Did you know…the phrase ‘are oats gluten free’ is Googled over 8,000 times each month!
With so much conflicting and confusing information out there on the internet we put pen to paper (or fingers to the keyboard to be more exact) to shine some much needed clarification on this tricky subject to help people who suffer from gluten intolerances.
So, do oats contain gluten?
Oats are naturally gluten free (this means they do not contain the proteins gliadin and glutenin**) BUT very often become contaminated as the majority of oats are processed in the same facilities with grains that contain gluten and wheat.
To guarantee oats are gluten free, they must be processed in facilities that DO NOT process other grains such as wheat and be analysed and declared as less than 20ppm gluten. When buying gluten free oats, be sure to look for accreditation on the packaging – Coeliac UK accreditation (CUK number) is the most trusted. This means the product complies with the AOECS standard for gluten absence, which is ridiculously strict.
If you suffer from Coeliac Disease, you may still observe an inflammatory response even when eating ‘gluten-free’ oats – this will most likely be caused by an intolerance to avenin, a protein in oats.
** Gluten is made up of hundreds of proteins but they fall into two classes of protein – gliadin and glutenin. Gliadin proteins are responsible for the rise during baking. Glutenin proteins are responsible for the elasticity.