Anyone with a Malt Allergy, Too?

Since I know nothing about a malt allergy, I wanted to toss this question out to the readers:

I just recently was diagnosed by a food allergist with allergies to Oat and Malt.
I was not allergic to Wheat- and was also tested for gluten sensitive and celiac- all came back clear.

So my question is: Is there anyone oat the allergic to Malt? Was does that mean? I know you are a website for Oat and that is easy to see in ingredients and plenty of things I can find to eat without Oats, but not Malt. I am new to this whole food allergy thing and can find nothing on Malt allergy. Please help my stomach is ugh! and I am hungry for something other then just fruit, veggies and meat:)

Thanks
NM

Can anyone help?

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86 responses to “Anyone with a Malt Allergy, Too?

  1. interesting…I have always wondered if I was allergic to oats and malt. I never feel good after eating oats or products containing malt.

    In response to the above, malt comes from barley… several types of candy contain malt…
    one prime example are whopper’s malted milk balls…(I don’t drink but I do know beer comes from barley as well)

    I have several regular allergies and a couple food allergies mainly peanuts…but I have never been tested for oats or malt…

    hope some of this info. helps

  2. I am also allergic to raw or not completely cooked eggs…basically the only way I can tolerate eggs is if they are in a baked good like cookies…

    food allergies are strange…they can also change throughout your lifespan…

    another point: if you are ever having a surgical operation or vaccine like the flu shot you should be aware of the egg proteins if you are allergic to eggs…

  3. I think I may have a similar condition, as I recently became aware of the fact that things like chocolate malts, whopper candies, and granola bars often cause me to get a headache. I’ve not found any good information yet or even verified for certain whether a malt allergy is really what’s going on, but I’d be interested in you keeping me posted with any information you have discovered in the last few months since your original post. Thanks!

  4. By the way, I think I’m using the same theme on my blog as you are on yours — with slight modification, of course!

  5. Hi Josh:

    I started this blog because I once wrote about my daughter’s oat allergy, and suddenly people were contacting me because there was no other information.

    Interestingly enough, I wrote this one post referencing a malt allergy, and now we’re on the first page of Google for “malt allergy”. Unfortunately, the only information I have is here. It looks like this is yet another greatly under-served allergy.

  6. I think I’m allergic to malt products too. My sister was diagnosed with it as a little girl. After Trick-or-treat time, she would have a “cold” for weeks afterward! (Whoppers)
    For the past couple of years, I turn red all over when I eat breads or granola bars with malt them. So, much so, that my co-workers notice it before I do.
    Cool website!

  7. I have a malt allergy, but am fine with wheat and most other grains. Things with malt in them cause my joints to ache and give a general feeling of soreness all over. It’s not good. You aren’t alone in having a sensitivity. I wish food labeling was more clear. “natural flavors” is the most aggrivating.

  8. As was posted, I am here due to it being the first page listed on “malt allergy”. My 2 1/2 year old has had loose stools his entire life. I asked his pediatrician about it, but he pretty much brushed it off as there were no problems with weight gain, growth, development, etc. At first I was convinced it was a lactose issue as his dad and my dad both were lactose intolerant. However, after switching out the milk for either lactaid milk or soy milk, that did nothing to change it. Finally as I was thinking about potty training, I decided to have a food sensitivity test done as I could not justify trying to get him to potty train if he always had loose bowels…kinda like setting him up for failure!! Test came back with lots of items for risk, but I started with the malt. Oh my god is it in everything or what??? I have found a few “regular” breads with out it, but have had to completely clean out my cupboards as many items had malt, malted barley, or maltodextrin in them. Very difficult to find any info on this out there, but it is nice to know that there actually are others as I had never heard of or even thought of this. I will definitely check back to see if anyone finds more info.

  9. Susan Francis

    Generally, wheatflour bread is ok, as long as there is not a dusting of malt flour on the top. Generally, I brush the flour off of those breads.I had tests for food allergies and it came out as Malt and Barley. (wheatmalt does not affect me )
    The pizzas in the pizza parlours are usually ok, but the frozen ones quite often have maltflour and barley malt extract, which make a sufferer very ill indeed. My symptoms vary from feeling a bit grumpy to a raging temper, depending on the amount eaten, sometimes a rash, or a headachey hang-over feeling that can last up to ten days !! I avoid nearly all spirits. (whisky, gin, vodka bacardi rum and all beer and lager ) but sherry and wine, also brandy are ok. Most breakfast cereals are malted, but Shredded wheat is fine as are oats (but Ready Brek has malt ) Most chewing gum has malt sugar in these days, almost without exception ! No malt vinegar or things containing malt vinegar such as Worcester sauce , but the spirit vinegar does not affect me. (puzzles me that one ) Well I hope that helps you. You will become used to reading labels, but its far easier just to make your own sauces, using wine vinegar. Good luck anyway.

  10. I tested positive fore a malt allergy also (negative for wheat). The only thing that I have found that works is to treat it pretty close to a gluten free diet. (It was a sad day when I gave up beer. Who am I kidding, it is still sad. )

    I’ve taken to corn torillas, rice, polenta, potatoes and making my own food. I’ve been learning more about cooking, baking and food ingredients. It works well for me and is a necessary investment, especially for dessert.

    I’m a big sweets fan, so nuts and good chocolate seem to hit the spot. Merengues too (best with nuts/choc) . Italian almond cookies are made with almond flour and egg whites; they are fantastic. I ‘m determined to find all gluten-free pastry/sweet options.

  11. I also have an allergy to malt like malted shakes, whoppers, beer, whiskey, etc.

    It started with really bad hives and has eventually become episodes of full blown anaphalaxsis (sp).

    Any Americans…avoid Zaxby’s. Even their grilled chicken contains malt! It took me 2 ER visits to finally understand that it was their salad that was making me so sick.

    I have also found that most liquors are malted…it is depressing. I wasn’t ever a huge beer drinker, but now it is all I want to drink! lol I have been sticking to wine.

