Is Vinegar Gluten Free? - Celiac Disease
Dec 29 2008

Is Vinegar Gluten Free?

Is vinegar gluten free?   One of our readers recently sent us this exact question, so I think it is likely that there are others out there who are also wondering the same thing.  

Is vinegar safe to eat for people with Celiac Disease?  The answer is yes…for the most part!    Like most ingredients, vinegar is naturally gluten free, as the gluten it is made with is lost in the distillation process (just like alcohol).

While checking for additional information, I found this post by Dr. Stephen Wangen which goes into greater detail:

Other vinegars, such as red wine vinegar, apple cider vinegar, and balsamic vinegar also do not contain gluten. They are not derived from a gluten grain, therefore they never had gluten to begin with.

The primary exception to all of this is malt vinegar. “Malt” can almost always be assumed to mean “barley malt.” Barley is of course a gluten grain, and malt vinegar is generally not a distilled vinegar. Therefore there is gluten in malt vinegar. The other exception is when malt has been added into something after it has been distilled. This is sometimes the case with hard alcohols, but you have to check with the manufacturer.

Hopefully that clears up any potential confusion!

Article Written by:

Kyle Eslick is the founder of Gluten Free Media, as well as the creator of the popular Celiac Support Groups page. Connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, and now Google+!


  1. lynne cooke says:

    thank you for this information it was really helpful for me who has been diagnosed as coeliac for the past 15 years but my father has only just been diagnosed this year, he keeps asking me questions like this and to be honest i didnt know, so thank you once again

  2. William says:

    Thanks for the info about vinegar

  3. Jim Wallace says:

    The two pieces of info above seem to be contradictory. Kylie says the gluten is lost in the distillation process, and Stephen Wangen say’s vinegar is not distilled.
    So, who’s right?

  4. VS says:

    Actually, if you read the whole article by Stephen Wangen he says “common white vinegar is distilled from a gluten containing grain”. So validating what Kylie said. The part included in green is adding that the specialty vinegars (red wine vinegar, apple cider vinegar, and balsamic vinegar) are not derived from a gluten grain in the first place so never had gluten. Both statements are correct.

  5. John says:

    Any vinegar that contains “caramel coloring” (such as most varieties of inexpensive balsamic vinegar, included in the example) may have had gluten added to it after the distilling process. Caramel color is often made from wheat or barley.

  6. Jim Wallace says:

    To VS and John. Thank you. Those comments clear that up nicely.

  7. Elaine Lowthorp says:

    Thank You for the info on Vinegar. I clean with vinegar and was concerned that might be a source of my gluten. RELIEF.

  8. Steve says:

    Heinz white vinegar is made from corn

    Pure balsamic is always safest


  1. […] if it just says vinegar on the label, I presume it is malt vinegar, which is of course, not gluten free. So when I first diagnosed as Coeliac, I went through my fridge and put a little red sticker on all […]

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