Are Milk Duds Gluten-Free?

Yes, Milk Duds chocolate candies are completely gluten-free as no gluten-containing ingredients is present to the chocolate.

Munching a creamy chocolate-coated caramel candy is undoubtedly everyone’s definition of a nice break. But if you’re a celiac and minding your gluten intake, you’re worried, “Are Milk Duds gluten-free?”

Lucky you, these delectable candies are certified gluten-free as they have no gluten-containing ingredients. Yes— you can surely indulge in this candy without worrying about your gluten allergy. 

Wanna learn more? Let’s dive into the ingredients list and allergen information of Milk Duds candy to answer your worry.

What Are Milk Duds

An image of Milk Duds chocolate candies

This popular treat, manufactured by The Hershey Company, is an American favorite. Milk Duds are a type of candy made of chewy caramel covered in a thin layer of milk chocolate.

The unique flavors and textures make Milk Duds a beloved choice for candy enthusiasts. They’re bite-sized, perfect for a quick sweet fix or sharing with others. 

Each piece provides a satisfying chew, thanks to the caramel core, complemented by the smooth taste of milk chocolate.

Can Celiacs Have Milk Duds?

A box of Milk Duds chocolate

You can dig into Milk Duds if you’re a celiac, but always check the label for any ingredient changes in this gluten-free candy. 

As of now, these chewy caramel treats are gluten-free, and they’re safe for those with celiac disease. Milk Duds don’t contain any gluten-containing ingredients, making them suitable gluten-free candies if you follow a strict gluten-free diet.

However, keeping an eye on the packaging is always a good idea. 

Brands sometimes alter their recipes, which can impact the gluten status of the product. To be on the safe side, look for a gluten-free label. 

Milk Duds Ingredients

Now, let’s look at the ingredients of this gluten-free Hershey’s candy.

Each ingredient is critical, contributing to Milk Duds’s unique taste and texture. A symphony of ingredients comes together to create this crowd-pleasing treat.

Here, the corn syrup, sugar, and vegetable oil take the lead. These are followed by dextrose, nonfat milk, and reduced protein whey.

 They’re not just sweet and creamy; there’s also a hint of chocolate, brown sugar, and whey, giving them a rich taste.

The ingredients also include:

  • Mono-And Diglycerides
  • Sodium Bicarbonate
  • Milk Fat
  • Salt

These components help create the texture and consistency we all know and love. Resinous glaze, soy lecithin, tapioca dextrin, vanillin, and artificial flavor round out the list.

Corn Syrup in Milk Duds

An image of corn syrup bottles

Corn syrup is a critical ingredient in Milk Duds, responsible for their sweetness and chewy texture.

It’s not just about flavor though; corn syrup also contributes to the overall caloric content of these little treats. But don’t worry; enjoying Milk Duds in moderation won’t derail your balanced diet.

They’re meant to be an occasional indulgence rather than a daily snack. Here’s a breakdown to help you understand better

Role of Corn Syrup in Milk Duds:

  • Provides chewy texture
  • Serves as a sweetening agent
  • Adds to caloric content

Effect on Health

  • Enjoyable eating experience
  • Need for moderation due to sugar content
  • Mindfulness of portion sizes required

Allergens In Milk Duds

An image of a glass of milk and a bowl of soy beans

Milk Duds has two main allergens: dairy and soy. 

The soy lecithin emulsifies these candies. But thankfully, they typically lack the allergenic proteins usually associated with soy reactions.

However, dairy is distinctly present in nonfat milk and reduced protein whey. That means Milk Duds aren’t an option for individuals with dairy allergies or lactose intolerance.

While Milk Duds are gluten-free, you should exercise caution if you have soy or dairy allergies. Always check the ingredients to ensure a safe and enjoyable treat for yourself.

Are These Chocolates Gluten-Free

How about your other favorite chocolates? Are they gluten-free?

In finding their gluten-free status, it’s essential to look into their manufacturing process and ingredients. Let’s discuss the gluten content in these famous chocolates and how they may affect your health.

Almond Joy Bars

An image of Almond Joy Chocolate Bar

You must check the label when buying Almond Joy Bars to ensure they’re gluten-free. 

While these chocolate-coconut delights are generally labeled gluten-free, the potential for cross-contamination or changes in the manufacturing process can alter this status. 

Manufacturers occasionally modify their recipes, which can introduce gluten. So, diligently reading labels is the best safeguard against accidental gluten intake.

In addition to the ingredients list, look for a gluten-free certification on the package, indicating that the product meets stringent gluten-free standards. 

Hershey’s Kisses

A bowl of Hershey's Kisses

Despite being generally gluten-free, you’ve got to keep an eye on Hershey’s Kisses labels for changes in ingredients or warnings. 

The original milk chocolate version is typically safe for people with celiac disease. But remember, not all varieties are created equal.  

In addition, Hershey’s manufactures their chocolates in facilities that process gluten-containing products, leading to potential cross-contamination. So, checking the packaging every time you purchase is vital, even if you’ve bought the same kind before.


An image of a box of Whoppers chocolate balls

Sadly, Whoppers aren’t suitable for your gluten-free treat due to their barley content. 

These malted milk balls contain malted barley, which naturally contains gluten. That means that if you have celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, you should steer clear of them.

The presence of gluten could cause discomfort or harm, depending on your sensitivity level. Remember to always refer to the packaging for the latest information on gluten content.

It’s important to note that this isn’t a critique of Whoppers. They’re a beloved treat for many — just not for those on a gluten-free diet.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Can Milk Duds Cause Allergic Reactions Other Than Gluten Intolerance?

Yes, you can have allergic reactions to Milk Duds other than gluten intolerance. They contain dairy and soy, which are common allergens. 

How Does the Manufacturing Process of Milk Duds Affect Their Gluten Content?

It can affect gluten content as they’re made in a facility that processes wheat. Cross-contamination can occur, potentially adding gluten to the final product.

Are There Any Alternative Candy Options That Are Similar to Milk Duds but Are Gluten-Free?

Yes, there are alternatives to Milk Duds that are gluten-free. 

You might try Tootsie Roll Midgees or Junior Mints. They have a similar caramel-chocolate flavor but without the gluten.

How Can I Tell if I Have a Gluten Reaction After Eating Milk Duds?

You’ll know if you’ve had a gluten reaction after eating Milk Duds by observing symptoms like bloating, diarrhea, or fatigue. If these symptoms persist, consult a doctor for a definitive gluten-intolerance diagnosis.

Can Milk Duds Be Included in a Gluten-Free Diet for Weight Loss?

You can include Milk Duds in a gluten-free diet for weight loss. However, they’re high in sugar and calories, so moderation is key. 


So, are Milk Duds gluten-free? Yes, they are. Their main ingredients, like corn syrup, sugar, vegetable oil, and chocolate— don’t contain gluten.

However, if you’re extremely sensitive to gluten or have celiac disease, be cautious, as cross-contamination may occur during production.

Want to know more about the gluten content in other food and drinks? Check out my full list here: What Is Gluten In?

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John Benedict
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