There are a few things to watch out for, and some of them are literally trick questions. Some ingredients look safe, but are in fact made from barley.
Here is a list of foods and food ingredients that contain (or may contain) barley or are derived from barley.
NOTE: This is not a complete list, but it will be updated as we discover additional information.
Ingredients Derived From Barley
Watch for the following on lists of ingredients. Many of these ingredients could be made from a variety of sources, including barley. Other than food that is specifically labeled “gluten-free”, you can’t be sure exactly what these ingredients are made from, and it may change over time and manufacturers use different suppliers.
If your favorite food contains one of these ingredients, try calling the manufacturer and asking them what the ingredient is derived from.
As general awareness in the food industry increases about gluten allergies and celiac disease, some manufacturers may shift from barley-derived ingredients to corn-derived ingredients.
- Brown rice syrup (often made from barley)
- Caramel color (sometimes made from barley)
- Malt or malt flavoring (usually made from barley. Could be made from corn which is OK)
- Malt vinegar
- Maltose (often made from barley)
Foods Made From Barley
These foods are made from barley or can contain barley. Read ingredients to be sure.
- Coffee substitutes.
- Beer (could be made from wheat)
- Whisky (generally ‘safe’ due to the distillation process, but highly sensitive individuals must research specific brands to be sure they are safe).
- Mugicha (Japanese and Korean drink)
- Soups and stews (check ingredients)
- Fructan (a sweetener made from Barley)
- Health foods (check ingredients)
Some ingredients look like they might be made from barley but are not:
- Maltodextrin – may be made from potato, corn or rice. In some cases it can be derived from wheat, but must be labels as such in the US (other countries may have different labeling laws).
Note: one reader reports that “pillsbury all purpose organic to be barley free”