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  4. CPG Sec 515.200 Malt Extract; Malt Syrup; Malted Cereal Syrup; Liquid Malt; Dried Malt
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CPG Sec 515.200 Malt Extract; Malt Syrup; Malted Cereal Syrup; Liquid Malt; Dried Malt August 1996

Issued by:
Guidance Issuing Office
Office of Regulatory Affairs
Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition


Trade Correspondence (TC-225) issued April 11, 1940, included this statement, "This Administration has been holding that 'malt syrup' without qualification, means barley malt syrup. If this name is used to designate any other product, in our opinion, it would be misleading under Section 403(a) of the Act. A product of this type made from barley and other cereal or cereals would be more appropriately named 'malted cereal syrup'."

Malt extract was the subject of a monograph in National Formulary XI. It was defined as: "Malt Extract is the product obtained by extracting malt, the partially and artificially germinated grain of one or more varieties of Hoedeum vulgare Line (Fam. Gramineae). The malt is infused with water at 60o, the expressed liquid concentrated at a temperature not exceeding 60o, preferably under reduced pressure. The extract may be mixed with 10 percent, by weight, of glycerin. It contains dextrin, maltose, a small amount of glucose, and amylolytic enzymes.

Malt extract is capable of converting not less than 5 times its weight of starch into water-soluble sugars."

Although NF XIII does not contain a monograph, Malt Extract is described on page 921.

Jacobs in "Food and Food Products," 2nd Edition (page 2026) describes the preparation of malt syrup or extract as follows:

"The manufacture of malt sirups, concentrated malt extracts, etc. involves:

  1. The solution and extraction of soluble and colloidal substances from the crushed barley malt by means of water of proper hardness and reaction held at suitable temperatures for sufficient time intervals to enable the various enzyme systems in the malt to hydrolyze the desired grain components, principally carbohydrates, and proteins.
  2. Filtering the solution. The filtrate, or wort, in some instances is boiled to sterilize it and to precipitate unstable and undesirable substances.
  3. Further concentration of the wort by means of vacuum evaporators, the process depending upon the final product manufactured."

We have consistently advised inquirers that an article labeled "malt syrup" or "liquid malt" should consist of malt in a liquid vehicle. The terms "malt syrup" and "malt extract" have sometimes been used interchangeably.

In July 1966 we initiated seizure action against an article labeled in part "Sweetened and Preserved Liquid Malt." The article was alleged to be misbranded within the meaning of Section 403(a) of the Act in that the statements "Sweetened and Preserved Liquid Malt" and "Liquid Malt" were false and misleading as applied to a product consisting of malt wort, corn syrup, malt syrup, malt flour, and potassium sorbate. This seizure was contested, and the case tried to a jury of six on August 22, 1967. The jury returned a verdict for the Government. They found that the label was false and misleading. Experts who were interviewed during preparation for this trial agreed that "malt extract" and "malt syrup" were water infusions of pure powdered malt which are boiled down to various degrees of viscosity with a preservative sometimes added, and that an article labeled "liquid malt" should not contain other ingredients.


The designations "malt extract" and "malt syrup" should be used only for concentrated water infusions of malt, with or without added safe preservative.

The terms "malt extract" or "malt syrup" unqualified should be applied only to products prepared from barley. If any other malted grain is used, the extract or syrup may be designated by a specific name such as "extract of malted barley and corn."

The designation "liquid malt" is considered false and misleading as applied to mixtures of malt extract or malt syrup with corn syrup or other substances which are not normal constituents of malt extract.

Issued: 10/1/80
Revised: 3/95, 8/96

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