How to read the gluten test summary table

The most visited page on my site is the test results summary table. As I received a few enquiries how the table works here a short explanation on how to read the test results.

I test the beer with two different test kits which also work differently.

The Imutest kit works with an intensity scale, the darker the test spot the more gluten is in the sample. The test spot intensity is scaled from 0 (no visible spot) to 20 (dark red) whilst the control spot is estimated with an intensity of 6/7 (light pink). This allows the estimation of the level of gluten based on assay from the manufacturer. In the example below the test spot was rarely visible (intensity of 1 or 2) and so the gluten level is very low, surely below 20 ppm and maybe even below 5 ppm.

The Biomedal kit works with thresholds which can be set to 40, 20 or 5 ppm depending of the number of drops from the extraction solution which will be added to the unit. If a red test line appears the test is positive. In the example below the test with the 5 ppm threshold was negative so the beer has less than 5 ppm gluten.

how to read this table

    Warsteiner Gluten Test #2

    This is the second test of famous German beer Warsteiner. The first Warsteiner gluten test was negative and it actually became my favourite beer, also because of the test result. In the first test I used the Imutest test kit which uses the antibody Skerritt. To validate the result I wanted to see how Biomedal’s kit with the G12 antibody reacts. In a recent post I listed some test kits and information about antibodies and how they work. But to make it simple – the more tests are negative the safer it is for gluten-intolerant people.

    Beer: Warsteiner Premium Verum
    Producer: Warsteiner Brauerei Haus Cramer KG
    Originating country: Germany
    Brewing location: Germany
    Bottle size: 0.5 l = approx. 16 Oz.
    Alcohol by volume: 4.8%
    Ingredients: water, barley malt, hops extract
    Miscellaneous: -

    Warsteiner Low Gluten Test Results Coeliac Disease Celiac Sensitive Gluten Sensitivity Intolerance

    Test Kit: GlutenTox Home Kit

    I tested with a threshold of 5 ppm. The limit of detection depends on the number of drops taken from the extraction solution, please find some more information here.

    Warsteiner Low Gluten Test Results Coeliac Disease Celiac Sensitive Gluten Sensitivity Intolerance

    Test result: There is no indication of the presence of gluten above 5 ppm. According to the instructions there should appear a clearly visible red test line on the right of the test area ( T ) to indicate the presence of gluten. The blue line on the left test area ( C ) is a control line and indicates that the extract/sample is suitable, the test has been performed correctly and all reagents are active. In this test there is no indication that Warsteiner has more than 5 ppm gluten. However, it is not a medical advice - please see my facts page.

      Some information about gluten test kits

      Today I want to inform you about my experiences with the gluten test kits I use to test the level of gluten in beer.

      According to my doctor the toughest for men with Celiac Disease is the avoidance of normal beer as beer naturally is brewed with barley and so they believe they cannot consume it anymore. When I was diagnosed with CD I had the same reaction. I don’t like strong alcohol or wine but I really enjoyed a beer with friends. In our culture beer is a popular drink when socialising. It’s not about getting drunk but moderate consumption of beer in good company gives you a good feeling.

      I gave up wheat containing pasta, pizza and bred – not so difficult for pizza but I really loved pasta and the numerous wonderful German bread types. So I said OK I gave up good food already but is it true that I cannot drink normal beer anymore and have to drink this horrible tasting and expensive gf beers brewed with artificial ingredients, glucose syrup and whatever? And now after more than one year testing beer on its gluten content I am convinced that a lot of normal beers are suitable for a lot of Celiacs. Not for all – there are people who react on the tiniest amount of gluten. But I believe the majority can drink a lot of the normal beers available without getting reactions or intestinal damage. But it definitely makes sense to test your favourite beer on the gluten level. There are a number of test kit manufacturers and here is what I experienced:

      Gluten-in-Food
      Imutest Gluten Test Kit Imutest Gluten Test Kit Imutest Gluten Test Kit
      Manufacturer: Imutest
      Costs: GBP 52.50 for a 5 test kit
      Antibodies used: Skerritt
      Method: Lateral Flow Through
      My experience: Sensitive test kit with very low detection limit (1-2 ppm). Works with test spot intensity to determine level of gluten.
      Hints and tips:
      -according to Imutest the extraction step can be skipped for beer as gluten in beer is already solubilized
      -if you use the pipette to measure the sample let the beer settle in a glass for 30 minutes or so to avoid a bubbling effect when you fill the pipette
      Here are some more information and pictures.

