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Does Malt Extract Contain Gluten?

author image Leah Hart, R.D.
Leah Hart is a Registered Dietitian who began writing professionally in 2011, specializing in health, nutrition and wellness. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in food and nutrition from the University of Idaho, specializing in dietetics. Leah currently works in the field of clinical dietetics in East Texas.
Does Malt Extract Contain Gluten?
Glass of beer with barley and hop grains. Photo Credit: aaron007/iStock/Getty Images

Malt extract is a common addition and flavoring agent to processed foods. The extract is usually made from barley, a grain that contains gluten. Rye and wheat also contain gluten. For people who have gluten sensitivity or celiac disease, avoiding most or all gluten in food is very important to maintain health and avoid life-threatening complications.

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Gluten Content of Malt Extract

Malt extracts contain a varying amount of gluten depending on the type of extract. Some gluten-free food products may still legally use malt extract as an ingredient. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, these products can legally be labeled "gluten-free" as long as the gluten concentration in the final product does not exceed 20 parts per million, which is the lowest consistently detectable level of gluten.

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