While taquitos may be gluten-free, you may be curious if the popular Delimex taquitos are gluten-free. Below I share all I could glean about Delimex taquitos, as well as reveal how the brand fared when tested for hidden gluten. This post contains affiliate links. Please see my disclosures.
If you’re avoiding gluten, a sticky protein found in wheat, rye, barley, and sometimes oats, you may be curious about what packaged foods are gluten-free and safe.
I’ve discussed the safety of gluten-free frozen dinners before, as well as how gluten-free canned soups and gluten-free cereals fared when tested for hidden gluten. Today I want to discuss taquitos and if they’re gluten-free and safe or not.
Taquitos are rolled tacos that contain cheese, meat, or vegetable filling inside a small corn tortilla. The rolled tortilla is then fried until it’s crispy. Corn tortillas are typically made solely of corn masa flour and are therefore gluten-free.
Please note that a flauta is similar to a taquito, however, a flauta can be made with either flour or corn tortilla whereas a taquito is almost always made with a corn tortilla. If you’re on a gluten-free diet, it’s wise to avoid flautas altogether.
Changes in Gluten-Free Labeling
I first discovered Delimex taquitos at Costco, and noticed that it displayed “gluten-free” prominently on the front of its packaging as pictured below.
However, a reader told me that Delimex taquitos found in grocery stores (not Costco) are not labeled gluten-free.
I picked up a package of Delimex chicken taquitos at my local grocery store (King Soopers) and low and behold I could not find a “gluten-free” claim on it despite it being nearly identical to the one from Costco.
Please note that I pictured the chicken taquitos, but the same discrepancy exists for the beef taquitos as well. They’re labeled gluten-free at Costco, but not at the grocery store.
I wondered if maybe the Delimex taquitos found in Costco used a different manufacturing facility from the ones found in grocery stores. Maybe that explains the discrepancy?
I visited the Delimex website and could not find any information about potential allergens, so I submitted a request to the company, which I learned is owned by Kraft Heinz. The customer supporter person responded several weeks later and said the following:
“Gluten content can almost always be determined from the label, and the most accurate information can be found by checking the ingredient list on our packages. Kraft Heinz products list all sources of gluten, including gluten-containing grains (wheat, wheatberries, durum, barley, rye, graham, oats, triticale, spelt, kamut, emmer, farro) and other ingredients (e.g. “natural flavor (contains rye)”, malt, brewer’s yeast, and wheat starch). Kraft Heinz makes every effort to disclose all sources of gluten, but unless specifically labeled as such, [it] does not guarantee that its’ products are gluten-free.“
Ingredients in Delimex Taquitos
The Delimex white chicken taquitos I found at King Soopers, which are not labeled gluten-free, contain the following ingredients:
Tortilla (corn masa flour, water, salt), cooked chicken filling (white meat chicken, water, soy flour, seasoning (salt, dehydrated garlic, spices), corn oil, gelatin, modified corn starch, salt, vinegar, chicken base (chicken meat including natural chicken juices, salt hydrolyzed soy protein, fructose, chicken fat, autolyzed yeast, dry chicken broth, dextrose, modified corn starch, onion powder, natural flavors, spices including turmeric, modified corn starch, corn masa flour, and soybean oil.
At first glance, there doesn’t appear to be any huge red-flag ingredients (although who knows what “natural flavors” really means), so while I cannot say the product is “gluten-free,” I can say that it doesn’t appear to contain any gluten.
Another clue to help me decode the label is the “contains” statement, which is found under the ingredient list. A “contains” or “may contain” statement requires companies to disclose if a product contains any of the top eight allergens (soy, tree nuts, peanuts, fish, shellfish, milk, eggs, and wheat). The only allergen found in the taquitos, as disclosed by the company, is soy.
Remember, however, that gluten is a protein and not considered an allergen. This means if a product contains barley, rye, or oats, a company doesn’t have to disclose these ingredients in its “contains” statement. Therefore, according to the Delimex “contains” statement, you can imply that the product does not contain wheat, but it may still contain barley, rye, or oats hidden in another ingredient.
Testing Delimex Taquitos for Hidden Gluten
I decided to test one of the non-GF labeled taquitos with my Nima Sensor, a portable gluten-detecting device that enables you to test your food for hidden gluten.
I put a small portion of both the corn tortilla and filling into the test capsule, and Nima did not find any gluten (smile = no gluten found).
It’s confusing that the product is labeled gluten-free in Costco stores, while the box I found in King Soopers is not labeled gluten-free. While I do feel comfortable eating these taquitos based on the Nima test results, I would feel even more comfortable and confident recommending them to others if the “gluten-free” claim was directly on the packaging.
Make Your Own
Watch me make homemade taquitos in my air-fryer with Mikey’s grain-free tortillas. Remember, the best and safest foods will always be the ones you make at home. I prefer my homemade taquitos to anything found in the grocery store!