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:)


Can anyone help?


136 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?

  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.

  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…


  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…

  87. Avoid almost all breads and buns, including almost all in grocery stores, malted barley flour in most, a few don’t but you’ll have to read, and 90% of fast food buns, croissant’s, biscuit’s etc… have malt

  88. Most crackers have barley flour in them as well 😦

  89. Hello Friends! Happy New Year! Thought I would let you all know that if you like baking, I have tried many whole wheat flours and because of my whole grain allergy, I am still feeling sick. So I tried Organic White Flour, no blending in of malted barley flour. My baking this holiday season worked well with the OWF. It is however a little more expensive. If you are not baking all the time then I don’t think it will break the bank. Ordering off Amazon was great and less expensive. I ordered Hodgson Mill and have used Red Mill and Immaculate with great results. So one more hurdle overcome. One of the worst things I had been dealing with since my diagnosis is still being sick every morning, Every morning. Diagnosis was 10-2012. In September 2014 I happen to get a packet of Splenda at a restaurant that listed the ingredients, OMG!! Bastards! They advertised it as naturally made from sugar! Second ingredient…maltodexitrin! So I quite having 2 packets in my coffee every day! So now I am too the point where I only get ill if I missed something hidden. My question is, because I am still having my digestive issues, is there a period of healing that has to happen in my gut? I do take probiotics and they help some. Sometimes I feel like I should see a GI doc to make sure I haven’t missed something like colitus or done permanent damage to my digestive track. Any help would be appriciated. Dolly

  90. Hi Dolly… I seem to get away with maltodextrin, but do avoid maltose and maltilose, and malt sugar… however, you seem to react to maltodextrin.. the only advice I can give you,is to try and make everything at home, and avoid processed pre-cooked foods, as you never know what they put in it… one of the worst culprits these days is chewing gum.. I still haven`t found one that does not contain malt !! so I avoid it like the plague.. you can´t always trust people.. they say, “Yes that´s ok… ” but it does not occur to them that it can make somebody VERY VERY ill if they eat it… I have suffered with fools who seem to think that malt allergy is in my brain, and then afterwards they say “well, there was JUST a little malt vinegar in there ” or “just a little whisky ” for GOODNESS SAKE !! they should have the wretched hangover feeling, and irritability that goes with the reaction that we have… I suspect that your vomiting in the morning means that you are STILL eating something or drinking something late at night that is causing your problem ..?? Do you have a hot chocolate drink ? for example Ovaltine (a no no ) Horlicks ( NO !) Cadbury´s Chocolate drink has malt too… just have a think.. it could be something that you think is harmless… and only ever drink, cider, sherry, wine or brandy… nothing else.. all the rest have malt.. (oh, Cointreau is ok, so is 43…) Let me know how you get on… bless you… I sympathise… a fellow sufferer.

  91. Dolly Foster

    Thank Susan, I was looking at chewing gum and the only one I have found is Wrigley’s 5 gum, however it does contain aspertaime which can cause migranes. The only thing that I am taking late at night is naproxin for a bad knee, looks like I need to take that out now.

  92. I have looked at the ingredients in naproxen and there is no malt or barley there, but some of the side effects are vomiting (especially with people who have irritable bowels.. ) maybe your doctor could give you Omeprazol to protect your stomach, so you can continue to take the naproxen, which looks as though it´s quite strong ?

  93. Hi All,
    I just found out that I have a malt allergy and I am finding some form of malt in EVERYTHING!!!!! Does anyone know if Gluten free beers have malt in them? I never thought that I would miss beer that much but I would pay a hundred bucks for one now. I was diagnosed with eosinophilic esophagitis after food starting sticking in my esophagus. The Dr. said that a lot of times it is caused by a food allergy. That is how I found out I am allergic to Malt and Tomatoes. Anyone else here have this same issue?

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.