    I’m going to start a gluten free diet ASAP as I never feel good….here’s to hoping it works!!

    Good luck all and please if you find any info let us know!

  12. I have a condition called e0sinophilic esophagitis (sp) which is basicly a reaction to food allergy (mine is malt) that causes white blood cells (esinophils) to collect in the throat lining. This constricts the throat and makes the lining loose elasticity. I have trouble swallowing . Malt is found in many foods, but watch for it in processed foods in particular. Also pay close attention to gravies, sauces and salad dressings, these can use malt as a thickening agent. Most restraurnts are happy to go look at ingredients but have trouble finding malt.

  13. say it ain’t so! i know i have a malt allergie. heck i’m allergic to just about everything you can eat, breath or touch. but could that also be an explanation for my irritation with people, the little annoyances in my day to day life that amek me want to scream until my throat bleeds!? please, i need more information! i’ve learned the hard way to stay away from beer and granola bars and breads because of the headaches, but could it cause anger too!?

  14. I’m starting to think I have a barley allergy and not necessarily a wheat or gluten allergy. I’ve always had a problem eating straight up barley – I get very painful digestive cramping [IBS?] that lasts for hours until it eventually clears my system. As I got older I realized my tolerance for beer – especially barley malts was getting worse and worse, to the point where I’d feel sick to my stomach 7-8 hours after having 1 or 2 beers, spins and all.

    I no longer drink beer and I never eat barley, so I haven’t had to deal with the pain and suffering until recently, when I started using Barilla Plus Pasta. I love that it’s whole grain and has omega-3 and more protein and fibre than regular pasta, but I’m just realizing that every time I eat it, I get sick again… [I don't eat pasta very often, so I didn't put 2 and 2 together until today] It only dawned on me today to check the ingredient list and right in the middle it says ‘barley malt extract.’ I’m not 100% sure that’s the culprit, but I made pasta last night and had the leftovers for lunch today… I wasn’t feeling great this morning [decent amount of discomfort from bloating] and after lunch today I had to lie down when I got home from work because standing upright was too painful.

    There really isn’t much info out there, but I’m going to eat the bolognese sauce I made with brown rice tomorrow and see if I have the same problems – if not, then I know it was the pasta… it literally feels like I ate a bowl of barley, which I haven’t done in over 5 years because I can’t stand feeling like this… Up until recently I thought I had a gluten issue, but I can have oatmeal just fine, as well as whole grain bread, crackers, etc. in moderation without incident.

  15. im unsure, but i think i may have a malt allergy as well. i was tested for celiacs, came back negative, but i get really bad bloating and stomache problems after i eat malt, especially in granola bars or whole wheat cereals.
    i suspect an allergy-it makes me feel crappy all day!
    anyone have stomach issues with the malt?

  16. Update on my story – it was definitely the pasta. Anything barley or malt related seems to get me so I’m reading labels for everything and if I see a hint of ‘malt’ in any of the ingredients I skip it – no problems since. I remember having a very painful reaction to sugar-free chocolates years ago that were sweetened with Maltitol – as the first ingredient. No wonder!

  17. Susan Francis

    Jamie, Yes,it definitely can cause anger… my mouth just says everything I think, and my brain knows it should not be said. Also it can cause rashes, serious headaches, like an enormous hangover, which can last for days and
    days!!I have been known to vomit etc., amongst other unmentionable things !! Chewing gum is a culprit..(maltitol and manitol ) and anything that says barley malt extract.(even some Xmas pudds and mincemeat. So beware all you fellow sufferers !! We are not alone !!

  18. I have been having a reaction since Halloween. I originally thought it was the two Reese cups I ate… peanut butter. I threw the rest away days ago.
    The rash has been getting worse and the steroids the dermatologist gives me (I have a lot of allergic reactions) aren’t working.
    I got to thinking I have been eating Whoppers (leftover Halloween candy). I have a lot of food allergy and sensitivities. But I had never heard of a “malt” allergy. I have bumps on my face and neck and it is itching more and more. I have been taking several antihistamines also, but it keeps itching more.
    So I believe I can’t eat any more Whoppers. Great, and my favorite cookies have soy in them and it tears my stomach up in no time flat. (soy, wheat, milk, the soy seems to be the worst of those).
    We really need to get a list of all the “hidden” names for malt and what it is typically in.

  19. Whoppers are full of Malt Val…. Similar to Maltesers. Pringles also have maltodextrin in them. I tend to avoid most processed foods, preferring to cook my own -then I know what is in it..People who act as though I am making it up make me so mad… I was diagnosed by the allergy clinic of the hospital!! I found out today that Burger King Buns have Barley Malt flour in them.. screeeeeeam…. Hope McDonalds are ok?

  20. I was just diagnosed with a malt allergy and found my way to your page. Having done a bit of research, I wanted to let people know that maltodexterin is NOT a derivative of malt, and should be okay for those of us with the allergy…

  21. Long Term Malt Allergy !! Hey, that’s great news to hear that Maltodextrin is ok…. Hooray.
    (also found out though, that some McDonalds Foods have malt in them… (mainly the buns… ) but there can only be a minute trace (or maybe it’s WHEAT malt, (as opposed to Barley Malt )
    I have tolerated Wheat Malt ok… it IS difficult but you do get used to what’s in things after a while. (beware of Jacob’s Cream Crackers, and Ritz Crackers too. (in fact most Cheese Crackers have malt… ) Tuc are also a no-no…
    Muesli, almost without exception…although there are one or two brands that I have found occasionally that are ok…. Us Malt Allergy people must stick together !! The most annoying thing is when people put vodka, and whisky etc., in puddings, and don’t tell you !! I avoid most things at parties that I can’t suss out..
    it’s just not worth it !!!

