Wheat by any other name

Added on 08 Mar, 2005 . There are .

It really isn't easy identifying wheat in a lot of the ingredients lists of foodstuffs, drinks, body products and medicines.

Why is this we asked? Well it seems that wheat by any other name often looks better on an ingredients list, for example doesn't 'triticale' look better than 'wheat' on a posh facial product? The trick is to make you think you're getting something special, rather than just a cheap, over produced, chemically polluted cereal.

So what are the names that you need to look out for?

  • Binder or binding
  • Cereal
  • Cereal binders
  • Cereal protein
  • Edible starch
  • Farina
  • Filler
  • Flour
  • Food starch
  • Fu
  • Gum base
  • Hydrolysed wheat protein
  • Kamut
  • Manna
  • Modified food starch
  • Modified starch
  • Rusk
  • Semolina
  • Special edible starch
  • Spelt
  • Starch
  • Thickener or thickening
  • Triticale
And of course it goes without saying, anything with the word 'wheat' in it, (except buckwheat which is a member of the rhubarb family so perfectly safe).

I'm sure that the list above is not exhaustive, so if we've missed anything out please let us know.

The problem is that ingredients lists are often so long that it's easy to miss the offending item among the chemicals, additives, and constituents of the product.

The face, hair and body products manufacturers are certainly the worst offenders, and without doubt the biggest users of the term triticale. Have a look at all the beauty products in your house, those that you use, and those that others in the house use. Wheat appears in a lot of makeup, shampoos and conditioners, and I bet that you're using some of them without necessarily realising.

Now I'm not suggesting that you become paranoid about every product containing wheat, or a derivative of wheat. There's no need to throw out your partners posh hair products because they contain wheat, just don't steal them to use on yourself.

But if you do suffer from a wheat allergy then take a few extra seconds to read the ingredients of the beauty products that you're buying, we all do it religiously with foodstuffs, so why not the external body products too.

Look carefully, you'll be amazed at how often it crops up. Had sore eyes after applying makeup? Well check out the contents of your mascara, probably 50% of the mascara on the market contains wheat, or wheat by any other name...