  94. HI Grant, Sorry to hear about your allergies. Yes, malt is in a LOT of things, but it gets earlier to avoid once you learn what to look for. I’m sorry I can’t answer your question about the beer. I have no idea. BTW, this thread is the only place I have found a “malt allergy community’ on the Net. Does anyone know of any other sites we can go to for support? -Ann

  95. easier * (not earlier)

  96. Hi Grant,

    Gluten and barley malt are two separate ingredients so unless the beer says ‘Malt-Free’ you can assume malt is in there, sorry. I actually found out about my barley/malt allergy while at an ‘extreme beerfest’ years ago, when I had a tiny cup of barley wine and was sick for over 12 hours. I haven’t had beer since. And I love beer, so I feel for you!

    Take care,

  97. I been suffering from barley and oat allergies for about 11years. My simptoms are swelling of the lips, rashes, bloating, diarrhea, vomiting. I never eat at fast food places and rarely eat frozen foods or breads. Very difficult.

  98. I have been getting a sore mouth after eating Genius malted bread as I thought my IBS was due to wheat/gluten, however yesterday I ate some malteasers(malted chocolate balls) and the inside of my mouth became very swollen and a little itchy within minutes. I realize now it’s a more dramatic but similar reaction that I get after eating anything with marmite (yeast extract) in. I eat spelt flour bread without many problems but the marmite may have been the main culprit for my sore mouth and digestive problems since cutting out wheat and gluten as much as possible.

  99. The fact that you are getting a reaction after eating Marmite is a mystery… I don´t THINK that there is any malt in there, but it may be that the yeast extract could be Brewers Yeast… it´s worth looking into… Maltesers are definitely out for a Malt sufferer…Hope you feel better soon …

  100. Can someone with knowledge of malt allergies help me out? My two year old is allergic to malt, and I’m wondering if it’s okay for him to have vinegar. I know that “malt vinegar” is off limits, but what if the ingredient list just says “vinegar”? Thank you!!!!!

  101. It is best to avoid it, especially if you live in the UK, as they mostly use malt vinegar… if it says spirit vinegar it´s usually ok… err on the side of caution, because the reaction to malt when allergic is very unpleasant indeed… I only use wine vinegar at home… You could get onto the manufacturer and ask the question, but if they sound vague, then don´t give it to your son… Hope that helps ?

  102. I was diagnosed with a malt allergy in 2012. Although I suspect that I am allergic to oats too. I have struggled the past 3 years to find things to eat. One thing to know about malt is that it is sprouted oat seeds, dried and then made into things like malted barley that appears in all purpose flour and 99% of store bought bread. Look for an organic bakery. For me I get the worst reaction (days of stomach flu symptoms) with a sweetener and food aditive made out of malt. Maltodexitrin and any other food additive with the word malt is very bad. There are about 10 of these chemicals. Your reactions may differ over time. I am now able to eat bread every few days but Never maltodexitrin. One thing I really missed was pretzels but I found that Syders Sourdough are safe. But any snackfood with a special flavoring is off the list. I really miss Doritos, oh well. I hope this helps.

  103. I was diagnosed with a malt allergy in 2012. Although I suspect that I am allergic to oats too. I have struggled the past 3 years to find things to eat. One thing to know about malt is that it is sprouted barley seeds, dried and then made into things like malted barley that appears in all purpose flour and 99% of store bought bread. Look for an organic bakery. For me I get the worst reaction (days of stomach flu symptoms) with a sweetener and food aditive made out of malt. Maltodexitrin and any other food additive with the word malt is very bad. There are about 10 of these chemicals. Your reactions may differ over time. I am now able to eat bread every few days but Never maltodexitrin. One thing I really missed was pretzels but I found that Syders Sourdough are safe. But any snackfood with a special flavoring is off the list. I really miss Doritos, oh well. I hope this helps.

  104. Good News! I am from the Chicago area and with the recent opening of several new grocery stores, I have been able to find alternatives of many products I could not eat before. Please don’t give up hope! There are many companies taking unnecessary additives out of their food. Just stay vigilant. Have a Happy New Year!

