Are oats gluten Free?

Are oats gluten Free?

Oats are a staple within many households, especially for breakfast. We often get asked if oats are gluten-free.

In Australia and New Zealand, the short answer to this question “are oats gluten free” is likely NO, as oats contain oats - and of course oat protein (fancy that!) and here this officially may mean they also contain 'gluten'.  
In most parts of the world, the term ‘gluten’ is used to collectively describe proteins (‘prolamins’) found in wheat, rye and barley. In Australia and New Zealand this is different. If a product contains ‘oats’ it is likely deemed to contain ‘gluten’ depending on how you interpret the FSANZ definition of gluten.

The Food Standards Australia and New Zealand (FSANZ) definition of 'gluten' is " Gluten means the main protein in wheat, rye, oats, barley, triticale and spelt relevant to the medical condition’s coeliac disease and dermatitis herpetiformis". 

The ambiguous part of this definition is the last part “relevant to the medical condition’s coeliac disease and dermatitis herpetiformis". So far as we know, we have no official definition as to what is ‘relevant’. We choose to be a bit conservative and assume that all the main proteins are 'relevant' and try to be as open and transparent as possible so you can make your own mind up about what you choose to eat.

One of the main concerns with oats when on a 'gluten free' diet relates to the risk of oats being contaminated by grains that contain the gluten found in wheat, rye and barley when grown or processed in the same facility. It is not uncommon, especially in Australia, for oats to be processed in a facility that also processes other cereals that contain the gluten found in wheat, rye and barley, so oats can be contaminated with at this stage. Cross-contamination can also occur in the field when oats are grown in rotation with or beside other grains.  

Our Wheat Free Oats are oats that have been grown and processed in a dedicated mill to ensure the entire production chain remains free of contamination from the gluten found in wheat, rye and barley. They have also been tested for the presence of the main protein found in wheat, rye and barley and this was not detected within the limits of the test (<5ppm). They are sustainably grown and harvested from certified organic, non-GMO seed. 

There remains a lot of confusion around oats and their gluten free status, so we have created a blog article to help customers navigate all the questions that come up.

Coeliac Australia has also some very helpful information and answers to questions on oats and the gluten free diet. You can find it on the link below.

Studies show that pure (uncontaminated) oats are well tolerated by most people with coeliac disease. However, in some people with coeliac disease consuming oats or oat products can result in a potentially harmful immune response. If you have coeliac disease, you should seek medical advice before consuming oats and oat products and only do so if it is deemed safe for you. If you do not have a gluten allergy but are looking to minimise gluten in your diet, then wheat free oats are here for you!

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