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On a gluten-free diet? This search engine will make life easier

The Gluten Project can help you avoid gluten.


Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET

Whether you're sensitive to gluten, have a wheat allergy or have been diagnosed with celiac disease, it can be difficult to navigate life on a gluten-free diet. The stuff is everywhere and seemingly in everything! 

To help those who are trying to be gluten-free, a young couple from Dayton, Ohio have started The Gluten Project. It's a search engine that, at current count, catalogs 35,000 products that have been certified to be gluten-free by the Gluten-Free Certification Organization.

Gluten-free search

Just plug in a particular food or category and the site immediately displays a list of products that are gluten-free. If your search query doesn't return any results, you can assume it contains gluten. For products that do show up in the search results, you're largely left to your own devices to figure out where you can buy them. 

The site is an affiliate of Thrive Market, and Walmart and offers some links to those sites, where you can purchase items online, earning the Gluten Project commission. It also keeps the lights on by earning fees by linking out to Amazon, but the majority of products on the site don't have links to let you buy them online.

The site is also useful to someone like me who likes to cook and eat and drink with gluten-free and gluten-full friends alike. I'll use the site, for example, to find gluten-free products when preparing a dinner for gluten-free friends, or simply to bring a six pack of gluten-free beer when heading over to their place.

Bonus: Gluten-free grocery scanner

The Gluten Project site is useful when you're home and creating a shopping list, but it's less helpful when you're on the go, forcing you to tap out search queries on your phone when you're pushing a cart up and down the aisles of your grocery store. Much more quick and convenient in such cases is the free Gluten Free Scanner app for iOS and Android. With it, you can scan the barcode of grocery items and immediately find out if they contain gluten. The app claims to have a database of more than 500,000 products.