  105. Hi,
    I write this having needed to discover what my stomach ( and various other health problems are coming from ).
    I live in the UK.
    I dropped bread from my diet 2 years ago which helped but did not solve my problems but there was an improvement so I stopped wheat in general to find there was further improvement but issue still not nearly solved. I then found that barley malt would give the the most serious of the pains which I had experienced but having dropped wheat to notice an improvement, I assumed it was the barley that was causing pain.
    GP’s have got it all wrong with me for about 30 years until recently now it appears I have one who can help. Previously:
    What I now believe to be hives – diagnosed as cold sores – even though no cultures were not found after several tests and I had explained that zavirax hardly works.
    Cramps in legs complained about.
    Constant complaint about stomach pain and bowel problems diagnosed as IBS by hospital specialist.
    I also had a debilitating swelling of the lower back which I have had for so long that I believed it was just back problems and not far from normal. This required a daily routine to loosen before I could do anything with a day.
    etc etc. . . .
    I should say that I have never had any faith in any of the conclusions offered by Gp’s until recently after meeting a GP who appeared to have a more focused attitude to solving my problems.
    After previously meeting him briefly, four or five months ago I months ago I made my appointment to see him again.
    Having made sure to have his full attention I explained several of my symptoms and that I believed that they are all connected.
    He stated that he thought I may have a food allergy so got rid of the zavirax prescription and replaced it with a steroid cream called Fucibet (fusidic acid/betamethasone).
    Immediately the weeping lumps at my lower back stopped and for the first time since I can remember my back felt relaxed and I could feel two bones at the sides of my spine at my lower back. I am 48 years old and it came as such a surprised that at first I thought it may be a scelital problem but it is just normal.
    The GP also organised a celiac test which came back negative.
    Being that the cream had confirmed that the rash was allergy related,
    I immediately cut out almost all foods bar lightly salted kettle chips which are made purely from potatoes, pure sunflower oil and salt and lots of tea and coffee.

    After about 10 days I started adding other things into my diet.
    The first ingredient to provide a clue was maltadextrin as it caused pain in exactly the same area as what had previously brought me to my knees after short walks.
    I immediately searched for malt allergy info.
    Interestingly I found a page (which I was trying to re-find tonight when I came across this page) which stated that malt allergy can also turn into wheat and various other grain allergy. This might explain the wheat problem.

    Since then, I have been living a much more normal life for checking all labels but I still do get caught out.
    Also a point to note for people who have a celiac test come back negative:
    I recently asked for a thyroid test having never had one that I know of.
    Whilst with the nurse, who is celiac, I asked to see my celiac test results and she obligingly scrolled the screen up to the results. Apparently celiac test also includes a malt vinigar test but next to the the result section on mine it stated ” Test not available”.

    Take from this what you will. Hope it helps.
    I will probably pop back to report how I get on top of this for good.

  106. i am relieved to find this site, because I have been feeling so weird for the last 4 days after eating some bread with malted barley flour in it, i am intolerant of loads of other things but the symptoms usually clear up within 48 hours, so this was a worry… I am in a foul mood, not sleeping well, have an itchy cough, aches and pains everywhere, diarrhoea, itchy skin, etc etc, so was wondering what had hit me. Now I know, so thank you everyone for your help.

