Are Milky Way Gluten Free? A Comprehensive Guide

milky way gluten free

Milky Way candy bars have long held a special place in the candy aisle, tantalizing chocolate lovers worldwide.

Yet, in the era where a gluten-free diet has become imperative for many, it’s crucial to delve deep and determine: Are Milky Ways gluten-free?

The Makeup of a Milky Way Candy Bar

Milky Way candy bars gluten free primarily consist of a nougat layer, caramel topping, and a final outer coating of milk chocolate.

We must break down their components to truly understand if these candy bars are gluten-free.

  • Milk Chocolate: The key ingredients that constitute the milk chocolate bars in a Milky Way are sugar, cocoa butter, skim milk, chocolate, lactose, milkfat, soy lecithin, and artificial flavor. Both cocoa powder processed and cocoa butter skim milk plays a pivotal role in imparting the classic taste. However, neither of these ingredients inherently contains gluten.
  • Nougat: The nougat layer is where potential gluten ingredients might lurk. Common ingredients include sugar, corn syrup, palm oil, and egg whites. Corn syrup and palm oil, on their own, are considered gluten-free.
  • Caramel: Caramel in candy bars typically contains sugar, skim milk, corn syrup, hydrogenated palm kernel oil, milk fat, and soy lecithin. Barley malt extract, a common ingredient in various caramel recipes, could introduce gluten. However, it is only sometimes present.

Gluten Ingredients in Milky Ways

When considering gluten in Milky Way bars, the primary suspects are malted barley and barley malt extract. Both of these are gluten-containing ingredients.

Suppose you strictly adhere to a gluten-free diet, mainly due to celiac disease.

In that case, you’d want to avoid any product that lists these on its ingredients.

Milky Way Varieties and Their Gluten Content

Milky Way candy bars come in several varieties, including the original Milky Way, Milky Way Midnight Dark Chocolate, and the original flavor. Here’s a breakdown:

  • Original Milky Way: The presence of barley malt makes the original Milky Way not entirely gluten-free.
  • Milky Way Midnight Dark Chocolate: This variant contains dark chocolate instead of standard milk chocolate. It’s essential to peruse the ingredients list carefully, as barley malt might be included.

Cross Contamination Concerns

Cross-contamination could be an issue even if a candy bar’s ingredients are inherently candy bars gluten-free.

This occurs when gluten-free products are produced on the same machinery as products with gluten, introducing the potential for trace amounts of gluten to be present.

Beyond Milky Ways: Other Candy Bars

For those on a strict gluten-free diet, looking towards other candy bars might be tempting.

One popular option is the Almond Joy. Not only are Almond Joy pieces delectable, but they also do not list any gluten ingredients.

However, as always, checking the packaging for any candy bars with gluten-free labels or warning of potential cross-contamination is crucial.

Key Takeaways

While the allure of a Milky Way candy bar is undeniable, its suitability for a gluten-free diet is questionable.

The presence of malted barley or barley malt extract in some variants means they’re off the table for those avoiding gluten.

It’s essential to read ingredient lists carefully and be aware of potential cross-contamination risks.

Recommendations for the Gluten-Free Community

The market offers a range of gluten-free candy bars for those adamant about avoiding gluten.

Almond Joy, without barley malt, remains a favored choice.

Crafting your own candy bars at home can ensure they are gluten-free and safe for those missing the taste of Milky Ways.

Incorporating Gluten-Free Choices in Your Candy Haul

When embarking on a candy haul, ensure you’re well-informed about your selected products.

Many candy bars, such as those with milk chocolate sugar cocoa, might seem safe, but hidden gluten ingredients can lurk.

Always look for a clear gluten-free label and consider contacting manufacturers directly for clarity.


In conclusion, while Milky Ways is a delightful treat, it might only meet some people’s dietary needs.

It’s imperative to remain vigilant and proactive in making informed decisions in your gluten-free journey.

Always prioritize health and safety while indulging in the sweeter things in life.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How much gluten is in Milky Way?

Milky Way candy bars, specifically the original variety, contain barley malt, which is a source of gluten. The exact amount of gluten in a Milky Way bar is not specified on the product's nutritional information. If you have celiac disease or a gluten sensitivity, it is recommended to avoid products containing barley malt.