There are corn free products available from Enjoy Life Foods. The company runs a facility that is dedicated to producing snack foods, breakfast foods, and chocolate products in a factory that is free from the top eight most common allergens: wheat, dairy, soy, fish, shellfish, peanuts, tree nuts, and egg. All their products are gluten free and made without artificial ingredients, too. If that’s not enough to make you like this Chicago area company, they are also certified non GMO as well. But for folks with corn intolerance and corn allergy, not all the Enjoy Life Foods are safe. We decided to make a list for our corn free peeps to help them make decisions about which corn free products from Enjoy Life Foods may be safe to try out.
Regular readers already know that we’ve been following a gluten free and corn free diet in our house since 2007. Over the years we discovered that our son’s corn intolerance was mainly due to exposure to conventional GMO corn, corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, and artificial sugars made with corn alcohol. He reacts with pesky neurological symptoms when he’s exposed, and sometimes he gets a very bad headache. After several years of eating an organic chemical free diet we noticed that his threshold for corn has improved. Only occasionally he’ll eat foods with organic non gmo corn derived ingredients. He is very careful to avoid GMO corn. Several years ago we omitted vanilla from his diet. Now he’s able to occasionally have commercial non GMO organic vanilla made with corn-based alcohol. We still try to keep it to a minimum, though.
Commercial Vanilla Extracts are not Corn free Products
If you are diagnosed with a corn allergy, or have recently discovered you have a corn intolerance I recommend only using homemade vanilla. It’s easy to make. Use corn-free Luksusowa potato vodka to soak your vanilla beans. It takes about 6 weeks to become vanilla extract. I use a mason jar to make mine. I believe it is the safest route for corn allergy folks. Some corn intolerant folks may be able to tolerate small amounts of vanilla, but it is made from either corn alcohol or corn sugar in all popular commercial brands.
Other Ingredients of Concern for Corn Allergy
Our son also tolerates xanthan gum. Some folks with corn allergies and even some celiacs avoid this ingredient, though. It’s really up to yourself to decide if it’s right for you.
We gave up citric acid in 2007, and that’s one ingredient that we still avoid. For some reason my son notices an increase in bruxism whenever he eats foods enhanced with it. It may be related to corn or it may be another kind of allergy/intolerance for him.
About Corn Free Products from Enjoy Life Foods
I contacted Enjoy Life about their corn free products after doing a careful review of their official website. They are not a dedicated corn free facility but they do have good manufacturing practices to reduce cross contamination of corn. If you have a severe corn allergy be aware that Enjoy Life Foods can not guarantee their corn free products are 100% free from cross contamination.
Is Enjoy Life Vanilla Corn Free?
According to the company website, no. They use a 100% natural vanilla bean extract grown in Madagascar. Enjoy Life says it’s the highest quality vanilla available and adds a smooth and mellow sweetness to their cookies. This vanilla extract is distilled with corn alcohol. The company says all corn protein is removed from the vanilla in the distillation process. It’s not, however, corn free.
Is Enjoy Life Xanthan Gum Corn free?
According to the company website, no. Enjoy Life Foods explains that xanthan comes from the dried cell coat of a microorganism called Zanthomonas campestris. Their xanthan gum is fermented using corn sugars. The company explains, “All corn sugars are removed in the processing of xanthan gum. Xanthan gum contains no corn protein and is tolerated by most corn-free people.” If you are corn allergic there is a good chance you will react to xanthan gum. Some corn intolerant people, like my son, seem to tolerate xanthan gum in products. It’s really up to yourself to decide.
Is Enjoy Life Citric Acid Corn free?
The company confirms that their citric acid is derived from corn. They say their supplier confirms that there is no corn protein in the citric acid so it is safe for folks who are intolerant to corn gluten. Our son does not have a severe corn allergy but we are very careful about citric acid in our house. We generally avoid it unless we know it’s not corn derived. Use your own discretion when it comes to citric acid. Everyone’s intolerance is different. You may find that you can tolerate it. I have put citric acid in asterisks on the infographic for that reason.
Enjoy Life Foods Corn free Products: What about the Vitamins?
I had concerns about the vitamins in Enjoy Life Foods’ corn free products. Often vitamins are made with corn derivatives but sometimes they are not. So I asked the company spokesperson, Jamie Sullivan for more information.
Sullivan stated: “There is no corn or corn derivatives present in the vitamins and minerals added to the granolas and chewy bars.”
So the Cinnamon Raisin Crunch Granola and the Double Chocolate Crunch Granola are both corn free products that should be safe for corn intolerance sufferers.
The vitamins in the Sunbutter Crunch, Caramel Apple, Cocoa Loco, and Mixed Berry Bars are also corn free. These products are made with vanilla and xanthan gum, so if you have a corn intolerance use your own discretion.
Enjoy Life Foods Corn free Products (*not made in dedicated corn free facility)
I hope this list of Enjoy Life Brand’s corn free products is helpful to you. Please remember that although their company is a dedicated facility for the top eight allergens, their corn free products are not produced in a dedicated corn free environment. Enjoy Life uses industry standard cleaning methods to provide minimal cross contamination. But there is a chance for cross contamination from their corn free products. If you have a severe corn allergy please understand this.