Which ingredient in this list might contain malt?
In honor of Celiac Disease Awareness Month 2018,
A series of bites, barks, tail wags, face licks, and pant tugs from Gluten Free Watchdog
May 14, 2018
Gluten Free Watchdog pant tug, Post # 14
Question: In the US, which ingredient in the list below might contain malt causing the product to have a gluten level of at least 20 ppm when tested with the competitive R5 ELISA (detects gluten protein fragments from fermented/hydrolyzed protein)?
Ingredients: Yellow corn meal, Chili powder, Maltodextrin, Corn starch, Cumin, Dried onion, Garlic powder, Potassium chloride, Yeast extract, Onion powder, Sugar, Black pepper, Citric acid, Oregano, Red pepper, Celery seed
Answer: yeast extract
The ingredient “yeast extract” may be made from spent yeast. Spent yeast is a by-product of the beer brewing process—what is left of the yeast once it has been used to make beer. As a result spent brewer’s yeast may contain grain and/or malt.
In the US, barley protein is not considered a major allergen and it is not included in the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act (FALCPA). Consequently, there is no way to know from the food label whether the ingredient yeast extract contains barley protein unless barley is voluntarily declared.
If a product containing yeast extract is not labeled gluten-free, it is important to clarify with the manufacturer whether spent yeast is the source of yeast extract.
Note: Some of you may have guessed maltodextrin. Despite the name, maltodextrin is not malt. It is the case that maltodextrin may be made from wheat starch. But under FALCPA, if an FDA-regulated food product contains maltodextrin and the maltodextrin contains protein derived from wheat, the word wheat must be included on the food label (e.g., maltodextrin (wheat). If you don’t see the word wheat on the label of an FDA-regulated product containing maltodextrin, the food product does not contain wheat protein as an ingredient.