Attention Gluten-Free Manufacturers: Important Information about Malt

Attention Gluten-Free Manufacturers: Important Information about Malt

On March 12, 2014 an FDA staff member (Carol D’lima, Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, FDA) participated in an Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Medical Nutrition Practice Group Webinar entitled, “New Rules for Gluten Free Labeling: Get the Facts from the Experts.” The webinar included information both in written and verbal format on the ingredient malt extract.

Information on FDA slide entitled, “Malt Extract/Syrup”

0 Malt—Product of barley germination

0 Malt Extract/Malt Syrup—Viscous concentrate of water extract of germinated barley

0 “Ingredients not processed to remove gluten”

Transcription of audio from FDA presentation

(Note: the portion below bracketed by “?” is difficult to decipher)

“… We have had several questions regarding malt extract and malt syrup so I thought I would just touch upon this a little bit.

Malt is a product of barley germinated under controlled conditions.

Malt syrup and malt extract are interchangeable terms for a viscous concentrate of water extract of germinated barley with or without the preservative.

Malt syrup is usually a brown and viscous liquid containing varying amounts of amylolytic enzymes with plant constituents.

So if malt syrup or malt extract are further processed in some way to remove proteins we believe that would change its nature to such an extent and alter the characteristics of the ingredient so that they would no longer bear the same common or ?usual name?.

Malt extract and malt syrup are ingredients derived from gluten containing grains and containing gluten therefore we would consider them as  ingredients not processed to remove gluten and they would not be permitted in foods bearing the claim gluten-free.” (emphasis added)

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Comments (3)

  • Bonnie Reply

    Food manufacturers labeling their products “gluten free” while incorporating ingredients such as “barley malt”, “malt extract”, “malt syrup” or any other “derivative” of barley, need to know that these “ingredients” are the equivalent to “poison” for a significant percentage of the gluten-free population. Manufacturers, before jumping on the “gluten-free bandwagon”, educate yourselves, follow the established federal rules and guidelines, be vigilant in knowing when regulations are updated, develop a plan to implement changes quickly and efficiently and take responsibility for the consequences. Alternatively, refrain from labeling your food products “gluten free”.

    February 16, 2016 at 6:27 pm
  • Julia Reply

    I thought that malt extract could be derived from corn instead? I’ve certainly seen it labeled as such before

    March 18, 2016 at 10:15 am
    • Tricia Thompson Reply

      Hi Julia, Yes malt can be derived from corn (or sorghum,etc) BUT if this is the case the grain will be included in the ingredients list (e.g., corn malt). The single word “malt” in the ingredients list means “barley malt” based on the CFR for malt.

      March 18, 2016 at 9:43 pm

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