Friday, 8 July 2011

Tea bags - glue? gluten-free? Taylors of Harrogate

I am following a Facebook thread where tea sometimes causes problems for coeliacs.  Some herbal teas have barley in, but the writers were finding even tea with no named gluten-bearing product caused their usual symptoms.  Someone said they had come across teabags which were glued with a glue which contained wheat.  I wondered what was in the teabags I used - just curiosity, I have no problems with them so was pretty sure no wheat had got anywhere near them.

I wrote to Taylors of Harrogate and Twinings.  Within a couple of hours Taylors had replied:

Dear Lois

Many thanks for your enquiry, the teabag paper is not actually sealed with glue.
The teabag paper is made up in several layers. One side of the paper incorporates a very thin web of a meltable plastic (polypropylene).
Just to explain further polypropylene is a really commonly used plastic in the food industry, if you have any Tupperware at home the containers are made out of polyprop.

Hope this helps.

Kind regards

Judith Wagstaff

Customer Services Team
Taylors of Harrogate

So, I learnt more than I expected - aren't modern food packaging processes amazing!  


  1. I heard something about the glue on envelopes though, but its just silly. Tea is naturally gluten free.

  2. camellla sinensis is of course gluten free, but people make drinks using dried materials of many types, and barley malt is a common flavouring in hot drinks. The point was raised as one of the national coeliac societies had put out an advisory about wheat in teabag glue some years not daft. I am sure most of us have used wheat for glue at some point..making papier mache, or home made play dough.

  3. Thanks for giving this information. I also though that glue is used in tea bags. But after your post I believe that glue is not used in Tea bags and that is very good.


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