Questions related to: Can I eat barley malt vinegar?

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Is it compulsory for manufacturers or caterers to indicate whether a product is suitable for people with coeliac disease?

No. Labelling products gluten free is voluntary. It is important to remember that there is a defined threshold for being able to label a food product gluten free. Only foods that contain 20 ppm or less can be labelled gluten free. However, there is law that requires businesses to carry out gluten analysis on products labelled gluten free, but it is recognised that good practice will involve testing.

You can find out more on food labels.



Why is Barleycup listed in the Food and Drink Guide?

All the Barleycup beverages are gluten free and are licensed with our Crossed Grain symbol.

Barleycup is made using a unique process that includes extracting a liquid that is then free from gluten. The extraction process involves washing the ingredients so that the water soluble ingredients separate from the roasted raw materials and the non soluble ones, such as gluten. The gluten is retained in post extraction waste. The extracted liquid is then dried and used either as a powder or granules.

The products are regularly tested by an accredited laboratory to ensure that the gluten levels do not exceed 10 parts per million (ppm). The law on gluten free requires gluten free products to contain no more than 20 ppm gluten.

Can I eat whey powder?

Whey is produced from milk and does not contain gluten.

Are there own brand breakfast cereals I can eat?

There are a number of supermarket own brand breakfast cereals which contain a very small amount of barley malt extract. They are tested to make sure that they only contain a level of gluten which can be included in a gluten free diet (20 parts per million or less).

Some retailers have their own ‘Free from’ breakfast cereals too. Own brand Breakfast cereals can be found over on our online Food and Drink Information page.

Is Chinese soy sauce gluten free?

No. Chinese soy sauce is traditionally made with wheat, which makes it unsuitable for people with coeliac disease. If wheat flour has been used as an ingredient, this must be listed on the ingredients list. Gluten free versions are available in the 'Free From' section of most major supermarkets. There are also some types of tamari soy sauce which are suitable. These are listed on our online Food and Drink Information Service.


How do I update my Food and Drink Guide?

It is important to make sure the Food and Drink Guide is kept up to date. Products do change and many new products are added throughout the year. Our Food and Drink Information and mobile app are updated in real time however monthly updates to the Food and Drink Guide hard copy can also be found:

What alcohol can I drink?

Cider, wine, sherry, spirits, port and liqueurs are gluten free.

All spirits are distilled during the manufacturing process, so even when a cereal that contains gluten as an ingredient is used, this process removes any trace of gluten. Therefore, all spirit drinks (including malt whisky which is made from barley) are safe for people with coeliac disease.

Beer, lagers, stouts and ales contain varying amounts of gluten and are not suitable if you have coeliac disease, but specially manufactured gluten free beers are available. You can find a list of these in the ‘Drinks’ section of your Food and Drink Guide, or, if you are a member, on our online Food and Drink Information and our Gluten Free Food Checker app.

There are two types of gluten free beer – naturally gluten free and gluten reduced. For both types, by law, manufacturers can only label their beer gluten free if it contains 20 ppm or less of gluten (the legal definition of gluten free). In addition, a beer made from barley must, by allergen labelling law, state on the labelling that it ‘contains barley.’  You can find out more about how gluten free beer is made and tested by clicking here.

Please remember that alcohol can have side effects whether or not you have coeliac disease. Check out Drink Aware for more information:

This advice has been discussed and continues to be approved by Coeliac UK’s Food Standards Committee, April 2020. 



Why aren’t Aldi & Sainsbury’s breakfast cereals listed on the online Food and Drink Information?

We do not have information on the level of the barley malt extract in their own brand breakfast cereals this year. You can contact them for more information by calling their Customer Service departments Aldi 0800 042 0800, Morrisons 0345 611 6111 & Sainsbury’s 0800 636 262).

Alternative breakfast cereals are listed on our online Food and Drink Information.

Why aren't naturally gluten free foods listed, such as vegetables, bacon and eggs? Can I eat these foods?

Some foods are naturally gluten free. Foods like meat, fish, eggs, fruit and vegetables are all naturally gluten free and so listing these in the Guide would mean the Guide would be unnecessarily large. We list foods on page 6 of the Guide which are naturally gluten free and produce a gluten free checklist which you may find useful. You can download this from the Gluten free diet and lifestyle section of the website.


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