Are Sweet Tarts Gluten Free?

Sweet and sour, Sweet Tarts have delighted children for generations. But for those with gluten sensitivities, the question remains: Are Sweet Tarts gluten free?

The answer is yes, original Sweet Tarts are gluten free. However, there are some varieties of Sweet Tarts that do contain gluten, such as Sweet Tarts Chewy and Sweet Tarts Bites.

While Sweet Tarts themselves contain no gluten ingredients like wheat, barley or rye, they are manufactured in a facility that also processes wheat.

Join us as we explore the manufacturing practices of Sweet Tarts and the stance of the manufacturer, Ferrara Candy Company, on gluten-free labeling.

We’ll also discuss the implications for individuals with gluten sensitivities and provide insights on making informed decisions about consuming these tart treats.

Let’s separate fact from fiction and satisfy your curiosity about these beloved candies.

Are Sweet Tarts gluten free?

The original Sweet Tarts are considered gluten free, as they do not contain any gluten ingredients like wheat, barley, or rye. However, it’s important to note that some varieties of Sweet Tarts may contain gluten. Examples include Sweet Tarts Chewy and Sweet Tarts Bites. It’s always recommended to check the packaging and ingredient list for each specific product to ensure they are gluten free.

Ingredients in Sweet Tarts

The ingredients in Sweet Tarts can vary depending on the specific variety and flavor. However, the ingredients commonly found in original Sweet Tarts include:

  • Dextrose: A type of sugar derived from starches, often used as a sweetener.
  • Maltodextrin: A carbohydrate made from starch, commonly used as a thickener or filler.
  • Citric Acid: A natural acid derived from citrus fruits, used as a flavor enhancer and preservative.
  • Calcium Stearate: A calcium salt of stearic acid, used as an anticaking agent or stabilizer.
  • Artificial Flavors: Various synthetic flavorings are used to provide the tart and fruity taste of Sweet Tarts.
  • Artificial Colors: Sweet Tarts are known for their vibrant colors, which are achieved using artificial colorings.

It’s always recommended to check the packaging or the ingredient list of the specific Sweet Tarts product you are interested in to verify the ingredients used.

What is Gluten?

Gluten is a group of proteins found in wheat, barley, rye, and triticale (a cross between wheat and rye). It acts as a binding agent and gives elasticity to dough, helping it to rise and maintain its shape. Gluten can be found in various forms, such as gluten protein, wheat gluten, or modified food starch.

What Foods Contain Gluten?

Foods that typically contain gluten include:

  • Wheat-based Products: This includes bread, pasta, couscous, flour tortillas, cakes, cookies, pastries, and other baked goods made with wheat flour.
  • Barley: Barley and its derivatives, such as malt, malt extract, malt vinegar, and malt flavorings, often found in beer, malted beverages, and some processed foods.
  • Rye: Rye bread, rye-based cereals, and other products that contain rye or rye flour.
  • Triticale: This grain is a hybrid of wheat and rye and contains gluten. It is commonly found in certain breads, pastas, and cereals.

Gluten can also be present in various processed foods, sauces, dressings, and even unexpected sources like soy sauce, some types of condiments, and certain medications.

What is Celiac Disease?

Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder where the ingestion of gluten triggers an immune response that damages the lining of the small intestine. This immune reaction prevents the absorption of nutrients from food, leading to various symptoms and potential long-term complications. Symptoms of celiac disease can range from digestive issues like abdominal pain and diarrhea to non-digestive symptoms such as fatigue, anemia, and skin rashes. The only treatment for celiac disease is a strict lifelong gluten-free diet. Even small amounts of gluten can cause damage in individuals with celiac disease, making it essential to carefully avoid all sources of gluten in their diet.

Other gluten free candy options

There are many gluten-free candy options available for individuals with gluten sensitivities or celiac disease. Here are some popular choices:

  • Hershey’s Kisses: Plain Hershey’s Kisses, including milk chocolate, dark chocolate, and caramel-filled variations, are gluten free.
  • Skittles: Skittles candies, including Original, Sour, and Tropical flavors, are gluten free.
  • M&M’s: Plain M&M’s, including milk chocolate, peanut, and peanut butter varieties, are considered gluten free. However, it’s important to note that some seasonal or specialty flavors may contain gluten, so always check the packaging.
  • Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups: The original Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups are gluten free and a delicious option for candy lovers.
  • Jelly Belly Jelly Beans: Jelly Belly offers a wide variety of gluten-free jelly bean flavors, making them a fun and safe option.
  • Swedish Fish: These chewy, fruity candies are gluten free and a popular choice among candy enthusiasts.
  • Sour Patch Kids: Sour Patch Kids candies, both the original and various flavors, are gluten free.
  • Mike and Ike: These chewy fruit-flavored candies are gluten free and come in various flavors.


Can individuals with celiac disease eat Sweet Tarts?

Individuals with celiac disease should exercise caution when consuming Sweet Tarts. While most varieties are gluten-free, there is always a risk of cross-contamination. It is advisable to read labels carefully, opt for certified gluten-free options, and consult with a healthcare professional if uncertain.

Are all Sweet Tarts flavors gluten-free?

While many Sweet Tarts flavors are gluten-free, it is important to check the labels for each specific flavor. Different formulations or limited-edition flavors may have ingredients that contain gluten. Always read the packaging for the most accurate information.

Can gluten-free Sweet Tarts be found in local stores?

Yes, gluten-free Sweet Tarts can be found in many local stores. Check the candy aisle or the section dedicated to gluten-free products in supermarkets, health food stores, or specialty stores. You can also explore online retailers for a wider selection and convenience.

Are Sweet Tarts vegan?

Yes, Sweet Tarts are certified vegan by the Vegan Society and contain no animal-derived ingredients.


Original Sweet Tarts are generally gluten free, but some varieties may contain gluten. It’s important to check the packaging and ingredient list for each specific product to ensure it meets your dietary needs. Individuals with gluten sensitivities or celiac disease should exercise caution and opt for certified gluten-free candies or alternative options to ensure their safety and well-being.

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