  22. I have a reaction to what I have deduced as Malt Barley or Maltodextrine. The problem is not of the digestive variety but after about 3 days or so of inadvertently consuming, I have what I can only describe as a bad drug trip…every thing seems dreamlike and unreal, I get spacey, anxious, but no physical symptoms (3 trips to ER and nothing). I now manage to avoid panic but still unpleasant. I am fine when I know for sure that I have avoided these products but (right now for instance) when I have slipped up at a restaurant, it takes me a while to realize that I am not going to keel over dead. Anyone else have similar symptoms?
    Thanks….

  23. Paul – I’ve had that happen to me after having barley wine at a beer expo. I got mildly tipsy and then 8 hours later I was all messed up. I was light-headed, dizzy, spins, but not nausiated. I couldn’t get up or walk without losing my balance and it went on all night until I slept it off. It was awful. I haven’t had a beer of any kind since – that was 5 years ago…

  24. Susan Francis

    Oh Yes, I remember Barley wine very well…
    I also had a dreadful hangover before Igot drunk, and had the same with 1 glass of vodka.and as for Bacardi… it made my kidneys bleed !! and Paul yes it can make you feel very weird…. so we must all get together with more info…..

  25. It’s weird – I never have a problem with vodka… is Kettle One made with barley? That’s the only one I drink and it doesn’t even give me a headache. Not that I drink it that often… [or drink much when I do]. I’ll have to check…

  26. For 2 years now my son has been getting horrible pain in his legs. It started when he was one. We put him on a gluten free diet last August and he seemed to get better. We recently had a food intolerance blood test done and he is extremly intolerant to malt. Now we are trying to figure out if it was just the malt that was causing all his pain.

    Its so frustrating!!! He is only 3 so he can’t really tell us whats going on. ANyone else experience lag pain or joint pain please let me know.

  27. I grew up with horrible pain in my knees most of my childhood, but never connected it to a malt allergy. I had to take up to 4 tylenol a night to get to sleep because by the end of the day I could barely walk. But my Dr. said it was some sort of tendon issue… I can’t remember the name of it, the word itself was so long. I wish I could verify if it was malt-related. I happens occasionally, which could coincide when I eat something with malt or barley in it unknowingly. I’ll make sure to note if there’s a correlation next time… The weird thing is – the pain always started in my knees but would travel up through my hips and also, if it was bad enough, down through my ankles. It was terrible. No doctor ever told me it could be due to a food allergy, but back then [late 70s/early 80s] nobody talked about food allergies much.

  28. Thanks for all the info everyone. My 4 year old son had a wicked rash the day after Easter last year. At first they thought it was poison ivy, but as it got worse over a few days realized it was an allergic reaction–to what, we don’t know, but I’m suspecting Whoppers. The kid was feasting on those things. 2 ER visits, and a crazed child on steriods are is nothing to play with. I’m hoping it’s the candy and am bracing for this Easter.

  29. I developed an allergy to malt and malt products at an early age. I’m now 50. No beer, also has nut allergy, walnuts,raw peanuts etc. Also allergic to bananas. I have an epi-pen with me at all times.

  30. Susan Francis

    It really is a serious issue…. and about time these manufacturers stopped putting it in just about EVERYTHING !! I bet there are plenty more people who have this problem and are unaware !!

  31. My 21 Month old son started with eczema skin issues after he turned 1 year old. He was a “colic” baby up until I stopped nursing him when he was 3mths old & went to formula. After he was introduced to “real” foods he started with the irritated skin. I did everything to eliminate possible triggers like detergents, shampoo/soaps, and started putting Aquaphor and/or Eucerin cream all over him after baths, etc. to not much avail or help. About 2 Months ago, he broke out in hives all over his entire body. It started on a Saturday evening. By Sunday morning we took him to the ER where he was started on Steroids & antihistamines around the clock for the next 4 days. My husband and I have also noted intense behavior issues, such as biting his older brother when frustrated and throwing very irrational & a bit violent tempers. I finally made a(my own) connection to this being the result of a food allergy because of the accompanying symptom of his loose stool diapers. I took him to an allergist after the ER visit and he tested negative for all the skin allergies. So I did my own eliminations diet for him fro the usual daily food she ate like Ovaltine, pretzel sticks, trail mix bars, etc. I will have to have a return visit to confirm with a food allergy blood test but now that we completed an elimination diet, we found that once those foods were out of his system, he has smooth skin again, normal bowel movements, and his intense whiny/irritated behavior episodes have settled. Wow!! A food ingredient in his diet is the trigger??? What a relief to us that we figured it out, but unfortunately on our own. The Allergist Doctor never mentioned Malt or Barley as a possible trigger. I just stuck to a fruit diet for him for a couple days & voila! Now, I look back to all the times where my family & I would say “he’s already a difficult & devious child”, and just shake my head. Here’s to being enlightened daily!

  32. Susan Francis

    Well Christy, Ovaltine is full of Malt, also Horlicks. I love both of those drinks, but they don’t love me… Good luck with the new diet, and hope your baby now has a better life !!

