have the fortune of newly reformulated Gluten-Free Chex varieties including:
  • Gluten-Free Corn Chex,
  • Gluten-Free Cinnamon Chex,
  • Gluten-Free Strawberry Chex,
  • Gluten-Free Honey Nut Chex
Perhaps you have noticed that, for a while now, Rice Chex has been gluten-free (look for the clearly "Gluten-Free" label on front of boxes). Here is General Mills' statement about their existing Gluten-Free Rice Chex on their current Chex-based Gluten-Free Recipes page or their Chex Product Page:
Without changing the crunchy, oven-toasted flavor of Rice Chex, General Mills has replaced barley malt with molasses resulting in a Gluten Free Cereal. General Mills has taken the requisite steps to prevent cross contamination and has tested the formula based on the proposed FDA standards. Questions & comments are welcome at 1-800-328-1144.
I expect that General Mills has taken similar re-formulation steps for these other Chex varieties. And, they are to label any Gluten-Free Chex cereals clearly on the front of the box (just like Rice Chex are now) once the new formulas are out... so keep your eyes open for those labels.

I definitely applaud General Mills' action in making these cereals gluten-free, and I sure hope other breakfast cereals produced by them, and by Kellogg's Cereals and other cereal manufacturers, are reformulated to be gluten-free when such formulation seems so simple (to those of us that do gluten-free baking and food creation). I always find myself in the store looking longingly at those cereals that *should* be gluten-free, but for some reason always feel the need to add barley-malt for flavoring, or some other traces of wheat or gluten.

Now, I understand that the cereal makers are incuring additional cost and/or steps to prevent cross-contamination in their production facilities in addition to just altering a recipe a little bit... and I am guessing that is the larger issue for them. But, as more cereal recipes are engineered to be gluten-free, it would seem that the likelihood of cross-contamination will drop considerably also, and make it easier to produce even more Celiac-friendly breakfast cereals.

On a side note: I also find myself always looking at boxed cereals that, aside from OATS, would be gluten-free... but, "aside" is the wrong word perhaps, since all it would take is using CERTIFIED GLUTEN-FREE OATS in place of just run of the mill OATS to make the cereals gluten-free (in theory). But, given the price of such "certified gluten-free oats", I doubt we will see a wholesale shift to gluten-free mainstream oat-containing cereals any time soon, unless large commercial oat producers start doing a much better job at crop-segregation (farms, processing plants, trucks, etc. etc). But, I can dream :)

For now, I eagerly await the tast of some Gluten-Free Corn Chex come June of 2009. It has been so long...

29 comments:

Anonymous said...

I also heard that General Mills will be coming out with some Gluten Free Betty Crocker baking mix brands. I can't wait!

Erin S. said...

Mike, this is great news. I am always picking up the Rice Chex when they are on sale. This is about the only cereal my gluten-free sister and nieces eat too. It is nice to be able to walk into any superstore or supermarket and find a cereal that we can all in on the shelves. I too applaud General Mills for removing the barley malt and making more of their products gluten-free.

Erin
http://glutenfreefun.blogspot.com

Maddy Colby said...

I look forward to seeing this product on the shelf. Hopefully it will also be on the shelves in Canada. If we want Rice Chex, we have to drive to the U.S. to get them.

glutenfree4goofs said...

I can't wait for the Corn Chex, I don't know why but I really prefered them when I wasn't gf. Plus now we can make Chex Mix! :)
Jessie

Jay - GlutenFreePost said...

Hey Mike, when I saw the gluten free Corn Chex at the grocery store I was shocked and accidentally said, 'Holy ****!' right in front of a family. I felt like an idiot. Who says that in the cereal isle?? Also, you've been tagged brotha... http://tinyurl.com/ctaa5c

GFE--gluten free easily said...

Mike--The word is that some of the new varieties of Chex are already appearing on some shelves like Wal-mart's. I'm not sure if it was test marketing thing or not, so start looking for them, but look at the label and look for the gluten-free designation.

While I am excited about the news for everyone else, I've found I can't eat the Rice Chex without getting sick. I've read a few others on GF forums say the same thing. So I can only wager a guess that there are those of us who have to have less than the 20 ppm even though that's been designated as the safe level. The GIG certification organization certifies to 10 ppm or less and I've never gotten sick eating any of those products.

Anyway, I think it's a good move for General Mills and it's cool that they are also going to have the Betty Crocker GF cookie, cake, and brownie mixes coming out about the same time.

Shirley

Roya said...

I was so excited to find gluten-free Honey Nut Chex in our commissary today! So far, the corn and cinnamon varieties still contain gluten, but I am looking forward to buying them for my daughter when they change here!

gift said...

Thank for information about cereal..

Endless Possibilities said...

Whoo hoo! I am so stoked!!!!

JackieO said...

I just had my first bowl of gf honey nut Chex. We found it at our local Cub stores. It clearly states gluten free on the cover of the box. Everyone needs to run out and buy them to support General Mills.

Anonymous said...

