Is Spoonful A Gluten Scanning App?

4.0 rating

Spoonful gives the option to scan for many different allergens or ingredients. One of those options is gluten.

Spoonful was able to pull up 96.49% of the items we scanned with the app. 70.9% of the items agreed with the manufacturers’ indication on whether the item was gluten free. However, when Spoonful did not agree with the manufacturer, they were usually being cautious and saying that something is not as gluten free as the manufacturer has said.

We conducted a study of 6 different apps that scan for gluten in grocery items with barcodes. If you would like to check out how they stacked up against each other, click here to check out the article. Below you will find in-depth information on the app Spoonful and how it ended up doing in our testing.

Does Spoonful Work To Find Gluten Free Items In The Grocery Store?

The app Spoonful does have a selection to find out if there is gluten in the items you scan at the grocery store. It also has a variety of other types of foods to check for.

Accuracy: Spoonful agreed with the manufacturers’ 70.9% of the time. If we adjusted it to when Spoonful is more cautious than the manufacturer, it would go up to 83.64% of the time.

Database: When we scanned the 57 items, Spoonful only had 2 instances of not finding the item in their database. This was by far the best result for a database. The rating on this goes up when you consider that they are less than 2 years old.

User Experience: This app is easy to download and navigate. It did require more setup and an email address to use it. After inputting the email address, you need to put in your allergy information so that the app can see if it is safe according to the data you provide. The company did email me at least once a day from signup until writing this review 4 days later.

How Accurate Is Spoonful At Finding Gluten In Items?

Spoonful was able to agree with the manufacturer 70.9% of the time. When you consider the times they are more cautious than the manufacturer, it would climb to 84.64%.

The rest of the instances they were off on were mostly minor.

They said that Pringles might contain gluten, but they actually contain wheat starch, so it should be a bigger warning.

Rice Krispies and Rice Krispies Treats have a may contain. However, they contain malt flavoring.

Bugles are noted as may contain wheat products, but the ingredient list on their app is off, and the bag I scanned said it had wheat flour.

Johnny’s Seasoning Salt is noted as having no gluten ingredients, but the bottle I scanned had a may contain wheat warning on it.

Kix is noted as having no gluten-containing ingredients, but the company says it may contain gluten.

Most of these items here are small differences. Something of note is that most of these were listed on the app when I scanned the item.

When all the instances are taken into consideration, Spoonful has a very high accuracy rate.

How Big Is Spoonful’s Database?

Spoonful does not say how many items are in their database, unlike some other apps. However, when we scanned items, Spoonful could pull it up 96.49% of the time.

Of the 57 items that we scanned, only 2 were not able to be pulled up. These items were Campbell’s Cream of Potato Soup and Bar M Applewood Smoked Sausage With Bacon.

Campbell’s has wheat on the can, but I do see people asking about cream soups often online. The Sausages were labeled gluten free on the package by the company. But having that additional information from an app would have been helpful.

In the end, almost all of the items that we scanned populated information in the Spoonful app.

What Is The User Experience Of Spoonful?

Spoonful took some time to get set up with user information. It required login with an email address and to verify that email address before beginning. I had to choose a username to continue and select the items I wanted to avoid in my diet.

It didn’t take long, maybe 2 or 3 minutes on my smartphone. But it was the most set up that Spoonful required of any app I tested.

After getting into the app, I found it was beneficial. It had an automatic list of scanned items and a list of items that could be collected as my favorites.

Each item was scored on color from red to green with varying shades of orange and yellow between. These were dependant on how gluten free or not the items were that I had scanned.

The information on the scanner was the most complete of any app. Whether it was certified gluten free, no gluten ingredients may contain, or contains and detailed in a list of the ingredients. There was a full list of ingredients below the problem list of ingredients as well.

After getting the app set up, it was straightforward to use and scan items.

What Are The Negatives On Spoonful?

The biggest negative I have is that someone who is not paying attention to what each item says and only looking at the colors may miss the difference between containing gluten with a list of ingredients such as malt extract and may contain a warning cross-contamination.

The app is almost too detailed for at your fingertips information when scanning items in the store.

Should I Download Spoonful?

You should always look at the packaging for certifications and ingredients and look at the manufacturers’ websites for the best information. All gluten scanning apps are crowd-sourced, which means that they are only as informative as the crowd.

However, it does appear that Spoonful has a process to go through to add items and change how they are listed. This process seems to be curated by actual people, and not averages are taken from everyone.

If you are going to use any gluten scanning apps, this is the one I would recommend using. If you would like to see the full review and comparisons between all 6 gluten scanning apps, look at this article where I compare them.


My passion is supporting those who need to be gluten free. After my family had to transition to eating gluten free I realized how difficult it is. It is more than finding a recipe. It is about how to navigate social situations, deal with isolation, and other things that come along with it. I live in Oregon with my family, cats, and chickens.

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