  107. Hi
    From my experience the first thing that should be ruled out but never seems to be is an auto immune disorder which is starting to show because the good side of your immune system is slowing down re its healing powers over the problem side. I say this from the off because asking how old some is can seem a bit rude but what I mention above is most likely to be relative if you are at or approaching middle age which is when healing power starts slowing down.- there for allowing the negatives to over take.
    It is likely that I am celiac but there is no way I am eating wheat fro 8 weeks so that some academic can tell me about it after 20 years of the typical symtoms being missed by GPs – hey this is England and the medical industry has totally lost the plot here – I would much prefer to pay directly to the person who I can look into the eyes of. Among my first symtoms was the curious notion that brown bread seemed to make my symptoms a lot worse than white bread so we have something in common there. I was 45 years when it was getting a bit serious and I noticed I better cut as much wheat out as I could but brown bread, especially malted was among the first that had to go. I also have a problem with maltodextrin – its said that the wheat in it is harmless after processing but it always gives me the same rash as the wheat except faster and often more aggressively. There is loads more to this but I suggest you just eat wholesome natural food for 5- 7 days and then add things back in one at a time feel good and to identify the problem — and slowly does it the symptoms of these types of allergies can take a few days to appear and last for several more day per item so if you ix it up too quickly it can become confusing and also make you feel awful. One thing about auto immune disorders is that, when you clear out the problem food your immune systems disorder stops attacking and so the other side of your immune system which is doing its best for you also takes a breather. At that point the harmful response to eating the problem food can be quite aggressive and painful because the good side of our immune response is caught unawares rather than being on the look out as it will have been – possibly your whole life.
    Take care


  108. thank you for trying to help me, but I am already eating wholesome food etc. and i already know the cause of my numerous ‘allergies’ or intolerances. I simply posted in order to get more input on the length of time the symptoms of a a barley intolerance can last, to make sure that that is what is going on, because my symptoms to other foods etc always clear up within 48 hours, so unless it is the barley intolerance that is causing my present symptoms,(5th day today), then there is something else going on.

    My cantankerous mood makes me a little impatient and very irritable, so please excuse my ingratitude.

  109. Hi Viv, well, I am extremely allergic to malt and Barley.. (one and the same thing of course ) you are asking how long a reaction can last, well for me, it depends on the amount of the substance I have eaten, but I can feel unwell for 10 days at times after eating barley or malt… the mood thing is quite quick to arise, but also hangs on for days as a depressive feeling, as does the rash or swelling… don´t worry about feeling ungrateful… I understand ! It can make everything feel black… so I would definitely think it is the barley… which is in so many things nowadays.

  110. thank you, I knew it could make 10 days for you,, was wondering about how long it can take for others…..

    thanks again!

  111. Hi Susan Clarke,
    You say rash and swelling – I get it( as well as the rest of it) from wheat and barley but far more aggressively with barley and malt. I get it on my lower back and the swelling is almost enough to put my back out. I do now have a cream that works – Fucibet ( better than the zavirax that several Gp’s have insisted is the best thing for over 15 years – thankfully I recently found a GP that took a different view ). It is such a relief to get the swelling under control and it works on the rash which is blistery and very easily agitated by clothes rubbing etc but goes down quickly with this cream. I am not 100% diagnosed yet and I wonder if you would be kind enough to answer 3 questions for me:
    1) Do any of those physical symptoms sound similar to what you get – you are the first person I have noticed that mentions swelling as part of the rash.
    2) Do you have a proper diagnosis – if so how did you get it.
    3) Can you tell me if you have a reaction to maltodextrin – it is cropping up in everything and is supposed to be free of the dodgy proteins but even the tiniest amount ( ie a vitamin pill that includes it ) gives me exactly the same symptoms as barley.

  112. I react in the same way that I do to barley or malt if I ingest maltodextrin, so you are definitely not alone!

  113. Hello Charlie, I used to get swelling of the face and lips, and a rash on the side of my face, I had a proper diagnosis by going to the hospital and having tests, the scratch tests first, which came up as being allergic to feathers, cats, fluffy dogs, and tree pollen . Then the food tests were capsules, numbered, I had to take one every morning before any other food, wait about an hour, and write down any reactions. At first, they thought it was yeast, but when I eliminated yeast, still had the symptoms, so the specialist was called in, who then said it´s malt, and barley !! I don´t actually notice if I have a reaction to maltodextrin to be honest. I only find that in Oxo´s or such stuff, and it really is a tiny amount.

