The “gluten question” confuses people with Celiac Disease, those who can’t tolerate certain products that contain gluten, and even dietitians and scientists. What is gluten actually? This is a highly durable protein according to every source you come across which means breaking it down into a vapor is not as easy as you think.
Many forum questions address the question of gluten’s state at high temperatures. Does it become liquid or cease to be a solid? Most questions are posted in the hope of either discovering that a food will become so hot the gluten vanishes, or that certain alcohols can be consumed safely by people who don’t process gluten properly.
Responses have varied according to how one looks at the question. In food, there is no chance of destroying this protein, certainly not if you want the result to be edible. In alcohol, beer generally contains gluten but several spirits are gluten-free because this protein does not pass through the distillation process. What does that mean for vapers?
Could E-Juice Contain Gluten?
Neither propylene glycol nor vegetable glycerin is likely to contain gluten although one should check that the processing plant where they are made has not also been used for processing wheat, rye, spelt, or barley. Otherwise, these are safe.
Nicotine is derived from gluten free substances including a variety of edible plants like tomatoes and eggplants as well as tobacco, none of them known for their glutinous texture. That only leaves flavourings, and this is where things get complicated.
No Gluten in Flavorings
Speed reading through the various flavors of e-juices, lots of them are meant to emulate gluten-heavy foods like cereals and baked goods. Some are traditionally and erroneously linked with wheat.
Natural flavorings are generally derived from the real food source, but usually those are fruit e liquids, so wheat is not a factor.
What would happen, however, if the flavoring was extracted from barley; a sweetener, for instance?
The way scientists put it, I’m pretty sure gluten can’t cross from a solid to a liquid state. Even if it does, you are not at risk of inhaling it because it simply will not become a vapor.
That goes for colors too. Fears about caramel come up over and over in forums, but this is derived from corn, so your bigger concern would be whether or not flavorings contain pesticides (corn is usually genetically modified).
In this case you would seek non-GMO sources from makers of natural and organic, high-quality e juices where “non-GMO” is clearly stated. Better yet, a vaper would select e juices made without colorants.
Checking for Wheat
The FDA has also made it very clear that products which could contain wheat and other foods containing gluten must be labelled as such. Part of the FDA’s concern around e-juice is that labelling does not sufficiently warn people with various allergies as to the potential risks.
A lot of people fail to approach vapor juice in the same way they approach foods: with caution, considering possible reactions from nut, wheat, or other extracts which might wind up in the mixture. Ingesting even a small amount because of a spitting coil could harm a highly sensitive individual.