Marmite is a spread which has gained a lot of attention in the past few years with its unique flavour and high nutritional values. The spread contains yeast extract, salt, vegetable extract, and a range of vitamins, including B12. However, for those who have celiac disease or gluten intolerance, the question whether Marmite is gluten-free or not has become extremely common. In this article, we will explore the surprising answer to this question, and also provide an insight into the nutritional value of Marmite.
The Definition of Gluten
For those who are gluten-sensitive, ensuring that gluten-free foods are consumed is vital. Gluten is a protein that is commonly found in wheat, rye, and barley. Gluten is responsible for making dough elastic and allowing the bread to rise, but for those who are sensitive to it, it can cause a host of problems such as abdominal pain, bloating, and diarrhea. The only way to alleviate these symptoms is to consume gluten-free food. Therefore, it is essential to determine whether Marmite contains gluten or not.
The Composition of Marmite
Marmite is made up of yeast extract, salt, vegetable extract and a range of vitamins and minerals, with one of the main ingredients being brewer’s yeast. Brewer’s yeast is gluten-free, which then prompted the question of whether Marmite is gluten-free. Marmite’s recipe contains no wheat or barley, which means that it technically does not contain gluten. However, there is a small amount of gluten in the form of barley malt extract. This means that Marmite cannot be considered 100% gluten-free.
What is Brewed Yeast Extract?
Brewers’ yeast extract is made with the same yeast that is used in beer production. This yeast is grown, sometimes with added vitamins, on a medium. It is heated to deactivate any live yeast, and then it is centrifuged, filtered, washed and dried to produce a powdered extract. Brewers’ yeast extract has been shown to have many health benefits and is an excellent source of protein and vitamins, including vitamin B12.
What is Barley Malt Extract?
Barley malt extract is produced by soaking barley in water and then allowing it to germinate. The germinated barley is heated to stop it from growing, and then the liquid extract is removed. This extract is sweet and is commonly used in brewing and cooking. Barley malt extract contains gluten, a natural protein that gives elasticity to dough and is found in wheat and other grains.
Is Marmite Safe for People with Gluten Intolerance or Sensitivity?
Marmite contains a small amount of barley malt extract, which means it is not suitable for people with celiac disease or severe gluten sensitivity. However, for those with mild gluten intolerance, consuming Marmite might not cause problems. Since the amount of gluten is minimal, there are slight chances that it may trigger any reaction. However, if you consume a large amount of Marmite or have a severe gluten sensitivity, it is best to avoid it.
Marmite’s Nutritional Value
Marmite is a vegetarian product and is low in fat, carbs, and sugar. It is a high source of protein and contains various vitamins and minerals, making it popular among athletes and fitness enthusiasts. Marmite is an excellent source of vitamin B12, which is vital for the human body’s functioning. Vitamin B12 helps in the production of red blood cells, which carry oxygen in the blood. It also helps the body regulate the nervous system, and a lack of vitamin B12 can cause fatigue and weakness.
Calories in Marmite
The number of calories in Marmite depends on the serving size. One serving of Marmite on a slice of bread is approximately 34 calories.
Nutritional information of Marmite
|Amount per serving
Marmite and Vegemite: Are They the Same?
Marmite, as many know, is a popular British yeast-based sandwich spread. Vegemite, on the other hand, is a dark and salty spread that originated in Australia. While both of these products have similar appearances, flavours, and odours, they are two entirely different spreads. Vegemite contains no gluten, which makes it suitable for those with celiac disease or gluten intolerance. Vegemite is made up of yeast extract, salt, mineral salt, and various vitamins, including vitamin B12.
Marmite Substitute for those with Gluten Intolerance
If you are gluten-sensitive or have celiac disease, a great alternative to Marmite is yeast extract spread. These spreads are gluten-free and offer a similar flavour profile to Marmite. They are made using a similar process, but without the addition of barley malt extract. The most common yeast extract spreads are general supermarket brands, and they can be found on the same shelves as Marmite in grocery stores. Another option is to make your own yeast extract spreads at home. This can be a fun and creative process, and you can experiment with different flavours by adding herbs and spices to the mix.
In conclusion, Marmite cannot be considered 100% gluten-free as it contains barley malt extract, but it contains only a small amount of gluten. For those with mild gluten intolerance, consuming Marmite might not cause problems, but for those with celiac disease or severe gluten sensitivity, it is best to avoid it. Remember to read the label of any food product that you are unsure of to confirm its gluten content.
Common Questions Related to Marmite and Gluten
- 1. Is Marmite gluten-free?
- Marmite contains a small amount of barley malt extract, which means it is not suitable for people with celiac disease or severe gluten sensitivity.
- 2. Is Vegemite gluten-free?
- Vegemite contains no gluten, making it suitable for those with celiac disease or gluten intolerance.
- 3. What are the benefits of Marmite?
- Marmite is an excellent source of vitamin B12, which is vital for the human body’s functioning. It also has low fat, carbs and sugar making it a healthy addition to the diet.
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- Nourished by Nutrition. (2016). Vegemite Vs. Marmite. Nourished by Nutrition. https://www.nourishedbynutrition.com/blog/vegemite-vs-marmite
- BBC Good Food. (2021). Homemade yeast extract. BBC Good Food. https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/homemade-yeast-extract
- The Marmite Shop. (2021). Shop. The Marmite Shop. https://www.themarmiteshop.com