      GlutenTox Home
      GlutenTox Home Kit GlutenTox Home Kit GlutenTox Home Kit
      Manufacturer: Biomedal
      Costs: USD 70 for a 5 test kit
      Antibodies used: G12
      Method: Lateral Flow Through
      My experience: Reliable test kit. Works with thresholds (5, 10, 20, 40 ppm) depending on the number of drops taken from the sample.
      Hints and tips:
      -the extraction must not be skipped according to Biomedal however when I tested the same sample with and without extraction the result was the same
      -to measure the sample use the enclosed spoon
      Here are some more information and pictures.

      EZ Gluten
      Manufacturer: ELISA Tech.
      Costs: USD 60 for a 5 test kit
      Antibodies used: Skerritt
      Method: Lateral Flow Through
      My experience: -none, not tested yet-
      Hints and tips: -

      AgraStrip Gluten
      Manufacturer: Römer Labs
      Costs: price available upon request
      Antibodies used: G12
      Method: Sandwich Lateral Flow Through
      My experience: -none, not tested yet-
      Hints and tips: -not suitable for testing beer according to the manufacturer

        Estrella Daura Damm Gluten Test

        During my recent trip to Spain I had the chance to test a famous gluten free labelled beer. As I always take a test kit with me when I go abroad I supposed to test the draught beer they sold in my hotel but then I saw Estrella Daura Damm in a supermarket and couldn’t resist. The price is rather high, almost as double as the regular Estrella Damm beer but I really wanted to enjoy an officially labelled gluten free beer. Well, not everywhere – in some countries (like in the US) Damm is not allowed to label it gluten free – I guess because it contains barley. Their marketing experts instead use the fantastic wording ‘crafted to remove gluten’ in the US – well done you marketing pals. Anyway, the European version clearly says “below 3 ppm” on the bottle which moreover is confirmed by the Spanish National Research Council so this all implicitly says it is safe for Celiacs and people with GS. And this beer really tastes like beer, actually no difference to the “normal” Estrella Damm, refreshing and crisp.

        A gluten free labelled beer, below 3 ppm, researched and confirmed by a Spanish public institution and it even tastes like a real beer – everything seems to be perfect. And then happens this:

        Beer: Estrella Damm Daura
        Producer: S.A. Damm
        Originating country: Spain
        Brewing location: Spain
        Bottle size: 330 ml = approx. 12 Oz.
        Alcohol by volume: 5.4%
        Ingredients: water, barley malt, rice, hops
        Miscellaneous: officially labelled gf beer

        Estrella Daura Damm Low Gluten Free Beer Test Results Coeliac Disease Celiac Sensitive Gluten Sensitivity Intolerance Estrella Daura Damm Low Gluten Free Beer Test Results Coeliac Disease Celiac Sensitive Gluten Sensitivity Intolerance
        Estrella Daura Damm Low Gluten Free Beer Test Results Coeliac Disease Celiac Sensitive Gluten Sensitivity Intolerance Estrella Daura Damm Low Gluten Free Beer Test Results Coeliac Disease Celiac Sensitive Gluten Sensitivity Intolerance

        Test Kit: Imutest Gluten-in-Food Kit

        Test result: There is a clearly visible pink test spot on the left of the test area ( T ) which indicates the presence of gluten. According to the instructions a “very low gluten” level of 20 to 100 ppm should give a test spot which is weaker or similar in intensity to that of the control spot ( C ). Please find some more information here. The test spot appears almost identical to the control spot.

        Estrella Daura Damm Low Gluten Free Beer Test Results Coeliac Disease Celiac Sensitive Gluten Sensitivity Intolerance

        On a scale from 1 to 20 I would rate the test spot intensity 5 or 6 so in this test the level is above 20 ppm. Even though this test is positive please note it is not a medical advice – see my facts page.

