Gluten Fee Oats Dont Exist - Oats are Not Gluten Free

By: Aniko Silk   On: 15 November 2017 

No oats are actually gluten free even though it is a very low level. Oats is technically not safe for coeliacs, even if it not contaminated by other grains, and despite a lower impact on gut sensitivity than other grains, no oats are gluten free.

Oats is an important and unique cereal grain for its nutrition and low GI qualities (see the difference in basic plant structure in the image below). Oats is low in gluten proteins, but it is not gluten free.

Gluten is a prolamin protein fraction that can severely effect people with Coeliac disease. It is called secalin in rye, hordein in barley, gliadin in wheat, and it’s avenin in oats. Oats contains the protein avenin, a gluten protein. Avenins are tolerated by most celiacs.

Scientific research shows that proteins in oats do cause some inflammation and damage in patients with gluten sensitivity so its not safe for a coeliac. Although Avenins are non-toxic and are tolerated by most celiacs.

In USA, UK and EU foods that contain less than 20ppm of gluten proteins can legally be labelled as ‘gluten-free’, however in Australia it must be less than 5ppm, a test that oats cannot pass. So, advertising oats as ‘gluten-free’, including foreign manufactured products that may be legal (although misleading) in other countries, in Australia is simply flaunting the law.

No oats are actually gluten free even though it is a very low level. Oats is technically not safe for coeliacs, even if it has not been contaminated by other grains, and despite the lower impact on gut sensitivity than other grains, no oats sold in Australia should be labelled gluten free.

For coeliacs Plum Foods manufactures, specific gluten free muesli products that contain no oats or other cereal grains.

Fortunately only a very small portion of the population are coeliacs (less than 1%) and normal healthy people should NOT be eating gluten free products as a fad, because they miss high quality nutrient rich foods.

Aniko Silk is the Executive Chef at Opera Foods Pty Ltd, Australian manufacturers & distributors of fine food products. For more information about sugar content of Plum Foods breakfast cereals, proudly based on organic oats, particularly our Organic Rolled Oats products, contact Opera Foods on 02 4954 4077 or buy direct through the Opera Foods online gourmet grocery store