The new gluten free Honey Nut Chex taste great, and no side effects! I found them at Wal-Mart. I can't wait to try the other new varieties when they come out! The new items form Betty Crocker will be great too!

Unintentional Picky Eater said...

Hey so I hate to rain on any parade because like all of you unintentional picky eaters it is nice to buy something under five dollars, but I have tried the Rice Chex gluten free and they make me really sick. I have a lot of stomach pain for few days, haven't eaten them in the last few days and felt fine. Let me know if anyone else has had this experience, I may have just been eating something else at the same time. Oh the joys of eating gluten free!

GFE--gluten free easily said...

To Unintentional Picky Eater--As I stated above, I can't eat the "gf" Rice Chex without having stomach pans and issues. Several others have personally told me they experience the same thing and I've seen this issue reported on gluten-free forums. You are not alone.

Shirley

Mike Eberhart said...

I finally got hold of a box of the gluten-free Rice Chex personally, as well as the Gluten-Free Honey-Nut Chex, thanks to my mother (she found them at a Super WalMart I think).

I ate both over a period of a few days, and I did not have any issues from consuming them. I made sure not to introduce any other new GF products into my diet the same day(s) just to be sure. So, just based on my own experience, they were fine and "safe". I have since continued to eat them without any problem. I also ate them with unsweetened Rice Milk that contained absolutely no gums or other ingredients that my body would potentially react to and make me question the safety of the Chex.

I guess I have no idea what criteria General Mills is using to test for gluten-free status, but perhaps there is enough room for variance that some people will react. Who knows. Maybe GM will clarify, but they were "safe" for me, and I am thankful for that, as I really like eating both varieties I have tried thus far.

HOPE said...

Here in San Diego, this just hit shelves. They added it to HENRY's Marketplace, which is freat for local / fresh /organic options. Best part? Found it CHEAPER than the other supermarkets! I've officially made the switch! (Now I just gotta go green with my laundry soaps ;)

meantime, there is an ingredient/label database at www.foodfacts.com, and they offer labels to more than 250,000 products - I know I'm tagging CHEX within my community to let all my friends know about this great new version of a favorite pasttime cereal! Thanks for the blog post.

Anonymous said...

Let's check out the other ingredients. I got here by searching for a list of gluten free chex ingredients and could not find one anywhere. The composition of the cereal itself should give some clues as to its wholesomeness and more importantly, safety.

Mike Eberhart said...

Anonymous,
As for checking out the other ingredients, there is one in particular *I* suspect that is causing myself and some others problems if Chex are consumed frequently even though they are supposed to be GF, and that is the BHT (preservative) in them. I have found that, although I originally tolerated the new gluten-free Chex, that soon was not the case. In fact, I have now tried as few as a dozen Chex (of varied varieties - like Honey Nut, Cinnamon, Rice, etc - all GF), and experienced pain in my upper-GI area for hours afterwards. The ONLY common thread, if they are truly GF, is the darn artificial preservative BHT... which I totally otherwise avoid in my diet. I have no 100% proof-positive the BHT is the issue, but perhaps that is what some others are having issues with and suspecting as some sort of gluten-contamination instead.

Kelley said...

Chocolate Chex will also be GF, so I've heard.

Cazzy said...

I wish I could get Rice Chex over in the U.K, I can only eat rice as a grain and I am very limited at breakfast time.

Lisa said...

The new gluten-free Chex make me sick. I'm lactose intolerant as well, so I tried them with Lactaid as well. Still sick. (I eat a lot of dairy with enzymes with no problem.) A thought, if anyone from General Mills is listening: some celiacs are not able to digest avenin, which is the gluten in oats. I wonder if General Mills is testing for avenin as well as gliadin proteins?

Anonymous said...

"Gluten-Free" Honey Nut Chex make me sick tow with my typical gluten reaction. To the poster who mentioned being lactose intolerant, I recently learned from my daugher's Regitered Dietician who specialized in Celiac Disease,that the protein in casein and soy are very similar to the gluten protein. By elimating milk products and soy (in addition to gluten), I feel much better and my daughter, who has a more severe case, is doing much, much better!

Anonymous said...

This product is NOT 100% Gluten-Free . . . I bought 20 or so boxes of Rice Chex (on sale at Walgreens for $1.99 each a few weeks ago; limit 4) and began having DH symptoms over the following week, as the gluten built up in me -- from gas, to bloating, to those itchy papules on the back of my hand, knees, and elbows. Be sure to contact General Mills to let them know of their false advertising, misleading labeling, and the harm and suffering they are inflicting on the celiac community -- not to mention their infringement of FDA guidelines. I just spoke with a receptive customer service rep, who took down the UPC code and expiration date on one of the boxes -- to report to her "product team" -- and also took down my contact info, in order to send me a 5-box refund [$10] by post [the Chex is in the mail!]. Call them (7:30 am - 5:30 pm CST) at the number on the box: 1-800-328-1144

Danielle said...

