Is Pepperoni Low FODMAP?

One of the most preferred pizza toppings for many, Pepperoni is typically a variety of salami, a thinly sliced sausage made from pork and beef. It gets its bright-red colour and fiery, spicy, smoky flavour from paprika (a powder made from chilli peppers and ground-up red pepper pods).

Pepperoni is typically made by stuffing meat filling into a tube-shaped casing. Most of the manufacturers use a narrow casing that stretches as soon as filling is added, so the filling flows faster down the centre than the sides. 

While the classic recipe of this Italian-American-born salami consists of beef or pork with several spices and culture to ferment the ingredients, certain processed pepperoni products on the store shelves may contain high FODMAP ingredients.

So, here we take a look at which pepperoni ingredients are safe or should be avoided on the low FODMAP regimen.

So, is pepperoni Low FODMAP?

Yes, as per the Monash app fodmap, pepperoni is free of high FODMAP ingredients. Most pepperoni contains pork and beef, along with many seasonings such as paprika, chilies, and additional ingredients.

The proteins present in pepperoni do not contain FODMAPs, so there is no need to worry about those. Whether it is a classic beef and pork combination, or turkey pepperoni, most animal protein choices are safe. But, if you choose a vegetarian pepperoni product, there may be ingredients such as wheat gluten or soybeans. Wheat and soy protein are high FODMAP should be avoided on the low FODMAP diet.

Other common pepperoni ingredients such as dextrose, lactic acid culture, salt, citric acid, and sodium nitrite are safe on the low FODMAP diet.

Additives in Pepperoni

Apart from this, you also need to investigate the rest of the label. Some of the things here that you need to keep an eye on include -

  • Spices

Pepperoni labels often have spices listed on them. While in the U.S., garlic and onion are not allowed to be hidden within this term as per FDA guidelines, they could be part of spices as per the USDA guidelines which apply to pepperoni. You should check the labeling policies in your country if you are outside of the US.

Common spices in pepperoni include sugar, cayenne pepper, salt, ground black pepper, paprika, anise seed, and garlic. Other than garlic, all of these ingredients are low FODMAP. 

  • Natural Flavorings

Natural flavorings is another term that often appears on pepperoni. It is best to check with the manufacturer if any onion or garlic of any kind is used in their natural flavorings.

  • Other Ingredients

Among the other ingredients in some common pepperoni products that are safe to consume include:

a. Fennel Seed: One teaspoon is considered a safe serving.

b. Ground Black Pepper: One teaspoon is considered a safe serving.

c. Mustard Seed: One teaspoon is considered a safe serving.

d. Red Wine: Safe serving is five ounces (low FODMAP safe).

e. Chilli Pepper: 11cm long red chili pepper or green chili pepper is considered low FODMAP safe.

f. Yeast Extract: Low FODMAP safe serving for yeast extract is unspecified by Monash University.

g. Evaporated Cane Syrup: One tablespoon is considered safe.

h.Vinegar: One tablespoon of balsamic vinegar is safe, while two tablespoons of vinegar like apple cider vinegar, malt vinegar, red wine vinegar, or rice wine vinegar are low FODMAP safe.

i. Herbs such as Basil, Oregano, Thyme, or Rosemary: One teaspoon of dried herb is a safe low FODMAP serving.

j. Nutritional Yeast: One tablespoon of nutritional yeast flakes is considered low FODMAP safe.

Last Thoughts

If you are on the low FODMAP diet and want to know if the pepperoni you eat is low FODMAP or not, this is your guide. It helps you determine if pepperoni is free from high FODMAP ingredients by reading the labels and ensuring you keep to low FODMAP safe portion sizes.

Low FODMAP pepperoni brands (please cross check ingredients as manufacturers may change ingredients): 

    • Hornet Pepperoni Cup n’ Crisp safe at 1 serving (17 slices)
    • Great Value Dry-Cured Sliced Pepperoni - safe since the natural flavoring is <2%. Found in USA, Walmart.
    • Private Selections Pepperoni- Found at Kroger
    • Hormel Natural Choice Uncured Pepperoni. Safe serving: 1 oz
    • Kroger pepperoni meat snack pizza topping - *** Double check ingredients for garlic - some have been seen with identical packaging.
    • Member's Mark Deli Style Pepperoni. Safe Serving: 1
    • Hillshire Farm Pepperoni. Package serving size is 5 slices.
    • Hormel Natural Choice Pepperoni. Safe at manufacturer serving size (15 pieces). Deli meat. 

Medically reviewed by Onikepe Adegbola, MD PhD

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