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  • Scott Adams

    Is McDonald's Frappe Gluten-Free?

    Scott Adams
    1 1
    Reviewed and edited by a celiac disease expert.

      Can people with celiac disease drink a McDonald's Frappe?


    Image: CC BY-SA 2.0--theimpulsivebuy
    Caption: Image: CC BY-SA 2.0--theimpulsivebuy

    McDonald's is not known for its gluten-free offerings. If you are are at a McDonald's, the number of safe food offerings are slim. So, what about the coffee drinks, like the McDonald's Frappe? Is the McDonald's Frappe gluten-free and safe for people with celiac disease?

    McDonald's Frappes are sweet espresso drinks blended with ice and covered with whipped topping, available in Caramel or Mocha flavors. We've gotten numerous questions on our gluten-free and celiac disease forum about McDonald's Frappes.



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    We get more than a few question about McDonald's Frappes. Specifically, are McDonald's Frappes gluten-free, and safe for people with celiac disease?

    McDonald's does not specifically label their Carmel or Mocha Frappe as gluten-free. However, a glance at the website shows no gluten ingredients.

    The McDonald's website lists the ingredients for the McDonald's Frappe as:

    Caramel Syrup

    • Ingredients: Sugar, Sweetened Condensed Skim Milk (Milk, Sugar), Water, Corn Syrup, Natural Flavors, Brown Sugar, Propylene Glycol, Sea Salt, Disodium Phosphate, Potassium Sorbate (Preservative).

    Mocha Coffee Frappe Base

    • Ingredients: Cream, Skim Milk, Sugar, Water, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Coffee Extract, Milk, Natural & Artificial Flavors, Cocoa (Processed with Alkali), Mono & Diglycerides, Guar Gum, Potassium Citrate, Disodium Phosphate, Carrageenan, Locust Bean Gum, Red 40, Yellow 5, Blue 1. Contains: Milk

    Whipped Light Cream

    • Ingredients: Cream, Nonfat Milk, Liquid Sugar, Contains 2% or Less: Mono and Diglycerides, Natural Flavors, Carrageenan. Whipping Propellant (Nitrous Oxide). Contains: Milk.

    Caramel Drizzle

    • Ingredients: Corn Syrup, Sweetened Condensed Milk (Milk, Sugar), Sugar, Water, Butter (Cream, Salt, Natural Flavor), Salt, Pectin, Disodium Phosphate, Natural Flavor, Caramel Color, Potassium Sorbate (Preservative).

    Chocolate Drizzle

    • Ingredients: Corn Syrup, Dextrose, Water, Sugar, Glycerin, Hydrogenated Coconut Oil, Cocoa (Processed with Alkali), Modified Food Starch, Nonfat Milk, Natural Flavors, Salt, Gellan Gum, Disodium Phosphate, Potassium Sorbate (Preservative), Soy Lecithin.

    Milk is the only allergen listed for Carmel flavor. Milk and soy are listed as allergens for the Mocha flavor.

    Based on McDonald's website and listed ingredients, both the Carmel  and the mocha Frappes are gluten-free and likely safe for people with celiac disease. As always, be careful. Read labels, and watch out for allergens. When in doubt, check ingredients, and check the company website. 

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    I would be wary of these because of the "natural flavors." Companies can use barley in "natural flavors" and don't have to list it as an allergen. Anything with "natural flavors" is a possible problem for people with celiac disease.

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  • About Me

    Scott Adams was diagnosed with celiac disease in 1994, and, due to the nearly total lack of information available at that time, was forced to become an expert on the disease in order to recover. In 1995 he launched the site that later became Celiac.com to help as many people as possible with celiac disease get diagnosed so they can begin to live happy, healthy gluten-free lives.  He is co-author of the book Cereal Killers, and founder and publisher of the (formerly paper) newsletter Journal of Gluten Sensitivity. In 1998 he founded The Gluten-Free Mall which he sold in 2014. Celiac.com does not sell any products, and is 100% advertiser supported.


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