They’re among the most popular candy bars in the world, but are Milky Ways gluten free? Or are they incompatible with a gluten-free diet?
The iconic Milky Way chocolate bar celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. Since its inception, it has grown to become one of the top 5 most consumed candy bars in the world. But are Milky Way gluten free?
Original Milky Ways are not gluten free, as they contain barley malt extract.
But there are two other varieties of Milky Way candy bars that do not contain gluten. Read on to find out what they are. Plus, discover some other gluten-free candy bar alternatives.
What is Milky Way candy?
Invented in 1923, Milky Way candy bars were first manufactured in Minneapolis, Minnesota by Frank Mars, who later founded the Mars candy company.
The name referred to its milky ingredients and taste, which resembled a milkshake. Those ingredients included caramel, milk chocolate, and nougat, which is a soft, chewy confection made with whipped egg whites, corn syrup, and flavorings.
Over the years, other variations of this popular chocolate bar were introduced including Milky Way Midnight, which features dark chocolate, and Milky Way Simply Caramel, which omits the nougat found in the original.
Is Milky Way Gluten Free?
Original Milky Way candy bars — and Mars bars as they’re marketed in countries outside the U.S. — are not gluten free. They contain malted barley extract, made from barley grains, which contain gluten.
So, if you have Celiac disease, a gluten allergy, or a gluten sensitivity, eating Milky Way bars could pose issues for you.
Other products on the ingredients list include soy lecithin, cocoa butter, cocoa powder, skim milk, egg whites, corn syrup, chocolate, palm oil, and artificial flavor.
But there is some good news. There are two other Milky Way styles that are gluten free!
Milky Way Midnight
Milky Way Midnight candy bars are similar to the original, but they’re made with dark chocolate, caramel, and a vanilla nougat. And it includes one important difference: it has no gluten-containing ingredients. That means it’s safe to eat if you’re on a gluten-free diet.
Milky Way Simply Caramel
These candy bars simply omit the nougat found in the original Milky Ways, and instead use just a creamy caramel filling. These also do not contain gluten and are compatible for those with gluten sensitivities.
What are some other gluten-free Milky Way alternatives?
Looking for a delicious treat that is similar to Milky Way but doesn’t contain gluten? Here are some gluten-free options:
3 Musketeers – This treat is very similar to Milky Ways, but the 3 Musketeers bars do not contain the caramel filling. They also do not contain gluten, so these are a great option as a gluten-free Milky Way alternative.
Rolo candies – These round candies are basically caramel covered in chocolate, so they’re much like Milky Way Simply Caramel. And they’re also gluten free.
Snickers – These popular candy bars use all gluten-free ingredients, including nougat, caramel, peanuts, and chocolate.
Heath Bars – Made with toffee and almonds and covered in chocolate, Heath chocolate bars are compatible with a gluten-free diet as they contain no gluten ingredients.
Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups – These chocolate-covered peanut butter-flavored treats are gluten-free, as long as you have the original variety. However, some seasonal shapes, such Reese’s Peanut Butter Eggs or ones shaped like hearts are not gluten-free. That’s because these chocolate products are processed on equipment that’s also used to make items that contain gluten, so there’s a risk for cross contamination.
The Milky Way chocolate bar sold in the United States is the same as the Mars bar marketed elsewhere worldwide. Both include nougat, caramel, and a milk chocolate coating.
A 3 Musketeers bar is made with nougat covered in chocolate and is sold in the United States. The same candy bar is sold under the name Milky Way in other countries globally. The difference between these and the original Milky Way bars is the omission of caramel.
The original Milky Way bar sold in America contains 240 calories per 1.84 oz bar. A similar-sized Milky Way Midnight has 220 calories. And a 1.9 oz serving size Milky Way Simply Caramel bar has 250 calories.
More gluten-related food and drink answers
Wondering if some of your other favorite foods and drink contain gluten? Check out the posts below.
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