Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Turning up the Heat on Oats


You have heard the term oils ain’t oils, but do you know oats ain’t oats
anymore…
Despite the initial bullying by the Australian Coeliac Society and other bodies in Australia regarding the labeling and gluten free status of this specific oats, the Australian Consumer is very savvy when it comes to the brand Gloriously Free Uncontaminated Oats or GF Oats in 2015.
Oats cannot be labeled as gluten free in Australia due to a clause in the current labeling restrictions, stating that any product that contains oats can’t claim a gluten free status.  Creative ways to communicate the unique status of GF Oats has seen sales of the brand experience a healthy jump in sales this year as soon as the cooler weather kicked in. 
GK Gluten Free Foods, a local Queensland based company, have been quietly importing Uncontaminated Oats from the USA since 2009.  Their first shipment of 750kg took 1 year to sell amidst a severe backlash from the Coeliac community, claiming that the oats were not gluten free and they would be responsible for serious health complications within this group.  After working along with the Queensland Health Department to settle on the current packaging that does not claim the product is specifically gluten free, their sales have steadily grown to supplying the local consumers with over 11 tonne in 2014.
Feedback from stores has been that consumers are continually asking for gluten free oats and are well aware of the quality and the purity of the product as well as they understand the “Uncontaminated” status equating to the product being the same product sold and labeled as ‘gluten free’ in the US, England and parts of the Northern Hemisphere.

What’s the fuss about?  Well basically like all grains, oats has a protein content, which equates to a gluten strain called Avenin.  This strain similar to the gluten found in corn cannot be tested for it’s gluten reading specifically as the gluten strain is particularly mild and tolerable.  Studies show that 4 out of 5 Coeliacs who have the allergy to gluten which is different to an intolerance can tolerate oats that is shown to be uncontaminated from the gluten found in wheat, rye and barley.

Labelling the oats Gloriously Free Uncontaminated Oats has been the only way that GK Gluten Free Foods was able to communicate to the discerning consumer that these were in fact the same oats referred to as gluten free on blogs, recipe sites and within their travels overseas.

GK Gluten Free Foods field questions from consumers each week asking the question “are these oats gluten free?” which they give the mandatory response these are the same oats sold overseas and labeled gluten free, however in Australia because of current labeling laws, we are unable to label them as such, even though they are tested to be less than 3ppm gluten which should equate to being able to display a gluten free claim.

These labeling restrictions need to be undated in Australia to reduce consumer angst and confusion all round.  

You can order your GF Oats through Wheat Free.

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