Are M&M’s Gluten-free? Seven Flavors Get #nimatested
One of the best parts of summer is blockbuster movie season, and a lot of people want to be sure they will stay healthy during a movie when grabbing goodies from the snack bar. In fact, a lot of Nima community members want to know: Are M&M’s gluten-free? Arguably the world’s most popular bite-sized chocolate candy, today M&M’s come in a number of flavors with fillings that make make some gluten-free eaters cautious. And new M&M’s come on the market all the time! So, we decided to make the candy lovers out there happy, and we tested EVERY M&M’s varietal available to us!
We gathered seven different varieties of M&M’s for testing, and started with the classic milk chocolate. The label ingredients didn’t show any cause for concern and low and behold, M&M’s milk chocolate tested gluten-free!
Next was Peanut M&M’s, the other widely available flavor and popular movie theater offering. The label here indicated that along with peanuts, they contain milk, soy and may contain tree nuts, but nothing that might have gluten. Again, all smiles!
Next up was Peanut Butter M&M’s. This package had the same warnings on the back as traditional Peanut M&M’s, but tests show Peanut Butter M&M’s are gluten-free!
We started to get a touch more exotic with our next test, Mint Chocolate M&M’s. These were a touch concerning, as the package warned that they may contain peanuts, almonds and wheat. However, the sample we tested was gluten-free. This package warning may be due to cross-contamination possibilities in the packaging or manufacture, so test with your Nima and as always use your discretion.
The next flavor was one I personally didn’t know existed until this endeavor, White Chocolate M&Ms. Like the Mint M&M’s, this package contained a warning that the candies “may contain wheat,” but Nima said gluten-free once again.
The next two flavors were ones we were concerned might be a problem for people who avoid gluten. Crispy M&M’s used crisped rice and rice flour, but the allergy warning again indicated there “may” be the presence of wheat. Sure enough, tests revealed gluten in this variety.
Lastly, we tested the newest Pretzel M&M’s. This package does list flour as one of the main ingredients of the pretzel center as one might expect, and in the allergy warning it confirms the presence of wheat. No questions here really. But for the sake of the post, we tested it anyway. Sure enough, Nima detected gluten in this variety.
So there you have it. Most current varieties of M&M’s are gluten-free, and those that might be problematic have allergen warnings on the packages. But remember that barley/rye don’t need to be disclosed, so check for malt flavoring in candies. It’s always a good idea to test any treat you might be curious about, including new coming soon varieties of M&M’s like Caramel and Coffee Nut (so bummed we can’t get our hands on these yet!) And as always, use your Nima as a helpful guide to a delicious gluten-free night at the movies! Check out more movie theater candy testing Nima has done.
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Some Nima testing tips for hard candies: It’s important to remember to put the right amount of food in your Nima capsule. While a single M&M might seem small in the grand scheme, a whole one is too big for your Nima capsule. It’s important to break them into pieces. A sharp knife can be helpful here or, as you can see in the photos, even a clean needle helps break through that bright candy shell and helps get a testable piece of candy.
M&M’s are also fun to test because they have a lot of components. In a way, the best practices with a single M&M mirror the best practices with all food testing. You want to make sure to get all of the food and surfaces of the food you want to test into your sample. So, obviously you’ll need some chocolate and a bit or two of that bright candy shell in each sample. For flavors with treats in the centers like peanuts you’ll want to make sure and get a decent amount of that as well, without overloading the capsule.