  33. Just diagnosed with Malt & Wheat allergies. Things to avoid for Malt allergy: all baked goods, breads, cakes, pancakes, waffles, biscuits, soda crackers, confections, wheat flour, ice cream, candy, baby cereal, malted milk, infant formulas, dry and cooked breakfast cereals, potato chips, powdered milk, table syrup, malt extract & syrup, malt vinegar, Soda Fountain Drinks, Coffee substitutes, Coffee and Tea
    Things to avoid for Wheat Allergy: Oats, Barley, Rye (also allergic to rye), breads, cookies, cakes, pastries, cola drinks, candy bars, chocolate candies, lunch meats, bologna, hot dogs, anything breaded or dipped in a batter (unless it’s homemade), only use homemade soups and stews, noodles, macaroni, spaghetti, and avoid products containing Gluten. There is also a list of “what you can use with wheat allergy” if anyone is interested…
    USE: Hershey’s cocoa (bitter in can), rice flour, rice cakes, rice crackers, Jolly Hoan Rice Mix may be used for pancakes, muffins, gravy and breading, may use puffed rice, cream of rice or cooked minute rice, grits, mush, flavored carbonated beverages, Kraft Miracle Whip, Ice Cream: Baskin-Robbins, Topsy’s Borden’s Vanilla, Fairmont Country Club and Sealtest (No Chocolate). Mighty-Fine puddings may be used, Tapioca, Arrowroot is good for thickening and gravies, may use potato, sesame, soy, corn meal and pure buckwheat flour.
    HOPE ALL OF THIS HELPS SOMEONE!! I’VE SUFFERED FOR YEARS WITH SYMPTOMS THAT I HAD NO IDEA WERE LINKED TO FOOD ALLERGIES. NOW AFTER READING ALL THESE POSTS I REALIZE THAT MY DAUGHTER NOW NINE, MAY ALSO HAVE THE MALT ALLERGY – SHE HAS HAD CHRONIC KNEE PAINS MOSTLY AT NIGHT SINCE AGE 2 OR 3!! THANKS FOR THAT INFO!!! MY CHIROPRACTOR TOLD ME IT WAS A CALCIUM UPTAKE AND WHEN SHE TOOK HER CALCIUM SUPPLEMENT REGULARLY IT SEEMED TO HELP A LOT. I’LL TRY TO ELIMINATE OR AT LEAST REDUCE THE MALT AND SEE IF IT HELPS HER.

  34. By accident, I found out about the connection between malt and my outbursts of anger. It does it every time. Drank a chocolate malt loaded with malt – it gave me the same symptoms. So, fast away from any and all malt products for two weeks and give your body a break…then add it back in great quanity and listen to what your body tells you. Very interesting results. I haven’t had a beer or any kind of malt in over 22 years and have not had to deal with the anger issue. Happy drunk vs mean drunk….something to think about.

  35. FYI Everyone, I found out the hard way that the new [delicious] Trident fruit stripes gum is sweetened with Maltitol. Chewing a few sticks a day for a few days in a row did me in and I couldn’t figure out what I had eaten that did it to me – I finally realized the only new thing was the gum & checked the ingredient list. There it was. I’ve never seen a gum sweetened with Maltitol before this, so it didn’t dawn on me to check before buying. I bought one of those big packs from BJ’s and had to throw it out. Barley & Malt products are in everything. You can never be too careful…

  36. Susan Francis

    Yes Patti, I am the same… I become a raging lunatic (almost ) when I have malt, and yes, Helena, most chewing gums have maltitol, Manitol, or maltodrextin… (although not sure if maltodrextrin is ok or not… ) There are loads of different chocolates with malt as well, Mars Bars for one ! Even Crunchie bars because they have vinegar in them… (at least Ferrera Rochers are ok. thank god ) ..

  37. Susan Francis

    Seems that maltodextrin does not contain malt but does affect a lot of people with allergies (such as coeliacs etc., ) so I still tend to avoid it…

  38. Susan – I’ve heard the same about maltodextrin, but I avoid it anyway because it starts with ‘malt’ & scares me. lol Also – I just realized Orbit gum has Mannitol in it, but that doesn’t seem to bother me – maybe it’s a small enough amount & I don’t chew it enough? Not sure… but Maltitol in any amount I feel almost immediately.

  39. My first allergic reaction to what I think is a malt allergy came from brown rice syrup in the Harvest Grain variety of Power Bars. My research on brown rice syrup suggests that brown rice syrup is made by processing brown rice with barley malt enzymes. Those of you with malt allergies should probably check ingredient lists for brown rice syrup also; I don’t know how long it has been used as a sweetener, it now seems to be almost everywhere.

  40. Vivienne Saunders

    Thank you Jay! We have been wracking our brains and scouring the labels of our new diet bars. My husband can’t eat malt powder that is in malts (milk shakes with malt powder). I don’t know if that is wheat or barley malt but am thinking it is barley malt as not all the bars give him trouble and so I think it is the brown rice syrup that is the culprit! We will find out tomorrow as he can have two of the ones that don’t have that and if no symptoms then we will know for sure!

  41. I make my own bread. Because flour got so expensive I started buying cheaper flour a few months ago. Both my husband and I have had terrible constipation, bloating and general blahs and irritablility for the past few months. It finally occured to me to read the label on the flour and malted barley is added to many many flours. I wondered if that was what was causing our problems so I bought flour that was pure. Within two days our symptoms had disappeared. I wonder how many people who think they are allergic to wheat are actually allergic to malt. Does this stuff continue to ferment in your bowels or what? Malt is in a lot of cereals too.

  42. I don’t know WHAT it is that causes the problem… personally, I just wish that the manufacturers would put a large WARNING label on the package !! as it is causing people such problems…. we have all met the crazy drunk, and he has probably been overloaded with malt all evening, one way or another !! I have never met another malt allergy sufferer, but from the way it appears on this thread, it is very very common !!

  43. Kristen Carranza

    I have known for years I could not have beer after trying my first at 18 yrs. old. It took me another 10 years to finally find the culprit to my constant migraines and itching skin. I am allergic to malt. I do not react to barley or wheat. Just the malt (whoppers, milkshakes, white bread). I can even touch a regular loaf of white bread without breaking out on my arms. I have to read everything. If I don’t know whats in it I won’t eat it. I almost never go out to eat, it’s safer at home. I have to purchase 100% whole wheat products including flour, bread and other items. My allergy is so sensitive I have eliminated it from the household, so by accident I don’t touch something. Now I feel much better, I never have headaches, my skin never itches, and I have lost weight now that I am fully aware of my food intake. Please if you have this allergy please read every label on every food. I have found malt in so many items. I mostly miss my whoopers, those were my favorite candy:(

  44. Susan mack

    Malt is just one of many foods that trouble me, it’s a sneaky one. Most of you have learned how to avoid it, but I don’t see anyone mentioning organic. I have found that organic foods do not contain malt–hmm, wonder why.
    You can find malt free wheat flour in the co-ops, and health food stores, also, Gold Medal makes a organic flour without malt, I found this flour at Safeway, but most stores don’t carry it.

