Is Silicon Dioxide Gluten Free? (Yes, Here’s Why)

Is Silicon Dioxide Gluten Free

The holidays are quickly approaching, and baking with family and friends is a hobby loved by many. If you like to bake tasty treats, many of your everyday products used for baking may contain silicon dioxide. Sometimes it can be discouraging to check every ingredient listed, but that doesn’t mean you have to miss out on your holiday favorites.  

Yes, Silicon Dioxide is gluten-free. It is commonly added to gluten-free food products to enhance appearance, texture and provide a longer shelf-life. Silicon dioxide can naturally be found in leafy green vegetables and fruits. It’s also used as a filler in protein powders, seasoning mixes, and more. The best alternative to Silicon Dioxide is Nu FLOW.

Let’s dive in and see how silicon dioxide is included in your daily diet, its potential health benefits, and explore a healthy alternative.  

What is Silicon Dioxide?

Silicon dioxide is an ingredient that you may see on your food labels, and think to yourself, what is that?  Should I be consuming it? It is typically an ingredient that is overlooked or skimmed over because of its unfamiliarity.

So, what is silicon dioxide? Silicon Dioxide, also known as silica, is a natural chemical combining silicon and oxygen. Believe it or not, It is in fifty-nine percent of the earth’s crust, various organisms, and it is also manufactured in labs. It is mainly used as an additive in different food products and supplements as an anti-caking agent.  However, it has a plethora of uses in many foods, including those which are gluten-free.

According to the USDA, silicon dioxide gives the following functions in food products:

  • Anti-foaming agent
  • Anti-caking agent
  • Stops powders from absorbing moisture
  • Absorbs alcohol
  • Helps process wine
  • Prevents corrosion
  • Stabilizes beer
  • Helps distribute flavoring oils

Why is Silicon Dioxide Gluten-Free?

When shopping at the grocery store, processed and packaged foods contain many hidden sources of gluten. It can be a little overwhelming to figure out what is ‘safe’ to eat and what is not.

So you may be wondering, what is gluten? Gluten is a type of protein found primarily in wheat, barley, and rye. Since silicon dioxide is derived from these sources,  it is undoubtedly, 100% gluten-free.  

The natural chemicals which create silicon dioxide are significantly different from gluten proteins. The organic materials used to develop silicon dioxide are silicon tetrachloride, a colorless, delicate liquid that effluviums in the air and creates high purity silicon. Therefore, if you avoid gluten in your diet or have celiac disease, you can safely consume the natural ingredient silicon dioxide. 

What Foods Contain Silicon Dioxide?

There are many different natural food sources and processed food sources that contain silicon dioxide. Here are a few examples that are more than likely very familiar to you. 

Foods that naturally contain silicon dioxide:

  • Leafy greens (spinach, kale)
  • Green beans
  • Oats 
  • Brown Rice
  • Beets
  • Melons
  • Artichokes
  • Asparagus
  • Coffee
  • Water
  • Beer
  • Bell peppers
  • Herbs
  • Horsetail
  • Dandelion
  • Alfalfa
  • Dandelion
  • Cucumbers
  • Bananas

Foods that contain silicon dioxide as an additive:

  • Flour
  • Baking Powder
  • Sugar
  • Confectioners Sugar
  • Protein Powders
  • Spice & Seasoning mixtures
  • Supplement Capsules
  • Dried Egg Products

Do not be surprised if you find silicon dioxide listed as an ingredient in some of your favorite gluten-free food products. If you have Celiac disease or gluten intolerance, it is essential to check for a gluten-free certification with any food product you purchase.

Is Silicon Dioxide Bad for You?

Since silicon dioxide is produced naturally through plants and water, it is considered safe for human consumption. 

According to the FDA, silicon dioxide is generally safe when consumed in small amounts when processed as a food additive. The FDA regulates that silica should not exceed two percent of your total food intake or approximately 10 to 30 grams per day. Researchers have discovered no link between silicon dioxide and an enhanced risk of health concerns.

Although rare, silicon dioxide may cause side effects, such as allergic reactions and digestive issues, with any ingested ingredient. With that being said, to date, there is no evidence suggesting that silicon dioxide is harmful to you when eaten as a food additive or consumed from natural sources. 

Silicon Dioxide Nutrition Facts

There are no official nutritional facts regarding silicon dioxide, but that does not mean it doesn’t have some great health perks. The natural form of silicon dioxide is available in many nutritious foods, like spinach, green beans, melons, and some oats. 

What Are the Health Benefits of Silicon Dioxide?

You may ask, does silicon dioxide provide any health benefit? Although we are unsure about silicon dioxide’s role in the human body, it is becoming recognized to be an essential nutrient.

