I remember growing up and hearing people say “it sounds Greek to me” when they didn’t understand something. Well, this is very much what it feels like to look at some of the labels, in Luxembourg, with all the languages. I don’t have translations for Asian and middle eastern languages, Russian or even Greek.
I do, however, have a list which is helpful for gluten labeling in Luxembourg. This will also help to know when something is specifically made GF or any other product that might be GF by default. The basic “cereal” grains containing gluten are listed below in the 3 languages most commonly used on ingredient labels here. You will sometimes find English but that is not very common and is best not to rely upon. (The label shown in the photo really is on a package in my cupboard. I wanted to show just how diverse labeling can be here.)
Look for a symbol similar to the one below. It will be in a variety of colors and sizes but is standard on things labeled as gluten free. It is most often either on the front in a promotional manner or below the ingredients often with other indicator symbols of certification.
French (Fr), German (Gr), Dutch(Dut)
Wheat: Fr: blé or froment Gr: weizen Dut: tarwe
Durum: Fr: dur Gr: Hartweizen Dut: durumtarwe
Spelt: (farro/faro) Fr: épeautre Gr: dinkel / Grünkern Dut: spelt
Kamut: Fr: blé Khorasan Gr: Khorazan-Weizen Dut: kamut tarwe
Semolina: Fr: semoule Gr: Grieß Dut: griesmeel
Bulgur: Fr: boulghour Gr: bulgur Dut: bulgur
Farina: Fr: farine Gr: Grießmehl Dut: zetmeel
Triticale aka Tritici Amylum: (wheat & rye blended cereal grain) Fr: triticole Gr: amylum tritici Dut: triticale
Barley: Fr: orge Gr: Gerste Dut: gerst
Rye: Fr: seigle Gr: Roggen Dut: rogge
Flour: Fr: farine Gr: Mehl Dut: meelMalt: Fr: malt Gr: Malz Dut: mout
For those with Celiac disease, we are warned to avoid oats because they are often contaminated by being processed in the same plant and sometimes on the same machinery as wheat products. The same contamination issues exist in Europe too though many people have tried to convince me that the wheat is different here and therefore the gluten should not be an issue. I can assure you, gluten is gluten…even here and I still have a violent reaction when ingested. Good news though, you can find certified gluten free oats here. It is wise though to know the words just to be certain of what you are choosing to eat.
Oats: Fr: avoine Gr: Hafer Dut: haver
When either starch or modified starch is listed on ingredient labels this indicates the starch is gluten free such as with corn, potato, and rice starches. If the modified starch contains gluten then it must be listed as wheat starch or modified starch from wheat or indicating any of the gluten containing cereal grains.
Modified starch:Fr: amidon alimentaire modifié Gr: modifizierte Lebensmittelstärke Dut: gemodificeerde levensmiddelen zetmeel