  45. When i eat malted foods, cereals, biscuits and ales (english beer) i get an upset stomach. I think i am intolerant to malt.

  46. I just found this page. My 5 year old had surgery 2 weeks ago and while he was under anesthsia they did allergy testing. The Dr. said that the only thing he reacted to was malt but not to worry about it until the follow up which is later this morning. I hate that he has to go through this but always feared it. WHen I was pregnant with him I developed a severe yellow dye #5 and salicylate allergy. I react to all kinds of fruits veggies and other things. I just hate that he is going to be limited now too, and from what I read our diet in the house will be that much more limited. :( Thanks for the information, it is encouraging to hear of other people that are getting through it too.

  47. Susan Francis

    I have lived with this Malt allergy for nearly 30 years now.. After a while you get used to it… bear in mind that nearly ALL breakfast cereals have malt in them.. (You will also have to be careful with Barley as that is where malt comes from.. ) Recently I have been eating gluten free cornflakes, and hooray, they don;t have Malt in them. Since starting to eat them I have lost weight… the only other cereals I can eat are Sugar Smacks and Golden Grahams oh, and Shredded Wheat.. Wheat Flour is fine..and Wheat Malt does not affect me.. generally if you read the labels you will be fine, be careful with Salad Dressings with Malt vinegar in, Worcester Sauce is a No No for the same reason. Pickles are another one to watch, but you will find that the spirit vinegar ones are ok.. well that is my experience anyway.. good luck with your son Mandy..

  48. All very interesting info on barley and malt allergies. I finally weaned myself off of coffee with the all natural instant beverage “Cafix”. Loved the taste, closest flavor to coffee that I could find! Guess what?,,,,,ingredients include barley, chicory and malt. Broke out in an extremely itchy rash all over my right shin which would come and go with a vengeance. Stopped the Cafix and the rash slowly healed and disappeared.

  49. Marilyn, thanks for the info on instant coffee. I just recently started drinking Starbucks VIA and though I haven’t had any strong symptoms, I’m going to dig deeper into the ingredients on the flavored varieties. So far I haven’t tried them because they contain sugar and I try to limit my sugar intake in general. For the unflavoried/regular coffee varieties, they only say ‘microground Arabic coffee and instant coffee’ on the box.

    I did just do a search and found a message board talking specifically about Starbucks VIA and whether or not it’s gluten-free [barley contains gluten]. They confirmed what I thought – that the regular and decaf versions of VIA are fine, as are some of the flavored varieties – but someone had a reaction to the Cinnamon flavor, and wrote to Starbucks asking what ‘natural flavors’ meant on their ingredient list, but they haven’t heard back. So I’d stay away from that one. I only drink the Italian Roast and Decaf instant coffees, and I’ve been okay so far.

    I was shocked to read some people have a reaction to something like pickles because of malt vinegar. I never ceases to amaze me that I keep finding new places for barley and malt products to hide in everyday products. You have to read every label and be so careful! I’ve recently given up bread all together unless I make it myself because you just never know if they use malted barley flour or not – most restaurants and bakeries seem to use it because even one bite will cause a reaction for me, which is just too unpleasant to bother anymore. And I LOVE bread…

  50. scrapheapchallenge

    I found out the other year I’m allergic to maltesers, no headaches or cramps – no, I just go straight to the “horrendous blisters in the mouth and the skin peeling off my gums” stage! It is quite painful so now I no longer go near them. Yesterday I bought a packet of Asda’s “whirly bites” (their own brand milky way bar – the English one not the American one, I believe in America a milky way is actually a “three musketeers” bar). As soon as I ate one I got the familiar painful blisters erupting on my gums within seconds. :( Check the ingredients list to see what they have in common with maltesers – malt extract. I guess I’ve found the allergen!

  51. Wow. I’ve been keeping a very specific journal of all ingredients in everything I’ve been eating for more than a month now. I was seeing a pattern in baked items quickly giving me a migraine so I knew I just needed to single out the ingredient causing it. I ruled most things out except for malt. I have been dealing with regular incapacitating migraine headaches for years…for the last two years they’ve been practically daily and have caused 2 hospitalizations, 10 procedures and probably 50 different medications. I’m not better by any means, but there is a significant link to malt. And everyone is right – it is in everything! I was in a bread “outlet store” yesterday and there was only one loaf of bread that was malt or barley-free, no donuts, no cookies and no cakes. Just the one lonely loaf…anyway, thank you for this resource – it’s the only thing available I’ve found!!

  52. Susan Francis

    So glad that you have probably found the problem… it IS as you say, in lots of things… I recently found some gluten free cornflakes that have no malt or barley, and they are lovely. There aren’t many cereals that don’t have malt or barley in them… Shredded wheat are ok… and Golden Grahams… I really think that malted foods should have a major warning sign on them… it’s terrible stuff…. very plain cakes and cookies seem to be ok, but I always check the labels just in case. !! Good luck. xx

  53. I have just had allergy scratch tests done and found out that I am allergic to malt, whole eggs and whole grain but not wheat/gluten. I was dismayed when the allergist let me leave the office with absolutely NO information about what to avoid except to say “Well no more beer for you!” WTH. I have cleaned out my kitchen and realized that all the convenience foods I used to enjoy are practically killing me. I started switching over to whole grain about 4 years ago when more products were becoming available. Right about the same time I began having constant achy and stiff feeling throughout my body and debilitating fatigue. I thought it was just part of getting older. I have also experienced higher than normal anger and bowel problems. however I think this may be more part of the malt than wg allergy. I am frustrated with product labels and how malt is hidden in so many products. WHy Why WHy? I assume because malt is really cheap like corn syrup.
    I wish there was a list somewhere of all the names that malt appears under in ingredient lists. Can anyone who is more experienced with this help all of us “newbies” I would appreciate any help.

