Wheat In Tabasco

This is the one I checked; others may be different

Just thought I’d let you know that this week I checked with the makers of Tabasco chilli sauce what the vinegar in it was made out of – and they came back and said: “The grains used to form the alcohol are corn, milo, and wheat,”  so watch it!

And, by the way, I didn’t know what ‘milo’ was either; it’s sorghum, a native berry in Asia and Africa. So now you know!

11 Replies to “Wheat In Tabasco”

    1. Hi there Alex. I know: it just says ‘made of vinegar, red pepper and salt’ which is why I queried it. Serious indeed. I am alerting them to it, but we won’t hold our breath…!

  1. Do you have the exact name of the product, Micki? (There are several Tabascos, I think?) I’d like to go check it out – and may contact Coeliac UK about it.

    1. It’s the original one: McIlhenney Co Tabasco Brand Pepper Sauce. I will put a pic of it on the original post so you can see. I was just asking because a lot of vinegars are made from grain and I wanted to make sure it was gluten free. To be fair, it doesn’t say it is gluten free, but you’re right it should say ‘wheat derived’ or something on it. Not sure if the fact that it can be made from one of several grains ie. not always wheat and/or contains an ingredient that is merely derived from makes any difference. Let me know how you get on.

  2. Thanks Micki – I will check it out.
    Are ‘a lot of vinegars’ made from grain? Other than malt vinegar (barley) and rice vinegar – I can’t think of any others?

    1. Well, there’s wheat in this one for a start, which I wouldn’t have guessed! I was expecting them to say barley, but clearly you can make vinegar from other grains as this product shows. Seriously, what I meant was a lot of the vinegars labelled on products are likely to be from grain. ie barley as that seems the most common (probably cheapest). I always assume it is grain if it doesn’t say eg wine, cider, rice etc. If it just says ‘vinegar’ I assume it is barley, but not any more…!

  3. Right – I think I’ve worked it out.

    I checked the Tabasco label at my supermarket and it actually says ‘white distilled vinegar, red pepper and salt’.

    When it comes to gluten grains, there are three exemptions to labelling, when the quantity of allergen will be minuscule / negligible that it’s not worth alarming the public. One of these is distillates from grain. I’m not familiar with vinegar making, but if it’s distilled – or made from distilled wheat alcohol – then it doesn’t need to say so. That appears to be it.

    The level of wheat will be so tiny that I think it should be disregarded. I understand if people avoiding wheat will be alarmed, but I suspect there’s greater wheat contaimination elsewhere that would be a greater concern than this. It really is impossible to completely avoid, and I don’t think something like this – a product of which you’d have a tiny amount anyway – is really worth bothering with, ultimately.

    Just my take, of course!

    1. Well, I don’t agree there should be those exemptions. I think you can ‘disregard’ a tiny amount if you are coeliac or perhaps avoiding wheat because it makes you bloat, but if you are very sensitive to grains, you CAN react. I did and that’s why I checked. Frankly, I am fed up with this argument that a little doesn’t matter. It certainly does if you are highly sensitive, and not labelling the fact that something has been used in the production of a product, or is actually still in it, albeit in a ‘tiny’ amount doesn’t allow for sufferers like myself to be careful enough and it makes us ill.

      In fact, I am on the trail of another one today: digestive enzymes grown on wheat. I am heartily sick of hearing manufacturers tell me that there are ‘no allergens’ in the product because none of the substrate something is grown on remains in the final product. I and several other of my patients have reacted to them. Why? Who knows. Perhaps we need to think energetically about it rather than biochemically (and this is hard for me as I was trained biochemically!) Allergy diagnostic and elimination methods like NAET/Asyra etc are based on that principle and perhaps if a product has come into contact with an allergen during manufacture, it retains its energetic fingerprint if you like, and that’s what we are reacting to. Think about homeopathy and essential oils where the smaller the amount and the distillation process results in a more potent remedy, so to say distilled grain vinegar doesn’t count is plain wrong.

      It’s the same with why the coeliac society allows grain alcohol and grain vinegar because it has been distilled and therefore the glutenhas been removed, but that doesn’t mean the grain, or it’s energy or whatever, has. I react because I am grain sensitive, not just gluten sensitive and there is a big difference! Anyway, suffice to say, a tiny bit shouldn’t be disregarded in my view. Might suit the majority of sufferers, but not all of us. There needs to be more distinction made between coeliac, gluten and grain sensitivity; they are not the same thing at all, and you can suffer from 1, 2 or all 3 unfortunately. I come across it with patients all the time.

      Ooh, I feel better for getting that off my chest, thanks Alex – caught me on a day where I have reacted to something labelled wrongly in my view and am mad about it because now I will suffer for days! Apologies!

      On a final note, though – interesting that two products are labelled differently; mine just says vinegar whereas yours says distilled. Odd! Right, must stop yakking and get on with patient work!

  4. Well, this is where I’m afraid we part in our views as I don’t believe in either NAET or homeopathy, and I don’t believe either – or energy/energetic fingerprints – should be used to influence labelling laws and allergy treatment / advice.

    I also agree that there should be a ‘threshold’ quantity which can be disregarded in some cases – or else we would need warnings on literally everything and that would be needlessly alarmist. Food contamination is everywhere, and is unavoidable. Dairy proteins, for instance, are easily airborne and get literally everywhere. There is low-level gluten in gluten-free grains. I would imagine you get exposed to wheat residues in greater quantities elsewhere, to be honest.

    Yes, agree it’s odd re: the different labelling. I was reading the carton – perhaps different to the bottle inside?

    All the best, Alex.

  5. I was recently in Thailand and noticed that wheat was listed as an ingredient on the original Tabasco Red Sauce. I am grain and gluten free and was surprised that it contained wheat. Maybe it was because of the vinegar. Wheat is not listed on the Tabasco Red Sauce bottled in the US. Maybe it should be.

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