  114. Thank you so much for telling me that.

  115. but having looked at website to find out more about maltodextrin, it is mainly made from corn and wheat !! which is a puzzle to me, why call it maltodextrin… very odd…

  116. i am so worried – it’s the 7th day since I last ate any barley malt and I am not improving at all, my mood is still black and worse, I ate the stuff 3 days in a row before I worked out the cause, do you really think that it is still the barley that is causing my dreadful mood, stuffy nose, aching joints etc etc?

    with reference to the maltodextrin, that is used in the starter for some cheeses and because o f its reaction with yeasts, it apparently forms MSG which is probably why I react to it.

  117. Hi – probably still the barley unless you’ve picked up a bug. One of my symptoms is that my sinuses go ape and it feels like there is a most annoying invisible something in front of my face. re maltodextrin – it can be made from a lot of things but the labelling is not good. Sometimes wheat, or potatoes pr corn. Most of thom bar the potatoes ( I think ) are GM which could be something but I also definitely react MSG ( tennitus within minutes – I find tennitus a good indicator because it is very quick to ring the alarm – I also get it with maltodextrin – but it’s extremety is a good indicator of how bad it is to be and when your system is clearing ) to and it is new to me that maltodextrin can react with yeast because yeast extract is another thing that is on my list of annoying reactions to. It gets really difficult to isolate the problem foods when they are so mixed up in so many ingredients but maltodextrin seems a cause – seemingly what ever it is made from but here in the UK it’s predominantly wheat and I think that is the worst one. I have read that wheat is used in the process of making yeast extract powder and also yeast extract claims of being less than the twenty parts gluton per million have recently been found to be wrong here in the UK so look out.for it. The regulators also seem to be relaxing the labelling strictness by allowing “natural flavourings” to cover all sorts of things that are open to debate because they may be natural but would never be found together in a natural circumstance. In my mind, the thing to remember is that they don’t want any of us collecting our pensions – all of the food messing about is completely unnecessary and may well be a victim of political regulatory interference with the way the world is these days – it’s best to be cautious.when it comes to the world of modern foods stay natural where ever possible.

  118. this is from a cheesemaking site, I hope it helps, I am in the UK too….

    “Q. We try to eat as healthy as possible and believe that raw dairy products are extremely beneficial to consume. This brings me to my concern about the additives in your cultures, mostly maltodextrin and autolyzed yeast (in yogurt cultures). One of the reasons I make my own dairy products is for health. When I make my own, I can control the ingredients that are in my food. I strive to consume fresh and additive free food.

    The second reason I make my own dairy products is that I am allergic to MSG. It is difficult to find foods in a grocery store without MSG, so making my own is my best option. You may not be aware, but MSG is created in the processing of maltodextrin and autolyzed yeast. It saddens me that I struggle to find even individual ingredients/products to make my own food that are completely pure and without additives. I realize there are many allergies and that it is not easy to please everyone. At the same time, a company such as yours specializes in making cheese from scratch. It seems like a logical nitch for you to offer pure cultures. If we are going to bother making something from scratch, why would we want to add the same items as processed food that we can simply buy in a store?”

    Thank you so much for posting about the time it takes for this stuff to metabolise, my sinuses are swollen and it makes breathing v difficult, How long do your symptoms go on for you after ingesting barley or malt?

    i also suffer from tinnitus and the level always rises in response to an allergen, but it can be hard to judge…

    All my sensitivities were caused by my being prescribed benzodiazepines for over 30 years (and a cold turkey over 20 years ago) by my idiot GP’s. I am still suffering side effects

  119. I should have also said that the red hives at the side of my mouth are fainter which is a good sign i suppose, and the source of the barley was an organic rye and raisin loaf which I have been buying from a farmers market for the last few months with no problems, which is why it took me 3 days to get round to phoning up the makers to discover that they were now adding malted barley flour to their recipe.

  120. Yes, more and more bakers etc., are now adding malted barley flour to their breads… I usually try and avoid bread when out, unless I can read the ingredients… another good way to tell is to smell the bread, if it smells of a very strong yeast smell, it is usually malted… also when you buy bread with a floury appearance, the flour can be malt flour… I have been known to brush that off when out, using the serviette… then it´s ok….