The benefits of silicon dioxide tend to be pretty minimal when ingested as a food additive. In this processed form, it has minimal intestinal absorption. Natural food products containing silicon dioxide deliver more concentrated amounts and do seem to provide essential health benefits. 

Some studies report that silicon dioxide, ingested in its natural form, benefits your bones, hair, nails, skin, and teeth. The most important being its ability to help strengthen your bones and increase bone mineral density.

In fact, one study published in the International Journal of Endocrinology suggested that increased intake of bioavailable silicon has been associated with increased bone mineral density. 

Another health benefit that will catch your attention is its ability to boost the production of collagen. Collagen helps with skin elasticity, hair growth, and muscle recovery. Who wouldn’t love a little extra anti-aging benefit? 

You can actually have a silicon dioxide deficiency if you do not consume enough. If you notice your hair regularly falling out, brittle nails, fragile bones, you could very well have a silicon dioxide deficiency.

Other Gluten-Free Alternatives to Silicon Dioxide

If you are looking for food sources that are one hundred percent certified organic, then silicon dioxide may not be your top choice. But don’t worry, we have options!


A great alternative to silicon dioxide is organic rice hulls, also known as Nu-Flow. For manufacturers to claim their products as certified organic, the additive silicon dioxide has to be replaced with an organic alternative. There was no 100 percent organic alternative for a long time, but Nu- FLOW has been developed with new technology. 

Nu FLOW is processed from rice hulls that are sterilized and ground down to form a free-flowing powder. The rice plant naturally absorbs silica into the hulls of the rice, which provides a natural, gluten-free alternative to silicon dioxide. Nu Flow is used today in spice seasonings, dry gravy mixes, beverages, and many other dietary supplements and products. 

Nu Flow provides many benefits to manufacturers by improving process flows, obtaining certified organic levels, and clean label statements that replace synthetic additives with its rice concentrate. Some people even prefer Nu-FLOW because it provides excellent absorption and is excellent at preventing moisture. Let’s take a look at Nu Flow’s nutritional facts.

Nutritional Analysis of Nu Flow:

Here’s a look at the nutritional analysis of a 100-gram serving size of natural Nu Flow. 

  • Calories – 16
  • Fat – 0.4g
  • Sodium- 15.5mg
  • Total Carbohydrates – 73.3g
  • Digestible Carbohydrate- 0.2g
  • Sugar- 0.2g
  • Protein – 3g
  • Cholesterol- 0mg
  • Fiber- 73.1g
  • Ash- 19.3g
  • Water- 4g

Nu Flow also provides a variety of great sources of vitamins and minerals. 

  • Vitamin D
  • Calcium
  • Iron
  • Potassium
  • Phosphorus
  • Sodium
  • Silica

All and all, Nu Flow is a great alternative available for consumers wanting an organic, gluten-free food additive resource.   

Final Thoughts

The bottom line, silicon dioxide is a naturally occurring substance recognized as a healthy and safe gluten-free food ingredient. In addition, it plays a significant role as an anti-caking additive in the food industry. It’s also commonly used in many popular food products. If you have celiac disease or follow a strict gluten-free diet, silicon dioxide is considered safe for consumption and will not cause any adverse effects. And, as a bonus, it is thought to provide critical nutrients for your body when consumed in its natural state. 

Related Questions

Is Silicon Dioxide Vegan?

No worries, if you follow a vegan diet, you are in luck; silicon dioxide is 100 percent vegan approved. It is a naturally occurring mineral found in nature and not derived from animals or used on animals. 

Is Silicon Dioxide Natural?

Yes, it is a naturally produced compound made from oxygen and silicon. As a matter of fact, silicon dioxide occurs widely in nature; it is found in everything from the earth’s crust, drinking water, and even some plants.  

Is Silicon Dioxide Safe for Those Who Are Pregnant?

Yes, silicon dioxide is considered safe for those who are pregnant. There have not been any studies to date that silicon dioxide in food poses any safety concerns to pregnant individuals.

What Does Silica Do to the Human Body?

In the human body, silica (silicon dioxide), is considered to be a trace mineral. It helps with many of our day-to-day bodily functions. It provides flexibility to connective tissues within the human body. More specifically, it is necessary for the formation of collage, which is the most abundant protein in our body.

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Lindsey DeSoto

Lindsey DeSoto is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist based out of Coastal Mississippi. She earned her BSc in Nutrition Sciences from the University of Alabama. Lindsey has a passion for helping others live healthier lives by translating the latest evidence-based research into easy-to-digest, approachable content. When she isn’t writing she enjoys working out and spending time with her children.

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