Are Oats Gluten-Free?

February 7, 2011   2 Comments

Doesn't it seem logical that oats would be gluten-free?

Are Oats Gluten-Free?

Snack Girl made a list of 85 gluten-free snacks and included oatmeal in the list. But then a reader with celiac disease corrected me.

It seems that oats can be contaminated with wheat gluten. Farmers usually rotate growing oats in their fields with crops of wheat or barley (and the wheat from the former year will get mixed in with the new oats).

When it comes to processing and transporting of the oats, cross-contamination can occur because of the machines and trucks used at the mills. Oats are often harvested and processed using the same equipment used to harvest and process gluten-containing wheat, barley, and rye.

So here is the the list without any oat recipes:

Gluten-Free Snacks

But, keep in mind that there are companies that specialize in gluten-free oats.

Glennys sent me some delicious Gluten-Free Oatmeal Cookies

They go through a gluten-free inspection process for harvesting, baking, and processing the cookies. Check them out:

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I have become fairly educated about the gluten/oat question, over the course of the last year as a maker of Steel Cut Oat omega 3 granola. The easiest way to answer the oat/gluten ? - Cross contamination. There is unfortunately almost always a chance of cross contamination throughout the process, unless you use/find Oats that are labeled gluten free...Or your oat product is baked in a "gluten free" certified Bakery....Hope that helps a little!

Hey there, thanks for the article. It is true that the vast majority of oats are cross-contaminated with wheat, rye or barley because they are harvested with the same machinery and/or processed in the same plant. If you've ever seen a wheat field being harvested you'll remember the huge dust cloud over it - that stuff will literally get anywhere!

However, Bob's Red Mill and Gluten Free Oats have, you guessed right, gluten-free oats. These are planted on dedicated fields, harvested with dedicated machinery, and processed in a plant that does not have any other grains in it.

Having been in the (custom) gluten-free cereal business with Custom Choice Cereal for 16 months I am very aware of the challenges of living on a gluten-free diet. However, there are options available.

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