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Natural And Artificial Flavors
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I have been struggling with what ingredients are and are not gluten free. I know a lot of sauces such as soy sauce contain gluten and the obvious ingredients such as wheat barley oat etc., but what I struggle with is natural and artificial flavors that are found in most beverages and a lot of candies and snack bars. I have found conflicting research on whether or not these two ingrdients are safe. Can anyone help me?

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While "natural flavors" can contain gluten, they very rarely actually do. The most likely source would be barley malt, and that is a relatively expensive ingredient, so it is usually explicitly declared as "malt flavor."

If there were wheat in it, in the US (and Canada) it would be required by law to be disclosed as just that, "wheat."

Shelley Case on flavorings:

It would be rare to find a "natural or artificial flavoring" containing gluten (a) because hydrolyzed wheat protein cannot be hidden under the term "flavor." and (B) barley malt extract is almost always declared as "barley malt extract" or "barley malt flavoring." For this reason, most experts do not restrict natural and artificial flavorings in the gluten-free diet.

Gluten-Free Diet - A Comprehensive Resource Guide, published 2008, page 46

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