Is brown rice syrup gluten free?
Brown rice syrup is a sweetener made by fermenting brown rice with enzymes to disintegrate the starch content, according to manufacturer AG Commodities Inc. Then the fermented liquid is strained and cooked until it becomes syrup. The enzymes are the key to whether the brown rice syrup is gluten free. Barley enzymes, which are often used, make brown rice syrup that is not gluten free. However, if fungal enzymes are used, then the brown rice syrup is gluten free. Several brands are labeled gluten free, including Lundberg Farms’ Sweet Dream, Nature’s Flavors’ organic brown rice syrup and Suzanne’s Specialties’ Genmai organic brown rice nectar. Lundberg Farms purposely switched from a cereal enzyme to a fungal enzyme to make their brown rice syrup gluten free. You will sometimes see brown rice syrup listed as an ingredient in processed foods. If it’s used in a product that is labeled gluten free, like Erewhon brown rice cereal or Enjoy Life Foods’ Cocoa Loco snack bars, you can assume it is gluten free. But if brown rice syrup is used in a mainstream product, it can be harder to tell. Some companies note the use of barley or barley malt in their brown rice syrup, but the allergen labeling law does not require them to. If you see brown rice syrup on a mainstream label, but the source is not listed, the only way to be sure is to check with the food maker.