  54. Well for a start you cannot have any malt vinegar (an obvious one ) but of course that is in most salad dressings, but spirit vinegar is ok (well for me ) you can only drink wine, sherry, brandy , cider.. but not whisky,gin, bacardi,rum,vodka or beer… Most cereals have it in, but not shredded wheat, or Golden Grahams, they are ok… I have to buy gluten free cornflakes.. Look out for hidden malt in lots of products, even Paxo Stuffing ! then there are the malt sugars, isomalt, (in fact anything with the word malt in it… ) also you cannot have Barley. (which is what malt is made from ) I find Barley even worse than the malt.. and yes, it makes you very angry ! I am impossible if I have eaten malt or barley.. Oh be careful of Worcester Sauce,and HP etc., Daddies… most Tomato ketchup is normally ok… so just get used to reading the labels, until you know what you can and can’t eat. I found it helped to take a regular antihistamine… I hope that has helped you. Oh yes, stock cubes !! and chewing gum… !!and Oyster sauce sometimes has it in… Anyway, you will find you will feel better for not eating the wretched stuff… (Heinz Spag bolonaise tinned has it in… ) andsome cheese biscuits.. (well most of them ) and bread sticks…

  55. I have had a malt allergy for 20 years now. It took me years to figure out the “what” was causing reaction. Had a very bad case where mouth and throat were swelling and impairing air flow, or atleast fear of that leading to worsening. Then in my 20′s discovered I was allergic to beer. So far I am not gluten sensative to my knowledge.

  56. I just found out that I am allergic to Malt. Guess that means no more beer. Swelling of my face and mouth. I just developed this at age 70. It is depressing to have allergies.

  57. Also no whisky gin vodka bacardi rum, but you can drink wine, sherry and brandy… watch out for breakfast cereals… I find that most gluten free products have no malt..Shredded wheats are ok…rice etc., watch out for pickles. spirit vinegar seems to be ok, but not malt vinegar… cheesy biscuits etc., pringles are all culprits to avoid… You will have to also look out for anything with barley in it, as that is where malt is derived from. Anyway… you will feel better without the stuff… good luck to you anyway… from a fellow malt allergy person…

  58. Can anyone list alternate names for Malt? It will make it easier for me to shop for my daughter. Or is it better just to skip processed foods all together?

  59. Hi Renee,

    I have sensitivity to barley and barley malt products. Look out for any ingredient with the word ‘malt’ in it. A popular sweetener these days is “Maltitol” – it’s even in many chewing gums, which can cause digestive issues for me. Maltodextrin is another one. Also, flours like ‘malted barley flour’ is in almost every processed baked good because it’s a flavor enhancer, so check all your food labels. I had the baker at our local Whole Foods print me the ingredients of every loaf of bread they make and every single one had malted barley flour in it.

    Hope that helps…

    Helena

  60. Helena,

    I probably should have clarified that my daughter (along with the rest of us) has been on a gluten free diet since birth. So, I was aware of the barley connection. I learned that one the hard way before my daughter was born. ;-) Your comment about the processed breads makes me wonder if perhaps some of the gluten free bread might have the barley malt in it. HHmmm…

    Thanks for giving me alternate names for malt. Can malt be made from any other grains, like corn?

  61. Renee,
    I’ve found that most of what Helena suggested is correct. However, from all the research I’ve done I’ve learned that maltodextrin is OK because it is made from corn. There are so many names that it’s hard to list them all from memory, but a good general rule is to avoid any ingredient with “malt” or “barley” in the title. Gluten-free should always be good to eat. Beware of sparkling drinks – champagne, juice, wine, etc. because malt is what gives it the fizz. Like Helena said, avoid baked goods – it’s hard to pass on the chocolate chip cookies a co-worker brought in, but it’s not worth a 4-day migraine to me. I use White Whole Wheat flour (from Kroger) and I have not had any problems with this.

    Good luck!

  62. Renee, Susan,

    I tend to avoid any malt products derived from barley or any other grain as a ‘better safe than sorry’ approach. For me the issue is painful bloating to the point where I end up doubled over, sometimes for hours. That being said, I don’t know if my issue is with the malting process, or just barley malt, but it’s not worth the pain to figure it out. lol… It took years for me to figure out the barley and malt connections. Excess barley malt actually makes me physically nauseated, dizzy and ill overall. I said goodbye to beer years ago after drinking a small amount of barley wine and getting really sick for 8 hours afterward. As for maltodextrin – I do have a digestive reaction to it, so I stay away from it, but I’m sure it’s different for everyone. =)

  63. I have a terrible reaction when I eat any products containing malt, malted barley or barley. A nurse specialising in allergies wrote an article explaining that many people who have an allergy or intolerance to baker’s yeast or just yeast also can have a spin-off reaction to barley malt. I find that bread and wine (which is full of yeast) cause me problems quickly. However, plain crackers such as water biscuits are fine. Plain pasta is also fine for me as is any white wheat flour products. I eat puffed whole wheat with milk, which is fine but avoid all other breakfast cereals as they either contain or may be contaminated with malted barley. I never could understand why I could eat cakes and feel great, yet bread made me feel sick quickly. Cheese and yoghurt also contain high levels of naturally occuring yeasts and they make me feel very unwell quickly. However, milk and butter pose no problems for me. It has taken me years of trial and error to finally figure out that it is yeast and barley malt (and plain barley) that cause my problems which include unbearably itchy hives, extreme anger and behavioural problems and muscular and joint aches to the point I can barley move in bed. I just wanted to point out for some visiting this site that it may be worth checking if yeast (but not wheat) is the problem too as I have found it beneficial avoiding all yeast and barley malt. Good luck to everyone and thank goodness for the internet and self-diagnosis! Doctors have been baffled by my problems. I’m 42 and have suffered all my life feeling lousy and was convinced it was not normal to feel that way. I wish someone had been able to help me sooner but it is a relief to have finally figured it out for myself.

