Is malt vinegar safe for coeliacs?

Black and white picture of 4 bottles of parsons vinegar

Updated 15th April 2024

Whilst in the past, there was much confusion about whether or not it was safe for somebody with coeliac disease to consume malt vinegar and barley malt, I can confirm, that the current advice is that malt vinegar and barley malt is NOT safe to include within a gluten free diet.  

Please read the following extract from Coeliac UK for more information…

Coeliac Uk have recently changed their advice about including malt vinegar and barley malt extract within a gluten free diet and now advise the following:

  • We are no longer listing products containing barley malt extract or barley malt vinegar unless they are labelled gluten free.
  • This is because barley malt extract and barley malt vinegar are made from gluten containing grains.

For the full update from Coeliac UK regarding barley malt vinegar and barley malt extract please click here. I do feel this new guidance from Coeliac Uk is a great move, and brings with it much needed clarity.

I now use white wine, rice or cyder vinegar to drizzle over my chips, as they are a safe alternative to malt vinegar and taste great too! 

Hope you found the information within this article helpful. Give me a shout if you have any questions. 

For now,
Liz x



4 thoughts on “Is malt vinegar safe for coeliacs?

    • Elizabeth Rimmer says:

      It’s all so confusing isn’t it?!! As barley is listed as a known allergen, it must be highlighted in bold when it has been added to any product. So despite malt vinegar being deemed safe to include within a gluten free diet (this is due to the distilling process and the level of gluten present being less than 20 parts per million) it’s original source is still from barley. Hope that makes sense. As I mentioned in my original post, any other products, besides vinegar that contain barley malt or barley malt extract, must be checked out and not included within your gf diet, unless they either state they are gluten free, or are listed within coeliac Uk’s food and drink directory. And finally just to throw a spanner into the works…. whilst the UK and other countries give us the thumbs up to include food products (within our gf diets), that have originally derived from a gluten containing cereal – such as malt vinegar – Australia and New Zealand do not.

  1. Mark says:

    You need to check the research evidence/science showing the gluten test may not work properly on fermented and distilled foods/liquids. There is strong evidence to show the nature of distilled/femented foods skews the test results therefore barley malt vinegar carries risk as not suitable for coeliac.

    • Elizabeth Rimmer says:

      Hi, this is something that is on my list to delve into a bit more. As it does puzzle me that some countries advise that is safe to include malt vinegar in a gluten free diet whilst others do not. This also applies to other things such as gluten free beers and flours too. Best wishes. Liz

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *