Is barley malt extract vegetarian?
Also known as malted barley or malt extract, barley malt is a thick sweet syrup made from sprouting barley and using its enzymes to convert the starches into sugar. This mixture is then cooked down until it's reduced to a thick syrup. This process is known as malting.
Made in much the same process as beer (at least at first), malt (from barley or another grain) is mixed with water, the starches are broken into sugar, the sugars are fed to yeast, and the yeast produces alcohol. Then, a particular kind of bacteria known as Acetobacter “converts the alcohol portion to acid.”
- Malta is a lightly carbonated malt beverage, brewed from barley, hops, and water much like beer; corn and caramel color may also be added. Malta is like a beer that has not been fermented.
- Malt is usually made from barley and is not gluten free. It can be made from corn, but that is rare. Most malt comes from barley grain that has been soaked, germinated and dried. Ingredients made from malt include malt flavoring, malt syrup and malt extract, none of which are currently considered gluten free.
- Malt flavoring is an extract that can be used to make a variety of edible items, including beer, whiskey, milkshakes and certain candies and baked goods. The term "malt" comes from the process associated with making malt flavoring, "malting."
Malt Extract and Gluten-Free Foods. In the United Kingdom gluten-free foods may contain barley malt extract. According to the website of the UK Coeliac Society, “products containing barley malt extract in low levels that meet the Codex standard can be tolerated by most people with coeliac disease.”
- It is important to note, however, that grasses are not a grain. If you are avoiding barley grass or wheat grass because you are avoiding the protein called gluten, these grasses are safe. They are totally gluten-free! You've heard of them - barley grass, wheatgrass, oat grass, alfalfa.
- Even though corn by itself doesn't contain the type of gluten that makes us sick, most brands of corn flakes are not safe for those following the gluten-free diet. Specifically, Kellogg's Corn Flakes cereal, a perennial favorite, includes "malt flavoring" as its third ingredient.
- It's easy to forget how elegant something as simple as rice pudding can be. There's no flour and no cornstarch, and not even any egg yolks. You'll need nothing but the arborio rice plus some milk to make this thick and creamy gluten free pudding.
Updated: 11th October 2018