Are Maltesers gluten free?
If you have celiac disease or gluten intolerance and adhere to a strict gluten free diet, avoid Maltesers. Sadly, they are not gluten free.
What are Maltesers?
Maltesers are a type of confection made from honeycomb spheres that are covered in milk chocolate. They come in bags, small snack pouches and boxes.
They are made by Mars, Incorporated (yes, that Mars who also makes Mars bars) and are only marketed in Europe and Canada.
Fun fact: Maltesers were first sold in 1937 in the UK and were marketed to women as “energy balls” and a slimming agent. (Haha! Excuse me while I roll on the floor with laughter.)
Maltesers were my favourite as a kid. So much so, I would almost inhale them, but little did I know - I was damaging my intestines, because they are not gluten free.
Ingredients in Maltesers
In Canada, Maltesers contain the following ingredients: sugar, milk ingredients, cocoa butter, glucose solids, cocoa mass, lactose, palm and palm kernel oil, malted barley extract, soy lecithin, sorbitan tristearate, monocalcium phosphate, potassium bicarbonate, wheat syrup, artificial flavour, sodium bicarbonate and pectin.
In Europe, Maltesers contain these ingredients: sugar, skimmed milk powder, cocoa butter, glucose syrup, barley malt extract, cocoa mass, palm fat, lactose and protein from whey (from milk), emulsifiers (soya lecithin), wheat flour, palm kernel fat, palm kernel oil, raising agents, wheat gluten, salt, glazing agent (pectins), natural vanilla extract.
Both products contain barley malt extract, so they are not suitable for anyone on a strict gluten free diet. The European version also contains wheat flour and wheat gluten.
(The Canadian version also contains wheat syrup, which is considered gluten free as it’s made from wheat starch and contains no detectable gluten… but Maltesers aren't gluten free with the barley malt extract anyway, so it doesn’t matter to us!)
What allergens are in Maltesers?
Maltesers contain gluten and milk, so they are not safe for anyone on a gluten free or dairy free diet.
The European versions also contain soy and the Canadian versions have a warning that say they may contain egg. Individuals who are vegan or on a soy free diet also need to avoid Maltesers.
Are Whoppers gluten free?
Whoppers are similar to Maltesers, as they are also malted milk balls covered in chocolate. (They are basically the US version of Maltesers.)
Whoppers are made by Hershey and, unfortunately, they are not gluten free. They contain barley malt and wheat flour, so they are not safe for anyone with celiac disease or gluten intolerance.
Hershey also markets Whopper Robin Eggs for Easter, which also contain gluten. Avoid them!
Gluten free Malteser alternatives
You can’t eat Maltesers on a gluten free diet, but don’t think for a second that I’m going to leave you high and dry! Here are some delicious chocolate treats that you can eat…
- Schar Gluten Free Delishios: Oh, Schar - you’ve done it again. This brand is amazing and they’ve got their own gluten free version of Maltesers. I haven’t had a chance to try them, but I’m sure they are amazing!
- Moo Free Choccy Rocks Moofreesas: a gluten free AND dairy free version that also is vegan and contains no soy.
- Creative Nature Gnawbles: a gluten free Malteser alternative which is also free of the top 14 allergens. They come in Super Salted Caramel, Cheeky Choc HazelNOT, and Creemy M*lk Chocolate flavours.
- Are Crunchies gluten free? Cadbury Crunchie bars are a honeycomb toffee candy center, covered in chocolate, so they are a tad similar to Maltesers. They don’t contain any gluten ingredients, but they are not labelled as gluten free. There are no warnings on the packaging, but it may be made in an environment where gluten cross contamination is possible. Eat them only if you feel comfortable doing so.
- Are Cadbury Dairy Milk bars gluten free? They sure are (if you are in Canada or the US). Learn all about them right here.