          Miller Lite Gluten Test

          Due to a huge amount of enquiries over the contact form, post comments and directly via email I decided to also test Miller Lite despite the fact it couldn’t win the American light beer poll back in January. Thanks to all for your kind feedback.

          Please note I can do a few of your wishes but not all. It is impossible for me to test all the beer you want me to test. Very often I am simply not able to get your favourite beer here in Germany but it is also a matter of costs. I also need to pay for the test kits. Please consider to purchase a 5-test kit which is around € 60 / $ 80 / £ 50 and so you pay approx. € 12 / $ 16 / £ 10 per test which is a useful investment in your health. I have listed some gluten test kit manufacturers here.

          And here you go with the Miller Lite test on gluten:

          Beer: Miller Lite
          Producer: Miller Brewing Company
          Originating country: USA
          Brewing location: USA
          Bottle size: 16 oz (approx. 470 ml)
          Alcohol by volume: 4.2%
          Ingredients: water, barley malt, hops, yeast
          Miscellaneous: Ingredients listed in German as product sold in Germany

          Miller Lite Gluten Test Miller Lite Gluten Test

          Test Kit: Imutest Gluten-in-Food Kit

          Test result: There is no indication of the presence of gluten. According to the instructions there should appear a clearly visible pink test spot on the left of the test area ( T ) to indicate the presence of gluten. But this test is negative. The pink spot on the right test area ( C ) is a control spot and indicates that the extract/sample is suitable, the test has been performed correctly and all reagents are active. Even though the detection limit in this kit is very low (1-2 ppm) and the test is negative please note this is not a medical advice – please see also my facts page.

          Miller Lite Gluten Test

            1 YEAR LOWGLUTEN.ORG

            Hi all, I started this website one year ago and actually did not expect this enormous feedback. It is amazing what happened during the past 12 months and I am very happy that this website is useful for so many people.

            At the beginning the majority of the visitors were German (mainly myself I suppose) but it changed dramatically. Most of the visitors are now from the US were the demand for such tests seems to be very high, but I also have lots of visitors from the UK, Australia (thanks Les ;-) ), Canada and the Scandinavian countries.

            I tested 18 beers so far (please see here an overview of all beers I tested) and I learned a lot during the last year about test kits, antibodies, beer filtration methods etc.

            There a more than 10.000 page views per month so I consider to place some little ads just to get some money back which I would reinvest in test kits. I think about using Google AdSense but I will not do affiliate marketing as I want to stay independent. There will also be no pop-ups or something annoying for visitors, just little ads in the sidebar and footer of the page.

            But I don’t want to scare you off with the ads so I ask you before I do that:

            Would you still visit my website when I place some ads?

            • Yes (96%, 172 Votes)
            • No (4%, 7 Votes)

            Total Voters: 179

            Loading ... Loading ...

            Poll closed on 21/10/2014

              Tsingtao Gluten Test

              Clear winner of the recent Asian beer poll was Tsingtao, a Chinese beer from one of the world’s largest breweries – founded by German settlers at the beginning of the 19th century. The taste is actually good – refreshing and crisp, not watery. It contains rice so my assumption was that it is rather gluten free but my test showed it is not:

              Beer: Tsingtao
              Producer: Tsingtao Brewery/青岛啤酒
              Originating country: China
              Brewing location: China
              Bottle size: 330 ml = approx. 12 Oz.
              Alcohol by volume: 4.7%
              Ingredients: water, barley malt, rice, hops (translated from German)
              Miscellaneous: Ingredients listed in German as product sold in Germany

              Tsingtao Gluten Test Tsingtao Gluten Test

              Test Kit: Imutest Gluten-in-Food Kit

              Test result: There is a clearly visible pink test spot on the left of the test area ( T ) which indicates the presence of gluten. According to the instructions a “very low gluten” level of 20 to 100 ppm should give a test spot which is weaker or similar in intensity to that of the control spot ( C ). Please find some more information here. The test spot appears slightly lighter than the control spot but almost identical.