  64. Hi Katy, The reason some breads affect you, (and I only just found this out) is that some yeasts are Brewers Yeast, made with beer… which of course is brewed with malt… I find that wheat malt, which is in some breads does not affect me at all. !! You suffer the same way that I do, with the anger, etc., which is not nice, and the joint pains too.. I look at all ingredients that are unfamiliar to me. Some people seem to think I am just being picky, and say things like “Well, there’s only a little bit in there !” and don’t realise that although I might not go raging round the house, I could have a headache for 10 days, or feel like I have a hangover, even with a tiny bit… in fact I once ate a bit of a haggis with barley in it, and even though I spat it out as soon as somebody told me what it was my lips began to swell immediately !! Glad that you have found out what is wrong with you… it’s nice to know that I am not alone.. !!

  65. I also am allergic to oats, barley and malt. I am not allergic to wheat or gluten. However, BEWARE barley is in most U.S. brands of wheat flour and often it is not listed as an ingredient! …which eliminates all wheat-containing baked goods for me. I use spelt flour which does not contain any barley, which can be substituted for wheat in any recipe. The only thing that saves me is being diligent in reading labels! Also watch out for malto-dextrin which can be found in many vitamins/supplements.

  66. Still beware of maltodextrin. This is the first “malt” item that I determined to be causing 24-48 hr long migraines at least 3 days per week. Avoiding all malt items (maltodextrin, malt syrup, malt barley, etc) seems to have cured all of my headaches. I read recently that it may be the malting process – which apparently uses mold – that is what is causing the reaction with malt allergy. So…beware of all “malt” ingredients.

    I found Dunkin Hines icing to be gluten free AND malt free! Betty Crocker had Malt Corn Syrup (ick!).

  67. Susan Francis

    It annoys me that they put malt and malt sugars in so many foods these days…what is wrong with food without malt… it limits us allergy sufferers so much… When I go to a hotel, they have mostly cereals with malt… I have to be so careful with bread when out, as many of them have Barley flour… and yes, malto-dextrin, which somebody assured me was safe, but I get quite poorly after eating that… yes.. headaches, swelling lips, rashes, and a nasty nasty temper… not fun… and a hangover feeling that can last up to 10 days… I once had a major reaction after eating a pizza… then found that it was made from malt flour, barley malt flavouring, and several other malty products… I immediately had a raging headache, my throat swelled up, I felt sick, and had a swollen face… most nasty…

  68. I’m so glad I found this page! I think I have an allergy to malted barley as well. I was tested for celiacs but it was negative. I’ve never had a problem with wheat products however, for the past few months I feel nauseated after eating breads, crackers, pretzels, etc. I found that they all contain ‘malted barley flour’. I was shocked to find that it is also in flour so I can’t even bake anymore. I emailed the FDA asking why this ingredient is in virtually everything and they replied saying that it is an approved ingredient and will continue to be used in all these products. I thought I was the only one with this issue but it seems there are many of us out there who are now extremely limited with what we can eat. Unfortunately, based on how uncaring the FDA was in their return email, I don’t think they will stop putting it in most products. I guess they’ll only stop when consumers stop purchasing the products. Thank you all for your tips and ideas on what I can eat.

  69. I have a terrible allergy to Malt in cereals, malt shakes, and chocolate malts. I break out in hives and have anaphylactic reactions. Have had it since I was a child. I can have maltodextrin, any breads with barley malt, and beer as well. No problems.

    I am currently researching to see if I will have a reaction to Malt Diastase which is in a supplement I would like to try. I’m thinking I won’t but should I dare try? lol

  70. Wow, so interesting to find this discussion board! I’ve never heard of a malt allergy but I’m currently doing a strict elimination diet for the benefit of my 8-month old daughter who seems to react to many different foods through my milk. Now she’s starting to eat herself and we have a handful of “safe” foods. For cereal I’ve mostly been eating rice puff or rice square cereal but recently I discovered that she seems fine with corn so I got the store brand of corn flakes and not only ate it myself but gave it to her too. She didn’t eat very much but for several days after she was more irritable than I’ve seen her in months! SO cranky. I looked at the ingredients (milled corn, sugar, salt, malt syrup). The only thing different was the malt syrup so I decided to look it up and here I am. This could definitely be a helpful key to this puzzle of what she reacts to. Thank you everyone! I have a question- reading over these comments, someone mentioned that any gluten free food should be fine as far as not containing malt. Is this true? Thanks again.

  71. You should probably try cutting dairy products, especially cheese. Use almond milk, unsweetened. Hummus is a great cheese repacement when cooking. Table salts and sugar are both very bad. They cause a LOT of problems. Go for organic cane sugar and seasalt. Read your labels though. Even organic products are allowed to have table salt and sugar.

    Anything that is tough on the immune system, liver and digestive system, will increase allergies. Stick with mainly fruits and vegetables. Check out dr. Fuhrman for a pretty accurate food pyramid not developed by corporations.

  72. Susan Francis

    Well Mary, I have found that gluten does not have any malt or barley , but it’s always best to check, as there may be exceptions to that rule… The thing that anoys me, is when people make something for a party, and you ask “Is there any alcohol in there ? ” and they swear blind that there is not… then after you have eaten a little or drunk a little of it they say “Well, just a BIT of Rum, or whisky (or whatever ) which really annoys me, as it makes me so ill for days on end… So if I am not sure, I don’t eat it… I go for plain foods when eating out at a party…

  73. I was diagnosed a few weeks ago with malt allergy & I’m used to avoiding things, allergic to eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, sunflower, & now added malt, black pepper, green pepper, garlic, onion, pineapple, pears, plus many more… 31 foods in all. Malt is by far the hardest thing to avoid, it’s there with peanuts in things I severely need to avoid. So currently I’m on a gluten free diet & hating it.I already had a limited diet, so this is rough. I’ve been eating a ton of potatoes, meats, & what few veggies I know are safe. I do have a question though… I really want to still have my protein shakes, does anyone have any safe brands they know of with as few ingredients as possible? Seeing how I can not eat 90% of what the grocery stores offer. :-)

  74. Hi Gabrielle- I don’t know if you can do rice, but I’ve been doing rice protein for awhile now. The brand I get is NutriBiotic Plain Rice Protein and the only ingredient is: “Enzymatically processed rice protein from whole grain, sprouted brown rice”

  75. I want to thank everyone for this information. I read the entire thread as I’ve just learned that my 11-month old is allergic to malt and milk. I am able to nurse him without restricting my diet, but If anyone has any ideas of what foods I could introduce to him at this age, I’d be grateful. He’s my first child, so I am not used to feeding anyone this age as it is. Now I feel even more intimidated. Thanks again.

