Ingredient Information: Dry Smoke Flavoring & Barley Malt Flour

Ingredient Information: Dry Smoke Flavoring & Barley Malt Flour

In Honor of Celiac Disease Awareness Month, Gluten Free Watchdog is writing a series of articles (the goal is one per day during the month of May) related to the gluten-free diet–currently the ONLY treatment for celiac disease. 

Post (#18)…

Please read this information very carefully as it may become confusing very quickly.

This information applies to foods NOT labeled gluten-free.

  1. Dry smoke flavoring may use barley malt flour as a carrier agent. For examples see:

http://www.redarrowusa.com/products/condensed-natural-smoke/charzyme-hickory/

http://www.spicebarn.com/hickory_smoke_powder.htm

  1. It is not known at this time how often dry smoke flavoring in a multi-ingredient product uses barley malt flour as a carrier agent. I have come across two products—a soup and a salsa.
  2. It is not known at this time (at least by Gluten Free Watchdog) how much gluten dry smoke flavoring utilizing barley malt flour as a carrier might contain.

USDA-regulated foods

  1. IF smoke flavoring is included in a USDA-regulated product (meat products, poultry products, egg products, mixed food products that generally contain more than 3% raw meat or 2% or more cooked meat or poultry) it must be declared in the ingredients list as smoke flavoring.
  • IF a protein ingredient is used as a carrier for the smoke flavoring then the protein ingredient must be declared by its common or usual name (i.e., barley malt flour).

FDA-regulated foods

  1. It is unclear at this time whether barley malt flour must be included in the ingredients list when used as a carrier for smoke flavoring in an FDA-regulated food.
  • In 2014 I asked the FDA to clarify whether barley malt flour when used as a carrier for smoke flavoring is considered an ingredient (versus an incidental additive). If it is considered an ingredient then it has to be listed in the ingredients list. If it is considered an incidental additive then it does NOT have to be included in the ingredients list. I received an email from FDA acknowledging receipt of my email. I followed-up with the FDA in 2016 and was told the status of my inquiry was not known but would be looked into. I have not heard back.
  1. The bottom line is that dry smoke flavoring when used as an ingredient in food may sometimes utilize barley malt flour as a carrier agent. Both smoke flavoring and barley malt flour will be declared in foods regulated by the USDA. Barley malt flour when used as a carrier for smoke flavoring may or may not be declared in foods regulated by the FDA.
  2. If you have concerns about smoke flavoring in an FDA-regulated food NOT labeled gluten-free contact the manufacturer and ask if barley malt flour is used as a carrier.
  3. If you are in Canada, Health Canada regulations require the declaration of all gluten sources in packaged food products (including barley).
  4. If the US gluten-free community is up for a project, it will be very helpful to mount a community-wide concerted effort to get barley added as an allergen under FALCPA. This would mean that all ingredients (including incidental additives) containing protein from barley would have to include the word barley in either the ingredient name [e.g., smoke flavoring (barley)] or in a Contains statement (Contains: Barley).

Tomorrow’s Post: Call to Action: Barley protein should be added to FALCPA and here’s why

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Comments (3)

  • Lisa Wisener
    Reply

    I am newly diagnosed gultin intolerant. So trying to learn as much as possible about gultin containing products.

    January 7, 2021 at 12:10 am
  • Angelica Reply

    Oh this was here all the time! I’ve been wondering why smoke flavored products always “gluten” me. I’ve tried asking the USDA on several occasions about it, it always goes into a “memory hole.” Basically, I can’t have any ham, ever again. And bacon is iffy at best. I think the only reason bacon is sometimes ok is, I don’t eat as large a quantity of bacon as I do of ham. I end up buying “cooked” not smoked ham slices. This is ridic. And the total deafness to any request for change is absurd. Obviously rice, corn, sorghum, or even tapioca could be malted for that purpose.

    I bet malted chestnut flour tastes really nice, getting that out of the food processing boondocks might solve the GF beer flavor problem and the smoke problem.

    I wonder how many grain-free Paleos realize they’re probably getting some barley whenever they use smoke flavor.

    Thank you for this article.

    April 19, 2021 at 8:03 pm
  • Susan Reply

    I found this post after suspecting smoke flavoring had made me sick. It was in my “gluten free” restaurant fish plate last night. Interesting. I didn’t know! Thank you.

    September 7, 2021 at 8:54 pm

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