It's a grey area in the gluten free/coeliac world where vinegar is concerned. I've noticed just recently that I struggle with malt vinegar which I'm surprised by as I don't consider myself to be that sensitive to a lot of foods but I seem to have experienced symptoms after using it and I have used it quite a bit, I love vinegar.
Coeliac UK state that malt vinegar is safe to use as the amount of gluten found in barley is massively reduced by the fermentation process used to make the vinegar therefore making it safe. They also say that because we only use malt vinegar in very small amounts that this also allows us to chuck it freely on our chips without worrying.
In the US though it's a different story and yes I know a lot of their food regulations are completely different to ours but they say a big NO to malt vinegar and that because it has malt, this contains barley and that has gluten rendering it not safe to use. Confusing eh?
Some people manage to use malt vinegar with no problems and I think for those with an intolerance that's fine but for those with Coeliac Disease, more care is needed to avoid anything with gluten in.
So what can we do?
Well I've decided to go with white wine vinegar, I bought the red wine one for cooking with. The level of alcohol in these vinegars is very low so there's no worry of getting inebriated on your vinegar. If it's distilled vinegar that's fine, rice vinegar, cider vinegar are all fine as they are derived from fruit or non gluten produce. It all seems to depend on the starting ingredient and the process used to produce it. If you are worried I would stay clear of any vinegars that contain wheat, barley or rye, it is a case of checking the labels, we get so used to that but you'd be surprised how many food products do contain gluten that maybe you thought didn't.
Phew all that on vinegar eh? I just thought I would bring it up as it is a question that comes up a lot and does cause confusion and after realising it was making me feel a bit uncomfortable I thought it was important. The bottom line is with a gluten free diet, if you're not sure then don't eat it. It's better to be safe and leave it out rather than suffer the consequences as they can be very uncomfortable.
I have noticed a difference since switching from malt vinegar but would be interested to know if anyone else has had an issue with it so leave me a comment. I suppose if you lightly sprinkle it over you chips you probably won't notice but like I said before I do tend to pour it over by the bucket load. I'm now thinking I may be pickled on the inside. Oh that's another thing, just watch pickled products too, check the ingredients, if it is a problem, try producing homemade pickles. I've not been eating too many pickled food just lately which is another sign as when I think of them I'm a bit put off. I have never eaten pickled eggs in my life, always thought that was bizarre to pickle an egg, are they nice? Am I missing out on something? I'm sure someone will let me know.
So hope that helps a little, thank you so much for reading. I will be back tomorrow with Autism Support Saturday so join me then.
Take care for now.......