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"smoke Flavour" In President's Choice Bruschetta Topping

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Hi everyone,

Long time reader, first time poster. I bought some PC Bruschetta Topping (with Roasted Vegetables) today and was reading the ingredient list as always. Everything was fine, but then I ran into the ingredient "smoke flavour" which is one I have not seen before. I figured I would hold off eating any until I had a chance to look it up but accidentally licked the spoon. Didn't think much of it until I discovered that smoke flavour can come from barley flour.

 

I'm Canadian and this was from a Canadian store; I know Health Canada requires gluten sources to be labelled and PC is generally a good brand with that sort of thing. I'm wondering whether I should be concerned about the smoke flavour possibly being barley derived and unlabelled, and whether anybody else has run into reactions with ths product?

 

Any help would be immensely appreciated. I've been super careful to avoid reactions, even choosing celiac friendly restaurants, but I'm not sure about this.

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I've wondered about the smoke flavor in turkey breast deli meat and in provalone cheese too.

 

This is from the "Gluten Free Dietician" website:

(Disclaimer: this isn't a "scientific" site or based on medical research, but I've found them to be reliable.)

 

Smoke Flavoring
This flavoring is derived from burning various woods, including hickory and mesquite. Barley malt flour may be used as a carrier for the captured “smoke.” Some manufacturers list the sub-ingredients of the smoke flavoring used in their products; others do not. I recently came across a salsa product that included smoke flavoring. The ingredient list read, “natural smoke flavor” (contains organic malted barley flour). Typically, I don’t consider salsa a likely place to find gluten but this is a good example of why it really is important to always read the ingredients list of any processed food!

http://www.glutenfreedietitian.com/newsletter/flavorings-extracts-are-they-gluten-free/

 

 

I also found this other site (also not a scientific, medical source):

 

As Shelley Case, an international gluten-free expert writes "barley malt extract or barley malt flavoring 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 a gluten free diet"2 A notable exception to this rule is "smoke flavor", which often contains barley flour.3

http://www.harriswholehealth.com/wp-content/uploads/2007/09/Can-Natural-and-Artificial-Flavors-Contain-Gluten1.pdf

 

 

So generally I don't trust it without checking with the manufacturer.

 

(Oh... and I'm in the U.S. where they have to alert the consumer to wheat, but the same isn't true for barley.)

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I also found this other site (also not a scientific, medical source):

 

As Shelley Case, an international gluten-free expert writes "barley malt extract or barley malt flavoring 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 a gluten free diet"2 A notable exception to this rule is "smoke flavor", which often contains barley flour.3

For the record, only the part that I bolded is from Shelley Case. She does not make an exception for smoke. The person claiming that smoke is an exception is not Shelley Case.

 

Smoke flavoring is listed here on our list of safe ingredients.

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Wasn't saying Case said the whole thing.. just copied/pasted the pertinent section - which is sourced to two different people.

Might have been the person you copied from, but it looked like you were saying that.

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I was under the assumption that smoke flavor can come from corn products. Me being corn intolerant I stay away from any "Smoke Flavor" But I found this site it says "Flavorings" can come from hydrolyzed corn or wheat ... It's in here 

 

http://www.fsis.usda.gov/OPPDE/larc/Ingredients/PMC_QA.htm

 

 

 

  1. Question: What commonly used ingredients, which have been designated as "flavors" prior to March 1990, must be designated by their common or usual name?

Answer:
 Hydrolyzed (source) proteins (e.g., hydrolyzed corn gluten, hydrolyzed casein, hydrolyzed wheat protein, and hydrolyzed milk protein), gelatin, hydrolyzed meat and meat by-products (i.e., "hydrolyzed [species and tissue of origin]"), autolyzed yeast, and autolyzed yeast extract are some examples.
 

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Actually I guess that doesn't really explain it does it... Sorry I read it wrong lol 

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So I did a little more digging and found this (this one is specific to bacon):

 

"some manufacturers of liquid smoke flavor actually use barley malt powder to make their products (barley, as we know, is a gluten grain). If your bacon maker can't guarantee the liquid smoke in the bacon is gluten-free, definitely choose a different product"

http://celiacdisease.about.com/od/GlutenFreeMeats/a/Gluten-free-Bacon.htm

 

There is also a Hickory Smoke Powder, that contains barley malt flour:  http://www.americanspice.com/hickory-smoke-powder/

 

 

So maybe if in Canada they have to declare Barley as a source then you'd be safe.  But from what I understand I don't think the same is true here in the U.S.

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There is also a Hickory Smoke Powder, that contains barley malt flour:  http://www.americanspice.com/hickory-smoke-powder/

Indeed there is, and if you read the ingredients for that product, it contains hickory smoke flavor and barley malt flour as two distinct ingredients. The smoke flavor was gluten-free until they added flour to make a powder.

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Indeed there is, and if you read the ingredients for that product, it contains hickory smoke flavor and barley malt flour as two distinct ingredients. The smoke flavor was gluten-free until they added flour to make a powder.

 

Correct.  My point was that if some other food manufacturer used this as their smoke flavor it is possible that they could list "Hickory Smoke Flavor" on the label without listing what's in it.  Maybe they wouldn't do that... but I just don't trust anything with "smoke flavor" in it without checking with the company first.

Like I said before... maybe you guys up in Canada are safe (or safer) but here in the US they don't consider barley to be a common allergy so they can get away with not including it on the label.

 

Actually... I've seen packaged turkey breast deli meat that just has "turkey broth" in the ingredient list with no mention of wheat anywhere...  but the stuff does in fact have wheat in it.  If they can get away with that then they can definitely get away without declaring barley.

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Correct.  My point was that if some other food manufacturer used this as their smoke flavor it is possible that they could list "Hickory Smoke Flavor" on the label without listing what's in it.  Maybe they wouldn't do that... but I just don't trust anything with "smoke flavor" in it without checking with the company first.

Like I said before... maybe you guys up in Canada are safe (or safer) but here in the US they don't consider barley to be a common allergy so they can get away with not including it on the label.

 

Actually... I've seen packaged turkey breast deli meat that just has "turkey broth" in the ingredient list with no mention of wheat anywhere...  but the stuff does in fact have wheat in it.  If they can get away with that then they can definitely get away without declaring barley.

How do you know "the stuff does in fact have wheat in it. "?

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No, they could not include that "smoke powder" and list it simply as "smoke flavor" because it contains other things besides flavor. The meaning of "flavor" in the US is found in CFR Title 21 Sec 101.22. "Flour" is not flavor. Believe what you want, but smoke flavor is safe.

And, while this sidebar about flavor in the US is of some relevance, the product referenced by the OP is a Canadian grocery company's private label and is sold only in Canada.

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Actually... I've seen packaged turkey breast deli meat that just has "turkey broth" in the ingredient list with no mention of wheat anywhere...  but the stuff does in fact have wheat in it.  If they can get away with that then they can definitely get away without declaring barley.

 

 This is confusing to me. As I understand food labeling laws. if there is wheat in the broth, they have to declare it. 

 

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Just making sure future readers get the full picture.  Smoke flavor can in fact contain barley flour as the OP suggested.  And in the US, barley does not have to be declared.

 

 

If it is an ingredient, it must be listed.  Just as salt or corn syrup or rice must be listed.

 

I just bought some Liquid Smoke and it even says Gluten free on it.

 

But as always, do what feels right for you.

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