Wondering if oats are gluten-free? Oats are a tricky grains as they are naturally gluten-free. However, due to where oats are farmed and how they are processed, cross contamination occurs, and the oats become “glutened”.
Craving a bowl of oatmeal? Missing oatmeal raisin cookies? Read on for details on the companies that manufacture Purity Protocol gluten-free oats as well as companies who utilize these oats in their gluten-free products.
According to The Gluten Intolerance Group (GIG) of North America, "While studies have found that oats are safe for the vast majority of those with celiac disease, they can be contaminated by wheat, rye or barley during farming, processing and storage. Purity Protocol is a farm-to-plate method of ensuring that oats are gluten-free and have met requirements for seed stock purity as well as criteria for harvesting, transport, storage, processing and manufacturing."
Avena Foods hosted a webinar on how to produce food that is safe, pure, and traceable through the Purity Protocol farm to table production model. "The Purity Protocol is an industry benchmark process that is based on "Start Clean Stay Clean" principles proven to produce certified gluten-free oats consistently at or below the 5ppm level. To put this in perspective, FDA and Health Canada have established a gluten threshold level at less than 20 ppm for products labeled gluten-free." Definition of the “Purity Protocol” for Producing Gluten‐Free Oats
Gluten-Free Oats / Products with Purity Protocol Oats
Listing is in no particular order/rating.
GF Harvest Purity Protocol Oats
GF Harvest's mill and production line is free of the top 8 allergens.
Gluten-Free Harvest's Facility and Process
1) Dedicated growing fields and equipment isolated from gluten contamination.
2) Testing every truck before entering the mill.
3) Double testing in our lab with monthly sample re-verification by an independent lab.
4) Making sure each bag of oats is from non-GMO seed.
5) Processed in our dedicated Gluten-Free Mill.
6) Packaged and stored in their dedicated Gluten-Free warehouse and production facility.
The story of GF Harvest
"Our son, Forrest Smith, was diagnosed celiac at age two. Just like you, we had been through it all, the suffering, the uncertain diagnosis, the fear that all health mysteries bring to a family. Finally, with his diagnosis, we understood what his diet limitations were. But we lacked guidance, and most of all, we lacked reliable trusted sources of food. Since then my wife (Jill Smith) and I (Seaton Smith), along with many other relatives on both sides of our family, have been diagnosed. This gives all of the owners of GF Harvest a unique firsthand understanding of the “issues” you face if your food is cross contaminated."
Montana Gluten-Free Purity Protocol Oats
Montana Gluten-Free tracks product identity with lot numbers that identify grower, production year and field throughout entire process. Their products are all processed and packaged in their allergen-free facility.
Montana Gluten-Free Oats Facility and Process
1) A Montana Gluten-Free Inspector walks the field to certify that it is clean.
2) Then inspects the combine to certify that it is clean.
3) Finally, inspects storage and transport equipment to certify that it is clean.
4) Once completed, the farmer transports the harvested seed to Montana Gluten Free’s totally allergen-free processing facility in Belgrade, MT.
5) When the seed arrives, it is weighed, sampled, examined, moisture tested, and tested with ELISA G12 (gluten detection assay) in house.
6) They send seed samples to Montana State Grain Lab (purity and mycotoxin), Montana Cereal Grain Lab (protein), and Romer Lab (Gluten ELISA G12 and R5).
7) If a product tests over 5 ppm on an ELISA R5 Montana Gluten-Free rejects it.
The Story of Montana Gluten-Free Oats
Montana Gluten-Free developed the original Gluten Free Oat Purity Protocol in 2003 to ensure that their oats stayed gluten free, from farm to fork.
Canyon Purity Protocol Oats (part of GF Harvest brand)
I contacted Canyon Oats to clarify the processing of their gluten-free oats. Here is the response:
"Canyon Oats products are treated the same as all our pure products. The only difference is the cups that contain nuts are made on a separate line and in a separate facility than our pure products in order to accommodate those who have nut allergies.
GF Harvest is owned by a family with Celiac Disease, so Gluten Free is our top priority with all our products."
Susan Griffith - Brand Ambassador
GFO Inc. | GF Harvest LLC | Pure Oats
Canyon Oats Facility and Process
1) Canyon Oats' facility is wheat-free, peanut-free, and soy-free.
2) Their oats are processed in a dedicated gluten-free mill and packaging facility. Always from seed and fields harvested under a strict purity protocol. Tested to be under 10 PPM gluten content.
3) Canyon Oats oatmeal cups are available in pure flavors for those with nut allergies or sensitivities.
