Is Brown Sugar Gluten Free?

Posted on 14 Mar 2013 18:33




Various types of misinformation exist about brown sugar. One such piece of info is that the brown color in brown sugar is from added caramel coloring. The idea is that brown sugar is nothing more than colored white sugar. This is absolutely untrue. Brown sugar is refined cane sugar (white table sugar) to which molasses has been added back.

Therefore, brown sugar does not normally contain gluten containing grain ingredients and no coloring additives that could contain gluten. It is possible, however, that some brown sugars may have had caramel coloring added to darken the color.

Most brands of brown sugar do not, however, and you can easily check the ingredient listing on your brown sugar product to determine whether coloring has been used.

The existence of coloring does not automatically mean that a significant amount of gluten is in the brown sugar, or any at all, but it should be easy to keep to brands with no added coloring other than the color from the molasses. Whether the brown sugar is light or dark is determined by the amount of molasses added back to the sugar.


brown sugar in dish

Light Brown Sugar



One source of confusion is that brown sugar can contain some impurities. One of these impurities is caramel, but in this case, it is caramel formed from heating of the sugar during the refining process. There is no danger to celiacs from this. You can read more about sugars in this sugar guide.

This information is provided for those who have been medically confirmed to have a need for a gluten-free diet and in no way should be taken to mean that Ground Up Strength endorses the general "gluten free living" trend.


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