Are M&M’s Gluten Free? It’s Not What You Think

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Those tasty M&M’s are a classic treat and on the gluten free diet we always need to ask, are M&M’s gluten free? Sometimes where gluten is hiding is not always obvious.

Growing up these were a favorite Halloween candy. Who can resist a little candy-coated chocolate? I have a list of gluten free Halloween candy that you can use all year to help you.

Are M&M’s Gluten Free?

Yes, technically, M&M’s are gluten free because the dextrin used in the ingredients is not labeled as being sourced from wheat. Since M&M’s are made in a factory that is not exclusively gluten free there is the possibility of cross-contamination. So M&M’s would not be appropriate for someone allergic to gluten.

M&M’s Ingredients

Below are the ingredients for M&M’s milk chocolate candies. Notice that the only questionable ingredient is dextrin. In the USA, dextrin that is made from wheat must be labeled and this one is not labeled. It is safe to assume it is made from corn.

Milk Chocolate (Sugar, Chocolate, Cocoa Butter, Skim Milk, Milkfat, Lactose, Soy Lecithin, Salt, Artificial Flavors), Sugar, Cornstarch, less than 1% – Corn Syrup, Gum Acacia, Coloring (includes Red 40 Lake, Yellow 6, Yellow 5, Blue 2 Lake, Red 40, Blue 1 Lake, Blue 1, Blue 2, Yellow 5 Lake, Yellow 6 Lake), Dextrin.

“M&M’s”® Candies may contain Peanuts. (Source)

A glass jar filled with M&M's.
Photo by Robert Anasch on Unsplash

How Are M&M’s Made?

At the factory, they make the chocolate from scratch and then roll the chocolate into the classic M&M shape. Then they coat each chocolate in a candy coating.

For gluten purposes, I am more concerned about cross-contamination. I used to work in food manufacturing and usually, factories make a few different food products. Unless, the factory says they are a dedicated gluten free facility, then you need to assume there will be cross-contamination. One of M&M’s products is M&M’s pretzel chocolate candies which contain real pieces of pretzels.

This video shows how they are made.

Gluten Free M&M’s Brands

If you’re craving M&M’s you can try these gluten free brands. They are made in dedicated gluten free facilities.

A glass jar filled with M&M's on green grass.
Photo by Robert Anasch on Unsplash

More Is It Gluten Free Guides

DISCLOSURE: Not intended for the treatment or prevention of disease, nor as a substitute for medical treatment, nor as an alternative to medical advice. Use of recommendations is at the choice and risk of the reader. Ditch the Wheat is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. I only endorse products that I believe in.

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Carol Lovett is the founder of Ditch the Wheat and a Globe and Mail bestselling author of the cookbook, Ditch the Wheat. She has been eating gluten free since 2010. She loves all things food, natural living, and spiritual. She's also a reiki master and crystal healer.

Gluten Free Resources

Do you need help with gluten free meals?
I recommend this meal-planning app. It makes cooking gluten free dinners extremely easy and family-friendly.
What gluten free snacks can I eat?
Lots! I have a ton of practical gluten free snack recipes in my cookbook.
How can I eat dessert on a gluten free diet?
You can 100% eat dessert while eating gluten free. Try my dessert cookbook for easy gluten free dessert recipes.
How do I know what is gluten free and what isn’t?
I have a whole section is it gluten free?
How do I make substitutions?
If you need substitution advice I created a ton of resources here.

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