  121. thanks for the tips, i’ll try and smell the next loaf that I buy without any packaging for the ingredients list…..

  122. its the 12th day and although the mad rage has abated a lot, I have still got the burning throat and pain everywhere, that’ll teach me to never eat anything dodgy 3 days running! I am so grateful to you Susan for posting about your experiences…

  123. I have discovered that the bread that I made the other day contains brewers yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, which explains my continuing symptoms . I have recently found your post on this subject. I will have to find an alternative yeast .can anyone recommend a safe yeast product available in the UK?

  124. Glad I was able to help Viv… Brewers yeast, I am not sure about… I don´t normally react to yeast, but who knows what else they put in these days… I suppose you could try the flat types of bread… possibly no yeast or malted flour in those… best to check the ingredients though…

  125. Hey Viv, I called a manufacture to ask if the yearst they use is brewers yearst a while ago and remember being very disappointed so you have done well just to get a direct answer. I seem to remember being led down a lot of research paths and don’t remember any enlightening conclusions – I probably just cut out that product and ended up leaving it at that but, reading your recent comment something has sprung to mind in thatr. Info may be easy to come by by calling the manufacturers of items in the free from isles. I know Asdas own brand bread contains yeast and can be pretty sure that it is not brewers yeast and you may find they will be glad to tell you what sort of yeast it is if your were to enquire. The freephone number on the bread is 0800 9520101

  126. Thank you so much for all your help Susan and Charlie, I have just received this info from one of my suppliers which explains the situation better:

    “I’ve just heard back from Doves Farm and they say their Quick Yeast does contain saccharomyces cerevisiae – although it is the Baker’s Yeast, rather than Brewer’s Yeast strain. Apparently they both come from the same species but are different strains, with Brewer’s Yeast associated more with alcohol fermentation. I imagine being the same species still means it could be a risk, but that may be worth clarifying this with your GP.”

    However I am thinking now that I am not allergic to yeast itself, because have eaten ‘normal’ bread yesterday with no added problems, I fear that I was panicking because my symptoms had not cleared up after the magic “10 days” period and now they have, apart from a remaining slight burning sensation in my mouth and throat, so that means it can take longer than 10 days – It’s taken me 15 days so far.

    But if it were not for this site I don’t know what I would have done!!!!

    So thanks again!

    and I will be avoiding brewer’s yeast from now on…

  127. Hello,
    Sorry, I don’t have time to read all 130 answers here.

    Can anybody give me an answer to this question: How do I find malt in ingredient lists?

    My daughter had a blood test to check for food allergies, and her #1 offender is malt, but oddly, barley is not an offender at all. Wheat and gluten were also offenders, but not as bad as malt.

    I understand that malt is not an ingredient, but rather, a cooking process.

    Everywhere I look to find info on malt allergy, the discussion focuses on either barley (not an offender) or gluten. Why is there no website devoted solely to malt and the ingredients that either do or do not contain maIt? The best website I found focuses on *symptoms* of malt allergy…I don’t care about that.

    I just want to cook malt-free foods!

    I have seen malt equated with sweeteners, both natural and artificial. Is this correct?

    Does plain white sugar contain malt? Brown sugar?

    I have “degerminated” corn meal in my cupboard ~does this mean malt?

    What words mean malt?

    Are all gluten-free products automatically malt-free?

    Thank you for any info.

    My daughter’s doctor who ordered the allergy blood test is booked for 4 weeks, and I don’t want to wait that long to start her new diet.

  128. Hi Cindy. My son is also allergic to malt, and when he was diagnosed 4 years ago, I was disheartened by the lack of information available about this. I will share with you what I have learned by piecing together information over the years. Perhaps others will also add their knowledge and help us both.

