Maple syrup is a staple of many people’s breakfast, especially in the US and Canada where it originates. The indigenous people of North America first introduced maple syrup to European settlers, and it has become a worldwide favourite ever since.
Today, it is used as a condiment for sweet meals such as pancakes, waffles and porridge. It is also often used in baking or as a sweetener instead of sugar.
But the question remains: is maple syrup gluten free? Here’sour rundown ofhow maple syrup is produced and whether it contains gluten or not.
How is Maple Syrup Made?
Maple syrup is made from sap or maple from trees which store starch and convert it into sugar. The syrup is extracted by drilling holes into the tree trunks to collect the sap. This sap is then heated to evaporate the water and leave a more concentrated syrup.
Maple syrup is produced in production farms known as sugarwoods. The sap is heated to boiling point in a building designed to ventilate the steam produced. This is often referred to as a sugarhouse.
What is Gluten?
Gluten is the name for proteins present in wheat and barley among other grains. Gluten is made from two main proteins, names glutenin and gliadin.
The former is found in wheat flour and gives dough an elastic quality.
Meanwhile, Gliadinmakes bread rise. This is also found in wheat as well as other grains.
How to Know if Something Contains Gluten
When you think of foods which contain gluten, your first thoughts are likely to be pasta or bread. However, you will need to be careful with other foods that may contain gluten and aren’t so apparent. It’s a good idea to check any new food before assuming it is gluten free.
Nowadays you will be able to easily identify whether most food is gluten free or not by simply having a look at the packaging. A lot of gluten free foods make it very obvious. If you are none the wiser after checking the packaging, then checking online might be your next port of call.
Most foods containing gluten will have a gluten free alternative available. Everything from bread to pasta has a gluten free substitute, so shop around and you will be able to avoid gluten without compromising too much.
Benefits of a Gluten-Free Diet
Obviously, those with an intolerance to gluten will need to avoid consuming it. Thankfully, gluten allergy advice is available on a lot of food packaging.
That is not the only reason you may want to avoid gluten. Research has suggested that a gluten free diet can accelerate weight loss, which is an important consideration for many when opting to cut out gluten.
A by-product of steering clear of gluten is the likelihood that you will pay more attention to what you are eating. It isn’t always easy to know which foods contain gluten, so by checking the packaging you’ll not only become aware of gluten content, but also all the other ingredients in whatever you’re consuming. This can benefit your overall diet.
Is Maple Syrup Gluten Free?
The simple answer is, yes. Traditional maple syrup has only one ingredient and is completely gluten free. Any maple syrups that have additional ingredients or flavoring could potentially contain gluten, but in general maple syrup contains no additional ingredients.
As always, check the labels carefully before consuming. With maple syrup you can be safe in the knowledge that anything pure and without flavours will not contain gluten. It never hurts to ask if you’re unsure but there should be no issues.
Obviously, large quantities of maple syrup is not healthy for you for other reason so be wary when pouring that liquid gold over your pancakes. But as far as gluten goes, there is no need to worry.
So, enjoy maple syrup to your heart’s content, safe in the knowledge that it is 100% gluten free.