Frequently Asked Questions Find everything you need to know about coeliac disease, the gluten free diet and the work we do.
Should I be avoiding these products?
Many of the fermented and hydrolysed foods eg cheese, plain yogurt, white wine vinegar, cider vinegar are made from ingredients that do not contain gluten and are suitable for a gluten free diet. It’s always best practice to check that no ingredients containing gluten have been added to these products.
Products made from gluten containing cereals (wheat, barley, rye) which have been fermented or hydrolysed such as beer, soy sauce are only suitable for a gluten free diet if they have been processed to remove gluten, have been tested to be 20 ppm or less of gluten and are labelled gluten free. The products made from gluten containing cereals must also have on their label the statement ‘contains wheat/barley/rye’ as appropriate so they can be distinguished from those made with naturally gluten free ingredients. While we find answers, you can make a choice that is right for you by using the label to see what is in the product and make a choice on whether you want to consume it.
What about barley malt vinegar?
Barley malt vinegar is made from barley, (a gluten containing cereal) and is found in pickles, chutneys and some sauces. If it is used in a food product the manufacturer must list and emphasise the word ‘barley’ in the ingredients list in line with European allergen labelling law.
Barley malt vinegar is made using a process called fermentation, which breaks the gluten protein in barley into smaller fragments. Foods that contain small amounts of barley malt vinegar can be eaten by people with coeliac disease if they contain 20 parts per million (ppm) of gluten or less. In addition, barley malt vinegar is usually only eaten in small amounts, for example, drained pickled vegetables, sauces with a meal or on chips.
We are asking food manufacturers who produce products made with ingredients from gluten containing grains, such as barley malt vinegar, to not only confirm to us that their products have been tested and shown to have no more than 20 ppm gluten, but also to label them gluten free. In the absence of a gluten free label they will no longer be included in our Food Information listings.
We are continuing to engage with the manufacturers to achieve a commitment to enable these products to be labelled gluten free in the future and we will also be asking you for your views and experiences in a survey.
There are alternative sources of vinegar that are not made from barley such as balsamic, cider, sherry, spirit, white wine and red wine vinegar.
Why have some of the pickle, gravy, vinegar and cereal products been removed from the GFFC app and the Food and Drink Guide?
Some of these products contain ingredients from gluten containing grains such as barley malt extract and barley malt vinegar. Where we have not been able to obtain information from the manufacturer that confirms the products have been tested and shown to have no more than 20 ppm gluten, and are labelled gluten free, they have been removed from our listings. We are continuing to engage with the manufacturers to achieve a commitment to enable these products to be labelled gluten free in the future and we will also be asking you for your views and experiences in a survey.