    Malt is a process that is done to barley. My son can eat barley with no problems, as long as it has not been malted. I look closely at the ingredients list of EVERYTHING that he eats, as malt sneaks into a lot of foods. These are the ingredients I avoid: maltodexterin, isomalt, malted barley flour, malt, malted vinegar. You are correct in that malt is often used as a sweetener, but it is used in various other processed foods as well. For example, we live in the US, and all-purpose white flour contains malt. I have found it in spice packets, cereals, breads, crackers, granola bars, candies, even in juice! You really have to look closely. In the US, there is not malt in plain white sugar. I have also not seen it in brown sugar but read the ingredients to be sure! Pure corn meal or corn starch is fine. If you are in the UK, you will have an easier time finding breads she can eat. If you are in the US, I can give you the names of two safe breads that I have found.

    I wish you all the best and I am happy to help you further if you have more questions. Again, my knowledge is limited too, but I hope this at least answers some of your questions.


  129. Thank you, Ann.

    Yes, I am in the US, but my daughter has a TON of allergies. No need to send me bread brands. I can’t imagine that she could eat them.

    I am doing OK avoiding her other allergies, but the malt is the sneakiest, and it is also, unfortunately, her most severe offender.

    My daughter is allergic, in addition to malt, to all cows milk products, wheat, gluten, yeast, all citrus, bananas, asparagus, lettuce, cola, black pepper, cinnamon and ginger.

    Thank you!

  130. Susan Clarke

    Hi Cindy, from my experience gluten free usually do not contain malt or barley. I react terribly to barley, worse than malt, so avoid both. as you say, it sneaks into lots of things. I was actually told that maltodextrin was ok, even though the word malt is mentioned. I have not had a problem with stock cubes containing malto dextrin that´s all I can say. I also am the same as your daughter that my reaction can be extremely upsetting. with rapid pulse, a horrible raging mood, headache, rash, swollen lips… and sometimes a feeling like a hangover that lasts for about 10 days. There is even malt sugar in most chewing gums these days, which is a shame, because I do like to chew some gum occasionally. Your poor daughter, it sounds terribly difficult. I presume the easy way is for her to avoid all breads and crackers , and anything spicy, as you would not know what is in (for example) a curry…

  131. here i am back again because I ate one olive that was not pickled in brine, as I was expecting, but pickled in malt vinegar 3 days ago. I am not sleeping, ache all over and am in a furious rage all the time, fast pulse etc etc….

    thank you so much Susan, because if you had not posted that it takes 10 days for your sx to clear, I would think that I had gone mad!!

  132. Susan Clarke

    Oh sorry to hear that Viv… I have never heard of anybody pickling olives in malt vinegar !! they are usually just in brine… let´s hope that you feel better soon… it´s a terrible allergy, but can easily be managed with care.

  133. thanks susan, I wish I had checked the ingredient list!!

  134. Susan I am so scared, it’s the 6th day and I am no better, and I haven’t slept for the last 2 nights, CAN THIS ALL BE FROM THE MALT?? the last time it sent on for 2 weeks at least, but I didn’t keep notes, so I can’t remember how bad I felt. If you think it is possible that it is still the malt, I would feel v reassured it you could let me know..

  135. Yes Viv, it can take quite a while for you to feel better… I used to take an antihistamine every day for various allergies, and it seemed to diminish the effects of any accidental malt intake… I found it helped if I drank lots of water, and rest too… but maybe a visit to your Doctor also may help. (Just in case it´s something else… ) but it does sound similar to the feeling I get when I eat malt or barley… it´s like a major hangover, but worse !!

  136. thank you so much for that reply, I was worried that I might have developed a new allergy to something else that I was eating.
    daren’t take any medication, because I have reacted v badly to every single med so far, even to Tylenol (Paracetamol here in the UK).. I got a bit of sleep last night for the first time in the last 5 days, so feel a tiny bit better today.

    thanks again, it is so isolating and lonely when nobody else knows what is happening or how bad it feels!! As I am sure you know!

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