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Esther Sparhawk

Corn Gluten & Malt -- Update & Reassure Me, Okay?

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I belong to my local celiac support group, and support groups are made up of human beings, so they're capable of making mistakes. I just want to broaden my scope by asking cyberspace folks if my local group's information is correct.

The latest news at our support group is that laws were passed in 2007, so that wheat is supposed to be labeled on all products manufactured in the US. Is that right? What about malt, though? It can still contain gluten through barley, right? So we shouldn't eat anything with "malt" on the label, I'm thinking. Isn't "caramel color" another barley-based ingredient to watch out for too?

How about rye? Is it ever in stuff like "artificial flavors" or "natural flavors" or "spices"? Rye is not included in the 2007 law, right?

Now my celiac support group also suggested that Zatarain's rice mixes were generally safe. But when I looked at Zatarain's Caribbean rice mix, it lists "corn gluten" on the list of ingredients. Is that even a problem? My daughter has never had a reaction to corn in any form, but the very word "gluten" scares me. Somebody let me know if "corn gluten" is bad.

:blink:

Mechelle

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The food labeling law was passed in 2004 (august) and took effect Jan 1 2006. All of the 8 main allergens must be listed. One of those is wheat. Wheat must be identified if it is used for something like mfs, flavorings, etc. (if so, it would say something like "modified food starch-wheat" etc.

here is some more info on it: http://www.celiaccentral.org/Hidden/47/vobId__681/

Malt is still generally derived from barley, so it is not safe. Maltodextrin, though, is safe, unless it says it is made from wheat.

corn gluten is not the same as wheat gluten (or the similar proteins in rye, barley, etc that are problematic for Celiacs). Corn etc is safe.

Here is a list of companies that we know won't hide any gluten in their products (so then, you can feel confident in label reading, and not have to worry about flavorings, etc)

Arrowhead Mills, Aunt Nelly's, Balance, Baskin Robbins, Ben & Jerry, Bertoli, Betty Crocker, Blue Bunny, Breyers, Campbells, Cascadian Farms, Celestial Seasonings, ConAgra, Country Crock, Edy's, General Mills, Good Humor, Green Giant, Haagen Daz, Hellman's, Hershey, Hormel, Hungry Jack, Jiffy, Knorr, Kozy Shack, Kraft, Lawry's, Libby's, Lipton, Martha White, Maxwell House, McCormick, Nabisco, Nestle, Old El Paso, Ortega, Pillsbury, Popsicle, Post, Progresso, Ragu, Russell Stover, Seneca Foods, Skippy, Smucker, Stokely's, Sunny Delight, T Marzetti, Tyson, Unilever, Wishbone, Yoplait, Zatarain's.

(taken from: http://www.glutenfreeforum.com/index.php?s...c=29306&hl=

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Wow! Thanks for the quick response! :P

I looked at the web sites you suggested. That explains what my support group has been talking about lately.

But let's talk vinegar. If I buy a Kraft mayonaise which lists "vinegar" in its ingredients, can I be sure it's not a wheat-based vinegar because the label just says "vinegar" as opposed to "vinegar (made with wheat)"? Before I was told this law went into effect, I avoided any mayo or food products listing vinegar, because I just didn't know if it was safe unless I called the company.

What if the mayo is made by a not-so-trusted company, like Western Family for example. By law, do they have to list wheat after they list vinegar, if that vinegar is made with wheat? And yes, I already understand that distilled vinegar is generally considered safe for celiacs. But what if all it says is "vinegar"? How do I know it's safe?

And again, is caramel color still something to watch out for on labels?

Other people can sometimes guess if they have bought a product which contains gluten, just by their body's reactions. I'm not so lucky. I'm buying for my young child. She doesn't always tell me about her reactions. Right now she's asserting her independence, and it makes it even harder. :angry:

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"Vinegar," when listed as just that one word as an ingredient, is distilled and therefore safe. Some vinegar is malted rather than distilled, but it will be clearly labeled as "malt vinegar." Malt vinegar is not safe for celiacs.

If you are buying vinegar as a product, white vinegar, wine vinegar and apple cider vinegar are safe, but make sure you are not buying something like apple cider flavored vinegar--the flavor may be problematic.

Caramel color is considered safe by every expert I have ever asked. In North America it is made from corn. Shelley Case says, in Gluten-Free Diet-A Comprehensive Resource Guide, Expanded Edition:

European companies use glucose syrup derived from wheat starch, however caramel color is highly processed and contains no gluten. [emphasis in original]

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Caramel color is safe in the U.S. No question.

If vinegar is made from wheat in the U.S. it must now be listed. Vinegar made from wheat is exceedingly rare, and it's distilled anyway and therefor is considered safe.

I've absolutely never seen rye hidden.

You must assume malt is made from barley, although in rare cases it's made from something else.

richard

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to clarify on the corn gluten point:

gluten is a generic term for grain proteins. but we overload the term and use it to refer *just* to the protein in wheat, barley, rye, and oats - the ones that make us sick. it's like asking for a kleenex, when what you really want is a facial tissue. ;)

only the proteins (glutens) that come from wheat, barley, rye, and oats are a problem for celiacs, so corn gluten is just fine.

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Wow! Thanks for the quick response! :P

I looked at the web sites you suggested. That explains what my support group has been talking about lately.

But let's talk vinegar. If I buy a Kraft mayonaise which lists "vinegar" in its ingredients, can I be sure it's not a wheat-based vinegar because the label just says "vinegar" as opposed to "vinegar (made with wheat)"? Before I was told this law went into effect, I avoided any mayo or food products listing vinegar, because I just didn't know if it was safe unless I called the company.

What if the mayo is made by a not-so-trusted company, like Western Family for example. By law, do they have to list wheat after they list vinegar, if that vinegar is made with wheat? And yes, I already understand that distilled vinegar is generally considered safe for celiacs. But what if all it says is "vinegar"? How do I know it's safe?

According to FDA food labeling, if it says "vinegar" it means apple cider vinegar, which is safe.

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