  76. Well, you will need to be careful with cereals… (don’t give him Weetabix.. ) Gluten free cornflakes are ok… and porridge oats too, but not the Readibrek type… that has malt… be careful of drinks, such as Ovaltine and Horlicks… both full of malt… but most hot chocolate drinks are alright. (but pure chocolate drinks ) He should be able to eat most pureed vegetables… best to steam them yourself, and then puree them… in order to know that you are serving him safe foods, stick to home prepared meals, such as meat, fish, veg, and custard with fruit. Plain boiled rice is ok too… Good luck. It’s best to find out now what the problem is… I have been Malt allergic to Malt since the early 1980′s… and that was 30 years ago… I find it easy to avoid…

  77. I just found out I am allergic to malt, barley, rye, black pepper, garlic and types of kidney beans. I have switched to a whole foods (no processed food) diet and I feel so much better. Now I just need to eliminate the pepper and garlic at least in moderation, so that I don’t get the headaches and itchy/hives that I have been racking my brain trying to figure out why, now I know, as I use these a ton as spice in our food. I also have a sulfite allergy, which again is in so many foods. All I can say is thank goodness for my local co-op!

  78. Susan Francis

    Yes, Brandi, thank goodness you found out what was causing your problems… I now find that I am almost symptom free, with the occasional flare-up… it annoys me that there is maltose etc., in chewing gums, and a lot of gravies… but thanks to clear labelling, I can now be extra careful… Good luck with your new regime of food… I also get a terrible headache, whi ch lasts for about 10 days if I eat malt or barley,and a really bad mood, which makes me unbearable to be with..I become obnoxious… and also get swollen lips and eyes… plus a rash… it’s not worth it… be very careful with pizzas, as a lot of them have a base made with malt/barley flour…

  79. Thanks for the encouragement Susan! I am going to be doing lots of research on the types of foods I can eat. Also an allergy to soy, so many new things that I left that one off. It is all a bit overwhelming but so worth the effort. I feel a ton better in the past few months, have so much more energy to exercise and be active and now that I have more knowledge about what is causing the issues I don’t have to do so much guesswork. I did notice that we had a frozen pizza last fall and I was itchy for 2 days, felt like crawling out of my skin!

  80. Hello all. I have a couple more questions about malt allergy. Should ALL vinegar be avoided or just malt vinegar? Also….I’m not sure which flours are safe. If the flour has malt in it, will it be written on the package? The white flour in my cupboard says it contains malted barley flour. Thanks :)

  81. Susan Francis

    Hi Ann, you only need to avoid Malt Vinegar… you can use red and white wine vinegar, balsamic vinegar, (I find that Spirit vinegar is ok ? It does not affect me… and with flour, normally the white flour is ok, but not that one that says malted barley flour. (You should avoid Barley too… I find that Barley is worse than malt… ) I tend to avoid most brown breads, as they mostly have malt or barley in them, even Ciabatta has malt.. Generally if you don’t know what’s in it – don’t eat it… beware of sauces such as BBQ etc., Worcester Sauce also contains malt vinegar… some mayonnaise and salad cream also has malt vinegar. After a while you will know what you can eat, and what you can’t… Cereals are easy.. just stick to Shredded wheat or gluten free cornflakes… most of the others are malted… but porridge is ok..

  82. Thank you, Susan. You are a terrific resource for many of us on here. I really appreciate your time and knowledge.

  83. Susan Francis

    My pleasure Ann, (forgot to say that Readibrek used to have malt ) plus beware of most spirits… such as vodka, whisky, gin, bacardi, rum, the drinks that are ok are Wine ,sherry, and brandy… (oh and don’t drink beer or lager either… ) I have been allergic for a long time, so it’s second nature, and I am happy to help other sufferers … feel free. ( lately I have noticed that a lot of chewing gums have malt sugars… oh… cheesy biscuits are difficult too, as are those crispy bread sticks they insist on giving you in restaurants… just make it a habit of looking at the ingredients. (look for malto-dextrin and maltose,maltese… maltase… any type of sugar that begins with malt basically… (isomalt too ) beware of gravies… but most of the Oxo range are ok, except the Lamb one.. Hope this is helpful…

  84. I too am allergic to malt. It’s miserable, you have to be careful of what you eat. I would live a beer! But as soon as I take a sip my lips swell up. I also have chronic hives. Which means they could last over 6 months. My allergist has my on Xyzal, Zantac, doxepin and atarax. Right now I’m covered. My allergist moved to an ENT Office and can no longer prescribe. I’m stuck in a cast. ER Bills are too much. I have found that biofreeze pain relieving gel helps. It has a cooling effect, which eases the itch a little. I am 42, have had the most of the last 22 yrs years. I have epipens, which I want to use one so bad right now. But they hurt. Vicks vapor rub helps too. Don’t take a hot shower, that only brings out more. Good luck! Don’t scratch, just rub.

  85. Its great to find people with malt allergies it really sucks I just got some Digestive enzymes and they have Malt diastase and wondering if I should try taking this what does anybody think

  86. Susan Francis

    Well Pamela, I have looked this one up for you… it IS an enzyme derived from Barley seeds, so if you ARE allergic to malt, it MAY give you a problem… You need to ask your allergy specialist…. let me know how you get on…

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