Is maple syrup gluten free? Yes, it’s naturally gluten free however, there’s always a risk of cross contamination. If you’re on a gluten free diet, there are a few things to watch out for before enjoying your pancakes or French toast!
Can celiacs eat maple syrup?
Yes! Like we’ve said, maple syrup is a naturally gluten free product. However, cross contamination is a huge issue for those with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity.
Like honey, maple syrup is at risk of cross contamination during manufacturing. While maple syrup should be a single ingredient product and should be safe, mass production and manufacturing can introduce trace amounts of gluten into a product. If the maple syrup isn’t produced in a dedicated gluten free facility or even a gluten free line, then there’s opportunity for gluten to contaminate the product.
Keep in mind that if you are purchasing local maple syrup made (bottled) in a home kitchen, there’s a chance that it could also contain gluten. If the kitchen is not gluten free, then trace amounts of gluten could end up in your maple syrup.
It’s best to follow the same guidelines and take the same precautions you would with any other food to ensure that whatever maple syrup you purchase is gluten free.
Maple syrup vs pancake syrup
It’s important to understand the difference between natural maple syrup and pancake syrup. It can be confusing because of the labeling and packaging. They usually look very similar and unless you read the ingredients, it can be hard to tell the difference.
Pancake syrup is imitation syrup. There’s usually no maple syrup in those products and it’s entirely made of artificial sweetener (sorbitol is common), flavors and color (caramel color). Because those products don’t contain a naturally gluten free ingredient like 100% maple syrup, there’s a higher risk of gluten being present in the product.
It’s important to always read the ingredients. Pure maple syrup contains only one ingredient: maple syrup.
FAQ gluten free maple syrup
- Is Aunt Jemima syrup gluten free? Is pearl milling company syrup gluten free? On February 9, 2021, PepsiCo (parent company) announced that Aunt Jemima would be changing its name to Pearl Milling Company. There are multiple syrups under the Pearl Milling Company brand. None of these syrups contain any maple syrup! The main ingredients are corn syrup or high fructose corn syrup. Since none of their products contain any maple syrup, I did not dig into whether it was gluten free.
- Is Mrs. Butterworth syrup gluten free? There are multiple syrups under the Mrs. Butterworth’s brand. None of these syrups contain any maple syrup. The main ingredients are corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup or artificial sweetener. Since none of their products contain any maple syrup, I did not dig into whether it was gluten free.
- Is pure maple syrup gluten free? Is pure Canadian maple syrup gluten free? Yes. Pure maple syrup whether it’s from the US or Canada is gluten free. However, there is a risk of cross contamination during the manufacturing process.
- Is log cabin syrup gluten free? Log cabin syrup has 4 different types (original, lite, sugar free and all natural). None of these products contain any maple syrup. The main ingredients are corn syrup, sugar and/or artificial sweetener. Since it’s not maple syrup, I did not dig into whether it was gluten free.
- Is hungry jack syrup gluten free? There are multiple syrups under the Hungry Jack brands. None of these syrups contain any maple syrup. The main ingredients are corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup or artificial sweetener. Since none of the ingredients include any maple syrup, I didn’t dig into whether it was gluten free or not.
- Is imitation syrup gluten free? Is pancake syrup gluten free? Pancake syrup is imitation maple syrup. It’s usually made with cheaper ingredients like corn syrup, artificial colors and other additives but not pure maple syrup. It may only contain artificial maple flavor. Brands that would be considered imitation or pancake syrup are Log Cabin, Pearl Milling Company, Mrs. Butterworths’, and Hungry Jack. It’s only gluten free pancake syrup if the ingredients are free of gluten and it’s stated on the label.
- Is sugar free syrup gluten free? If all the ingredients are gluten free, then it’s likely that the product would be naturally gluten free. However, you’d need to consider the risk of cross contamination. And again, real maple syrup has sugar. Therefore, sugar free syrup is not maple syrup. It’s imitation maple syrup.
