No, according to Kellogg’s customer support, Kellogg’s Rice Krispies are NOT gluten-free. Where does the gluten come from in Rice Krispies? Read on for more details about the cereal as well as those gooey marshmallow treats.
Before Netflix, DVR (not to be confused with the archaic DVD), and On-Demand, you had to watch commercials. Oh, the horror! My Saturday mornings were spent watching cartoons and commercials including cartoon mascots Snap! Crackle! and Pop! from Kellogg’s Rice Krispies cereal.
When I was first diagnosed with Celiac Disease in 2005, I assumed Rice Krispies were gluten-free since they were made of rice and rice is naturally gluten-free. Unfortunately, you know what happens when you assume and it’s not pretty. Lesson learned. Since then, I’ve trained myself (and my daughter diagnosed in 2011) to read every single label.
WHAT GLUTENS RICE KRISPIES?
This is where detective work becomes vital. One of the ingredients listed is “malt flavoring”. According to Gluten-Free Living, "malt is usually made from barley and is not gluten-free. It can be made from corn, but that is rare. Most malt comes from barley grain that has been soaked, germinated and dried. Ingredients made from malt include malt flavoring, malt syrup and malt extract, none of which are currently considered gluten-free."
In the case of Rice Krispies, their malt flavoring is from barley. And barley is off limits for those of us with Celiac Disease, gluten-intolerance, and non-Celiac gluten sensitivity.
I know this sucks. Why put barley in something that would be gluten-free? It happens a lot. You’ll also find barley in places such as chocolate and cosmetics.
WASN’T THERE A TIME THAT KELLOGG’S MADE GLUTEN-FREE RICE KRISPIES?
Yes. Back in 2011, with much fanfare, Kellogg's Rice Krispies were labeled gluten-free. Sadly, they were discontinued in the United States and went back to being filled with gluten. This is another life lesson – ingredients and manufacturing processes can change, all the more reason to check those labels.
YOU’RE IN LUCK IF YOU LIVE IN CANADA
Canada is a glorious place for hockey, maple syrup, and gluten-free Rice Krispies. While the U.S. discontinued gluten-free Rice Krispies, the product is still available in Canada (Gluten-Free Rice Krispies Whole Grain Brown Rice Cereal). Can I get an Eh-men?
WHAT DOES KELLOGG’S HAVE TO SAY?
Thank you for contacting us about malt. Your interest in Kellogg's Rice Krispies cereal is greatly appreciated and I'm happy to help provide more information.
Malt flavoring is added to some of our foods to enhance the natural grain flavor. It is made by extracting the flavor components from barley and/or corn so we cannot specify in a product which grain the malt is from. Since barley may be used to make malt flavoring, it may contain gluten.
I MISS RICE KRISPIES – ARE THERE SIMILAR GLUTEN-FREE CEREALS?
There are some awesome gluten-free cereals on the market that look like and taste like Kellogg’s Rice Krispies. Check them out below.
WHAT ABOUT THE PACKAGED RICE KRISPIE TREATS?
If you spot a box of Rice Krispie Treats in your cereal or snack aisle, Kellogg’s Rice Krispie Treats are NOT gluten-free as they contain malt flavoring. This also goes for treats made for school bake sales or class parties. When my daughter was younger, I would make my own gluten-free faux rice krispie treats to bring to school. No one knew the difference.
I DON’T WANT TO BECOME COVERED IN MARSHMALLOW, ARE THERE GLUTEN-FREE CRISPY RICE TREATS?
Sometimes it’s easier to buy packaged treats. Marshmallow stuck on your counters and in your hair (trust me from personal experience) is not fun. Luckily several companies offer pre-packaged gluten-free Crispy Rice treats.
STAY UP TO DATE ON WHAT IS GLUTEN-FREE AND WHAT IS NOT
If you’ve spent time in your grocery store’s cereal aisle reading label after label and crying inside, I know how you feel. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so what do us gluten-free folk eat?
Sign up for my monthly Hold the Gluten newsletter to stay up to date on everything from gluten-free cereal to gluten-free candy and everything in between. I’ll also keep you in the know about what food and personal care items contain gluten.