Ask the Experts…Why Does Gluten-Free Flour Have An Aftertaste?

gluten-free flourQ Why does gluten-free flour have such a noticeable aftertaste meaning you can only use it in strong flavoured cakes etc? Any solutions?

I agree that some gluten-free blends have a bitter or metallic aftertaste and this can be down to individual ingredients or the age of the flour. Without knowing which brand or mix you are using, it would be difficult to comment on your particular blend. However, here are some pointers on different flours which may causing the problem:

Amaranth, quinoa and bean flours (including chickpea), I find have a bitter taste and would not use them in sweet recipes. Rice flour is another flour which can have a strange aftertaste so use sparingly. And, don’t forget sodium aluminum sulfate (SAS) which is found in some baking powders.  The problem with SAS (in addition to it being aluminium) is that it has a distinctive and bitter, metallic taste.

Flours can also go rancid, even good old wheat flour. I think the higher content of protein, the quicker this will happen. And you definitely need a variety of flours to get a decent texture from most baked goods. So what should you do? On the whole, I tend to stick with coconut or almond flour for sweet recipes. I do occasionally blend my own and have included the recipe below:

Gluten Free Flour

  • 170 g brown rice flour
  • 205 g white rice flour
  • 120 g tapioca flour
  • 165 g sweet [white] rice flour (also known as “glutinous” white rice flour or under the brand name, Mochiko).  This is available from health food shops or online suppliers.
  • 2 teaspoons xanthan gum

Here’s to delicious tasting gluten-free!



maria bezMaria is a registered nutritionist with the British Association of Nutritional Therapists. She has a BSc degree in Nutritional Medicine and practices from Nourish, her clinic in Bath. As well as attending to clients, she writes and speaks on all matters relating to nutrition and lifestyle. She is dedicated to providing individuals with information and advice to take control of their own health and wellbeing.

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