Questions related to: Can I eat barley malt vinegar?

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What was the outcome of the Westminster debate on gluten free prescribing?

You can find a full transcript of the debate here.

The Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Health committed to completing a review of the issue within six months of the debate, which was held on 1 November 2016. The Department of Health consultation was issued on 31 March 2017. Coeliac UK was not contacted during the intervening period. 


What is barley malt extract?

Malt extract and malt flavourings are commonly made from barley, although they can be produced from other grains. Barley malt extract is a flavouring often added in small amounts to breakfast cereals and chocolates.

Foods that contain barley malt extract in smaller amounts can be eaten by people with coeliac disease. However, any foods that contain barley malt extract will be labelled as containing barley and you will not be able to tell from the ingredients list how much has been used. Products containing barley malt extract that are labelled gluten free are suitable for people with coeliac disease.

The own brand breakfast cereals listed on our Food and Drink Information are suitable for people with coeliac disease. They contain a very small amount of barley malt extract and are tested to make sure they contain 20 parts per million or less of gluten which is a safe level of gluten for people with coeliac disease. However, because they contain barley malt extract you will see this listed and emphasised in the ingredients list.

If you see barley malt extract in a product that is not listed in the Food and Drink Guide or on our Food and Drink Information service then contact our Helpline or the manufacturer for more information.

Can I eat monosodium glutamate (MSG)?

Monosodium glutamate (MSG) is gluten free. It is a flavour enhancer used in many manufactured foods and can be made from wheat; however, during processing the wheat protein is completely hydrolysed (broken down) and can be eaten by people with coeliac disease.


Can I eat modified starch?

Modified starch is used in many products and can be derived from a variety of sources. If the source is a cereal that contains gluten, manufacturers must list this in the ingredients list in line with the EU wide allergen labelling law, for example modified wheat starch. If you see modified starch on the ingredients list and it does not refer to a cereal that contains gluten, such as wheat, this must be from a cereal that does not contain gluten and is gluten free.

Can I eat dextrose?

Dextrose is gluten free. It can be made from wheat but the production methods involve a high level of hydrolysation, which means that no gluten is left in the sugars. The final ingredient is gluten free and dextrose can be eaten by people with coeliac disease.

Why aren’t Walkers crisps listed in the Food and Drink Guide?

Walkers cannot guarantee that any of their crisps are suitable for people following a gluten-free diet.

The law on gluten-free labelling means a strict criteria has to be met if manufacturers want to indicate the suitability of their foods for people with coeliac disease.

In order to label ‘gluten-free’ or ‘suitable for coeliacs’ products would have to ensure that they contain no more than 20 parts per million gluten. As Walkers cannot meet this requirement, they have removed their ‘suitable for coeliacs’ label. In addition, they have added an advisory statement on packs that states that the crisp products have been made in a factory where there are gluten-containing ingredients.

You can contact Walkers directly for more information by calling their careline on 0800 980 8235.

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.

Why are the supermarkets own brand products listed separately in the Guide?

The way that people use the Food and Drink Guide varies between individuals. We list the supermarket own brands separately as many members only go to one or two supermarkets and so we list supermarket own brand products together.

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