Most corn tortilla chips contain no gluten ingredients, but you shouldn't assume that they're gluten-free — many are subject to gluten cross-contamination from shared facilities and from the raw materials used to make them.
To make sure you're purchasing gluten-free tortilla chips, you should stick with gluten-free-labeled packages. Fortunately, there are several manufacturers out there who make them; here's a list of what's available:
• Frito-Lay tortilla chips. Frito-Lay now publishes a list of products that contain fewer than 20 parts per million of gluten, and the list includes plenty of gluten-free tortilla chip and corn chip options. For example, many Tostitos products, including Natural Yellow Corn Chips and Natural Blue Corn Chips, are considered gluten-free, as are Frito's Original Corn Chips and Frito's Scoops! Corn Chips, and many Santitas products (you can check the list here). However, I'd advise some caution when purchasing Frito-Lay products — many people with celiac disease and gluten sensitivity (even some who are not particularly sensitive) report getting glutened by Frito-Lay products.
• Food Should Taste Good tortilla chips. Food Should Taste Good makes a variety of really interesting tortilla chip flavors, including olive, chocolate and "The Works!" (loaded with onion, garlic, poppy and caraway seeds). All of the company's products (which also include gluten-free potato chips and gluten-free multigrain chips) are certified gluten-free to at least 10 parts per million of gluten by the Gluten-Free Certification Organization (GFCO). They can be tricky to find locally (even though some Starbucks carry the snack-sized bags).
• Way Better tortilla chips. Way Better Snacks sprouts its grain ingredients before using them to create tortilla chips, which the company says helps to unlock the nutrients in the corn and other grains it uses. All the company's products are certified gluten-free by the GFCO, meaning they contain less than 10 parts per million of gluten. They're produced on dedicated gluten-free lines. Corn tortilla chip flavors include Unbeatable Blues, Simply So Sweet Chili and No-Salt Naked Blues. Again, these are tough to find in stores.
Tortilla chips that are NOT gluten-free. There are several brands of tortilla chips that would appear to be gluten-free by their labels, but are not safe. Mission Foods corn tortilla chips don't contain any gluten ingredients, but are produced in a plant that also processes wheat tortilla products. The same goes for Kettle brand tortilla chips — the company states that they're made on shared lines that are cleaned in between runs, but admits "there is a slight possibility of cross contamination."
Garden of Eatin', which makes several varieties of corn chips, also does not consider them gluten-free, although readers report that some (not all) Garden of Eatin' corn chips now are labeled gluten-free. The products should fall below 20 parts per million of gluten if they are labeled gluten-free.
Utz, which makes several different types of corn tortilla chip products, maintains a gluten-free snack list; however, many people report reactions that they've traced to Utz products. When you read the fine print in the company's gluten statement, it doesn't actually guarantee that the products on the list are gluten-free. I'd steer clear, and choose a certified gluten-free tortilla chip product instead.