4) For those without nut allergies/sensitivities, Canyon Oats offers flavors with Almonds and Walnuts.
5) To protect the consumer's health, Canyon Oats has dedicated production areas to process the nut varieties, while still keeping everything gluten free.
6) Non-GMO, always certified gluten-free.
Canyon Oats Story
Canyon Oats is owned by GF Harvest. See GF Harvest's story above as well as their oat harvesting process.
Bakery on Main (uses oats sourced from Purity Protocol vendor)
I contacted Bakery on Main to clarify the processing of their gluten-free oats. Here is the response:
"We source our oats from a vendor that follows the Purity Protocol. In addition, we perform gluten tests on the oats ourselves and on all finished products (where our standard is set at <10 pmm, where the FDA standard is <20 ppm)."
Customer Service Representative
The Process & Testing
1) Bakery On Main’s products are made in a dedicated gluten-free facility.
2) Bakery On Main’s manufacturing plant is certified for gluten-free production by the Gluten-Free Certification Organization which means they visit Bakery On Main's plant and audit them to be sure their products are gluten-free.
3) Non-GMO verified, Dairy-Free, Casein-Free, Kosher
The story of Bakery On Main
It all started for Michael Smulders in the small bakery of a natural foods market on Main Street in Glastonbury, Connecticut. His customers with Celiac Disease would visit the bakery and tell him about the lack of good tasting gluten-free options available. Upon learning this, Michael's mission became creating safe gluten-free products for his celiac customers.
Libre Naturals (uses oats sourced from Purity Protocol vendor)
I contacted Libre Naturals to clarify the processing of their gluten-free oats. Here is the response:
Thank you for your email. We understand how difficult it can be to find products that you can trust. Libre Naturals does only use Purity Protocol oats. We do source our oats from Avena foods.
Customer Care Representative
Libre Natural's Facility and Process
1) All ingredient suppliers must provide written declarations about what the top 14 allergens/gluten are in their products and facilities as well as their protocols including product handling and staff training.
2) Libre Naturals conducts multiple food allergen/gluten tests on all incoming raw ingredients plus random finished product testing using verified scientific procedures. They have strict shipping and receiving policies including tracing and tracking all ingredients.
3) Staff training and contracts ensure that everyone from the office to shipping understands the severity of food allergies. The entire Libre Naturals facility, including their lunch room, is peanut and tree nut free.
4) All products are manufactured and/or packaged in their own dedicated facility. The Libre Naturals facility is 3rd party certified SQF Level 2 under the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) standard which includes audited allergen control and training programs.
5) The Libre Naturals facility is organized into two separate lines that are not separated by walls. Manufacturing schedules are set up to minimize cross contamination between different products and/or varieties but it may not be completely avoided. If you would like to review what ingredients they use in their facility, please check out their Ingredients page.
The story of Libre Naturals
Alana Elliott, Founder and President of Libre Naturals has a husband and child with 6 different life-threatening food allergies. She was frustrated with the lack of safe and healthy snacks for her family. So she started a food company. Alana oversees their Canadian manufacturing facility that is free of all of the top 11 food allergens, gluten, genetically modified ingredients, preservatives, colors and artificial flavors.
Gluten-Free Prairie (uses oats sourced from Purity Protocol vendor)
I contacted Gluten-Free Prairie to clarify the processing of their gluten-free oats. I'll update as soon as I receive a response.
Gluten-Free Prairie's oat products are based completely on third-party certified Purity Protocol Oatmeal, Oat Flour and Oat Groats.
Gluten-Free Prairie's Facility and Process
1) At the heart of the business are higher protein pure gluten-free oats that are grown in dedicated gluten-free fields, harvested on designated gluten-free equipment and packaged in a certified gluten-free facility.
2) There are no glyphosate sprays used on their oats.
3) Gluten-Free Prairie (aka GFP) is proud of the purity and higher protein in all of their gluten-free oat products creating naturally gluten-free products that everyone can enjoy.
4) GFP is 3rd party gluten-free certified by Celiac Support Association requiring their products to test at 5ppm of below of gluten.
The story of Gluten-Free Prairie
Gluten-Free Prairie (GFP) is a Montana, woman owned and family operated business built on the foundation of the American dream that anything is possible. In 2005, GFP co-founder Deb and her daughter Amy were diagnosed with Celiac Disease. In 2012, the family followed their passion to bring healthy gluten-free products to the millions of consumers who are avoiding gluten.
What is Gluten?
Learn more about gluten, oats, gluten-free cosmetics, and more here What Is Gluten? Deciphering The Mystery & Meaning Of Gluten.
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