              Tsingtao Gluten Test

              On a scale from 1 to 20 I would rate the test spot intensity 6 so in this test the level is above 20 ppm. Even though this test is positive please note it is not a medical advice – see my facts page.

                Poll: Which Asian beer do you want me to test next?

                Asian beers are believed to have low gluten as they often use rice as one major ingredient and barely malt only to give a typical beer colour. The rate of people with Celiac Disease or Gluten Sensitivity in Asia is lower than in Europe or US mainly because of rice as the main dietary staple and simply the fact that it is underdiagnosed unknowingly. But it becomes more prevalent in countries like China and Thailand with the adoption of western lifestyle. Not only for people who live in Asia but also for travelers a gluten test of your favourite Asian beer might be useful. Please vote below which of the following four famous Asian beers  you want me to test next:

                Chang: from Thailand
                Singha: from Thailand
                Tsingtao: from China
                Tiger: from Singapore

                Which Asian beer do you want me to test next?

                • Tsingtao (33%, 51 Votes)
                • Singha (27%, 41 Votes)
                • Tiger (25%, 39 Votes)
                • Chang (15%, 22 Votes)

                Total Voters: 153

                Loading ... Loading ...

                Asian Beer Gluten TestPoll closed on 8th of August 2014.

                  Michelob Ultra Gluten Test

                  Michelob Ultra is ranked 8th of the best selling beers in America in 2013 (see here the Top 20). It is a typical American light beer with a watery taste but generally OK as it was not as sweet as other American light beers, a bit like a light European style Lager beer. The level of gluten is very low, see test result below.

                  Beer: Michelob Ultra
                  Producer: Anheuser-Busch
                  Originating country: USA
                  Brewing location: USA
                  Bottle size: 16 oz (approx. 470 ml)
                  Alcohol by volume: 4.2%
                  Ingredients: water, barley malt, hops, yeast (translated from German)
                  Miscellaneous: Ingredients listed in German as product sold in Germany

                  Michelob Ultra Gluten Test Michelob Ultra Gluten Test

                  Test Kit: Imutest Gluten-in-Food Kit

                  Test result: There is a barely visible pink test spot on the left of the test area ( T ), almost not visible in the picture but it is there. According to the instructions a “very low gluten” level of 20 to 100 ppm should give a test spot which is weaker or similar in intensity to that of the control spot ( C ).

                  Michelob Ultra Gluten Test

                  On a scale from 1 to 20 I would rate the test spot intensity 1. The spot is hardly visible so it seems the gluten level is very, very low as the test kit also has a very low detection limit. Please find some more information here. Even though this test is low positive please note it is not a medical advice – see my facts page.

                    Moosehead Gluten Test

                    This is the first test of Canadian beer. Moosehead is not the best selling beer in Canada but I gave it a try as one of my website visitors told me that Moosehead, Labatt and Molson are the most common beers in Canada. Well, honestly I didn’t like it as it has an unpleasant sweet taste. But taste differs and here is the result of the Moosehead gluten test:

                    Beer: Moosehead Lager
                    Producer: Moosehead Breweries
                    Originating country: Canada
                    Brewing location: Canada
                    Bottle size: 12 oz can (approx. 355 ml)
                    Alcohol by volume: 5.0%
                    Ingredients: water, malt, corn, hops, yeast
                    Miscellaneous: -

                    Moosehead Gluten Test Moosehead Gluten Test

                    Test Kit: Imutest Gluten-in-Food Kit

                    Test result: There is a clearly visible pink test spot on the left of the test area ( T ) which indicates the presence of gluten. According to the instructions a “very low gluten” level of 20 to 100 ppm should give a test spot which is weaker or similar in intensity to that of the control spot ( C ). Please find some more information here. The test spot appears lighter than the control spot.

                    Moosehead Gluten Test

                    On a scale from 1 to 20 I would rate the test spot intensity 4/5 so in this test the level is above 20 ppm. Even though this test is positive please note it is not a medical advice – see my facts page.