Please BEWARE!! I have been eating the new gluten free chex and love them. I went to the store and grabbed another box. When I ate this box I realized something was very wrong. I got symptoms and I took a closer look at the box and realized this was an older box mixed in with the new gluten free boxes. Please be cautious.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous and a few others had the same problem my family did---the Chex are NOT GF enough for us either. The FDA should be skewered for allowing 'up to 20ppm' of poison in ANY labeled GF product. We got stomachaches and our usual bleeding problems from the regular and Honey Nut Chex. Another family that is GF too had stopped eating them for the same exact reason.

Mike Eberhart said...

OK everyone that thinks Chex are somehow "poisoned" with gluten -- perhaps there is something gluten-related going on here, or perhaps it is something else.

Why do I say this? Well, my wife can eat all the gluten she wants (i.e., she does NOT have Celiac disease or anything), but yet she can not eat the Chex products because they have repeatedly caused her to experience all sorts of stomach / GI discomfort. I also found that, although I can tolerate some of them, if I eat them for any length of time, they cause me GI issues too.

Well, MY issues can be explained by potential gluten, but my WIFE's issues cannot. We started experimenting... and, given how simplistic the Rice Chex ingredients are, there was only one potential culprit besides (alleged) gluten contamination to investigate: BHT (the preservative). We tried a few other items that are otherwise gluten-free but contain BHT, and have had the same issues with them.

So, this is ONLY a wild guess, but is it possible that what people are taking to be a "gluten reaction" is perhaps a reaction to the darn BHT they use "to preserve freshness?" I have found that MY body despises the stuff, and that my wife's body definitely disagrees with BHT (but NOT gluten - she can eat pasta and bread as much as she wants).

Bottom line: I tend to deal with things in, as best as possible, a more scientific approach and not just draw conclusions, regardless of the fact that the obvious conclusion is that there is potential gluten-contamination in Chex (and other products that lead to a "reaction"). Without double-blind, placebo-controlled studies, it really is hard to pinpoint, with exactitude, the true cause of some things. In the end, the only thing that truly matters is making sure that what you choose to eat does not cause you harm. But, I personally want to know exactly what is to blame for any such harm.

Just my thoughts. m.

PS: perhaps this should be a blog of its own?

Anonymous said...

Interesting to read others are having the same bad reaction to Post Gluten-Free Chex cereal!!! I've tried rice, corn and cinnamon coated chex, over the last couple months. I began feeling sick about the same time but did not figure out until today, that it has to be the chex. In the process, I eliminated milk from my diet trying both rice and almond milk. I re-read every single label of all other foods I was ingesting --to make sure I wasn't being "glutened". But, I finally attributed headaches and low blood sugar reactions to my health.

Miraculously, after two days that I had not had Chex for breakfast, I felt fine. Today, still not realizing the GF Chex could even be a problem, I ate the last bowl of corn chex from the box. Before even finishing it, I was feeling nauseous. I didn't listen to my body and made myself eat the whole bowl. I felt dizzy, now have a headache, and feel sick to my stomach. Since I have had nothing else to eat today, and have been drinking almond milk with no problem--that being the only other food I have had, aside from chex today, I finally have begun to suspected the chex.

Sure enough- one little internet search and I find I'm not the only one. The reaction I am having is not identical to my typical gluten reaction, and in someways it is worse--with the headache, nausea, low blood sugar, asthma flares. It is similar in that my neck has broken out, and upset gi (not quite as badly as usual).

I'd be interested in learning what the chemical/ protein or ??? is in it that has caused these symptoms!

Anonymous said...

About the Chex....My son is 14 and has been on the GF/CF diet for at least 7 months and it's a constant battle...recently I realized the rice chex are making him sick. The FDA says that less than 20ppm(parts per million) is GF, well I dissagree! Every Celiac has differnt levels of tolerance and my son can't have 1ppm!

Chex contains BHT and Mixed TOCOPHEROLS....now BHT is a know carcinogin so why do they allow it in the first place? The Tocopherols are "mixed" which when I researched them means it can come from wheat. I belive that either one of these is behind my son's never ending bathroom problems...very unfortunate because he loved them and yes it's nice to find them at local grocery stores!

I hope anyone who is sensitive like my son will take their complaints to the FDA and help get them to correct the lable "Gluten Free"...It should be "100% G/FREE" or "G/F <20ppm"

Kelly said...

I wouldn't want oat cereals on the shelves in the United States. In Canada, NO oats have been permitted in the gluten free diet. In Australia and New Zealand it is AGAINST the LAW to label ANY oats as gluten free.

They can certify oats as gluten free all they want over there, but as far as I'm concerned, I think oats should be avoided. There is little knowledge of the potential celiac damage that they could do (and the damage is minimal compared to that of wheat, rye and barley - which in a way makes it worse because the symptoms could be silent). As well as this, many coeliacs DO NOT tolerate oats. Such an activity could be a huge disservice to these individuals.

Try and think about others and "EAT TO LIVE". Don't just "LIVE TO EAT!"

Anonymous said...

I am new to GF after diagnosis in December 2012. I tried these for the first time this morning and I had excruciating pain in the upper part of my intestines. It's a shame because they were inexpensive and very tasty.