- Is maple syrup gluten free and dairy free? Pure maple syrup is naturally gluten and dairy free.
Does It matter which grade of maple syrup I use?
Maple syrup grading does not refer to the quality of the syrup or whether it's gluten free. It only refers to the color and flavor. And maple syrup comes in a range of colors. Syrup that is made from sap that was collected early in the season, would be lighter. The darker the syrup, the stronger the flavor. This rating system applies to Canadian maple syrup as well.
Gluten free maple syrup brands
At the time of writing this post (November 9, 2023), these brands offer gluten free syrup. However, please keep in mind that brands change their manufacturing processes and ingredients often and without notice. Please check and read labels before you make a purchase.
Here are the brands that are certified gluten free:
Here are brands that test their maple syrup for allergens:
- Maple Joe: According to their website, ‘the Acer Centre, which classifies our syrups, conducts random testing for allergens. What’s more, all our producers sign a letter of guarantee declaring that there are no allergens in their syrup. We also have an allergen management procedure to avoid any contamination in our facility.’
Here are brands that manufacture their maple syrup in allergen free facilities:
- Shady Maple Farms: According to their website, their products ‘are packaged in a factory where there is no presence of allergen,’ including gluten.
- Coombs Family Farms: According to customer service, their ‘facility is a dedicated gluten and nut free facility.’ They do have a pancake mix that includes gluten, but they come already packaged. And they ‘do not come in contact with any open areas where our syrup is stored. We are also free of the 8 major food allergens: milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts (such as almonds, cashews, walnuts), fish (such as bass, cod, flounder), shellfish (such as crab, lobster, shrimp), soy, wheat.’
- Andersons Maple Syrup: Andersons has a full-page allergen statement on their website. It states ‘we only prepare Pure Maple Syrup and a limited number of other Maple Syrup/Sugar products. We take extra steps to make sure that allergens such as wheat and nut do not come in contact with our products, nor enter our packaging room/area.’
- Carman Brook Farm: according to their website, they ‘go to great lengths to ensure our production space and ingredients do not come in contact with allergens.’
- Butternut Maple Farms: According to the allergen statement on their website, they do ‘not process any of the major food allergens as defined by the US Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act of 2004 (Title II of Public Law 108-282) which includes: eggs, milk, wheat, soy, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, and shellfish. Pure maple sugar is produced solely from pure maple syrup, which is derived solely from pure maple sap. Organic safflower and canola oils are used as processing aids for organic maple sugar and maple syrup in the sugarhouse. They reduce foam in the evaporator pan as the sap is being boiled and concentrated to syrup. They are present in the finish syrup in trace amounts.’ This is interesting. So while there products may be gluten free, if you have issues with grains, these products could be a problem because the introduction of corn.
Here are brands that manufacture their maple syrup in gluten free facilities:
- Spring Tree: According to their customer service, their products are ‘naturally gluten free and are produced in a gluten free facility.’
- Maple Grove Farms: According to their customer service, their products ‘are naturally gluten free and are produced in a gluten free facility.’
Here are the brands that only produce maple syrup.
- Crown Maple: According to their CEO (who responded personally), ‘maple syrup and maple sugar are the only products we produce at our location.’
Please keep in mind that this isn't a complete list of gluten free brands. I reached out to dozens of brands, and these are the brands that either responded or had gluten free statements on their websites by the time of publishing this post.
Here are brands that may contain gluten from cross contamination.
- Runamok: According to their customer service, ‘our products and facility are not certified gluten free. We suggest that anyone with Celiac disease or a severe gluten intolerance steer clear of our barrel-aged products, as these syrups are aged in barrels formerly used for spirits such as whiskey. Our infused maple syrups would be a good choice, as these contain only the ingredients listed on the bottle (elderberry, ginger, hibiscus, etc.) and all of these ingredients are naturally gluten free.’
If you’re concerned about other products being gluten free, check out these posts.
Gluten free recipes to try with syrup
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