Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Top 3 FAQ's about GF Oats


As the sole importer of GF Oats in Australia we at GK Gluten Free Foods get asked on a daily basis these 3 questions, so I decided to write my answers down so that we can assist people who are searching for answers.

  1.  “Are Oats gluten free?”
  2.  Don’t oats contain gluten?
  3.  Why aren’t they labelled gluten free?


Here goes:
Pure oats or oats that is referred to as “gluten free oats” is oats that is free from contamination by wheat, rye or barley at the farm and processing level. Australia and New Zealand labelling standards are “no detectable gluten” which is less that 3-5 parts per million. In countries such as the UK , who have just changed their threshold to less that 20ppm the thresholds are much higher. Our laws here in Australia and New Zealand, laid out by the respective Australian & New Zealand Coeliac Societies and by the Food Standards Australia and New Zealand, clearly indicate that any product that contains oats cannot be labelled “gluten free”.

This causes much distress and confusion here in the Australia gluten free circles, as the world is a small place. You can google “gluten free” and come up with hundreds of sites quoting and referring to oats as being gluten free.

The fact is that Gluten is the name given to the protein in wheat, rye, barley and oats. It is a compsite name representing -

gliadin in wheat

hordein in barley


secalin in rye
avenin in oats

The current laboratory tests can only measure gliadin, hordein and secalin - not avenin as it is a slightly different protein.

So we all have access to this information but what we choose to do with it is the question. Here in Australia we currently say “no” to the gluten free labelling of this products when in other parts of the world you can purchase and eat this product without questioning its contents. So what does that mean really, because at the end of the day we are all the same human beings?

At present the Coeliac Societies (both New Zealand and Australia) are lobbying our respective governments to lower the “no detectable gluten” to be in line with Europe at 20ppm.

Let me know your thoughts, and I encourage you to try and sample size of our product and also read what others have said who have successfully eaten this product and are following a gluten free diet.

To order these oats in Australia or to find a supplier near you : Go to www.wheatfree.com.au

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