Do you love candy or chocolate and follow a gluten-free diet? Find out if m&m’s candy are gluten-free and what to look out for.
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If you’re a big candy fan, you may know a thing or two about m&m’s candy. These chocolates are wrapped with a candy coating and are a staple for many kids and adults alike.
Look at any store and you’re bound to see shelves full of m&m’s in different flavors and colors. You can even personalize your own m&m’s with your faces on them if you so wish on their website!
If you follow a gluten-free diet, you know that looking at every food – and candy – you eat matters before it enters your body. You want to look for hidden sources of gluten before you buy or eat it to prevent yourself from getting sick or feeling terrible the next day.
In this post, we’re going to answer the questions about what m&m’s are made of, if they are gluten-free, the gluten-free flavors to look for, and what you’ll want to be mindful of before you buy or eat m&m’s again on your gluten-free diet.
What are m&m’s made of?
According to the m&m’s website, the ingredients in their candy are:
Ingredients: sugar, cocoa mass, skimmed milk powder, cocoa butter, lactose, starch, milk fat, palm fat, glucose syrup, shea fat, stabiliser (gum arabic), dextrin, glazing agents (beeswax, carnauba wax), colours (E100, carmine, E132, E133, E150a, E150c, E150d, E153, E160a, E160e, E162, E163, E170), beetroot concentrate, emulsifiers (soya lecithin, E445), salt, flavourings, palm kernel oil, antioxidant (E306). (May contain: peanut, hazelnut, almond). Milk chocolate contains milk solids 14% minimum.
What is gluten?
Gluten is a protein found in most wheat products, and acts as the “glue” that helps to hold wheat, barley, kamut, spelt, farro, durum, bulgur, rye, and semolina together to maintain their shape.
You can find gluten in whole grains, but also in many processed foods as well. If you purchase wheat bread, there will be gluten in it, because wheat by nature has gluten.
When you think of squishing a piece of bread in your hands, it will form a ball, then will bounce back. That bouncing back is often indicative of gluten. The gluten is the naturally sticky glue that is part of many whole grains.
Many processed foods have hidden gluten in them in the form or gluten or wheat derivatives. These are also in the form of flavorings, binders to keep ingredients together, or other additives.
Is chocolate gluten free?
Most plain and pure chocolate is gluten-free, as the chocolate itself usually contains dairy, sugar, and milk powder. If you’re looking for a dairy-free chocolate option, there are plenty of those too.
Chocolate is gluten-free when it is plain, but when you’ll want to start looking out for gluten in flavored chocolate bars or those chocolate candies with mix-ins, like cookies or pretzels.
Many chocolate bars are gluten-free, as well as chocolate chips. If you avoid gluten, be sure to look for a gluten-free label and always check ingredients lists just in case.
Read on: Is chocolate gluten-free?
One of my little secrets is that I carry around a copy of my GFDF Take Along Cards so that I always have a point of reference when I can sneak a peek at the ingredient list of a food.
Are m&m’s gluten free?
While m&m’s doesn’t make any statement that their products are gluten-free, based on the ingredients lists, we can assume that they are.
Be aware that some of their flavors will definitely contain gluten, such as the crispy m&m’s and pretzel m&m’s. These list wheat flour or barley malt as ingredients, which are both names for hidden gluten to be on the lookout for.
You can also look for “may contain wheat” labels on the packaging to help you determine if the candy has had cross contamination or produced on the same lines as other gluten ingredients.
It’s always a good idea to be wary of any processed food that doesn’t have a gluten-free label as there is a chance for cross contamination on machinery and while making the food. Do what feels right for you and your body based on why you’re avoiding gluten.
Which m&m’s are gluten free?
While the m&m’s website doesn’t state that their products are gluten-free, most of their flavors do not contain any gluten-containing ingredients. These are:
- Milk Chocolate m&m’s
- Peanut m&m’s
- Peanut Butter m&m’s
- m&m’s minis
- Almond m&m’s
- Dark chocolate m&m’s
- Dark chocolate Peanut m&m’s
If you’d like to review the ingredients lists for the different flavors of m&m’s, check out their website for more information.
Are m&m’s dairy-free?
M&m’s contain milk and milk chocolate, and therefore not dairy-free. If you follow a dairy-free diet, you’ll want to look for a different type of chocolate candy to enjoy that has no milk or other milk products.
Read on: Dairy-free Chocolate: The Ultimate Guide
Read on: Dairy and Gluten-free Candy
Are peanut m&m’s gluten free?
Peanut m&m’s are a favorite among many people, and if that’s you, you might be wondering if these are safe for a gluten-free diet.
Peanut m&m’s do not have any gluten-containing ingredients and should be considered safe for a gluten-free diet. The Mars company doesn’t share any information on their processing related to gluten, so if you are extremely sensitive to gluten, you may want to be aware of a possibility for cross contamination.
If you’re an m&m lover and follow a gluten-free diet, I hope that this information has helped you make an informed decision whether or not to include this candy in your diet.
These candies are gluten-free, not dairy-free, and the Mars company doesn’t give information about cross contamination or how their lines are processed.
Decide based on your level of sensitivity and comfort whether you bring them into your diet.