Why does Oat Purity matter?
Here at GK Gluten-Free Foods, we have been the leaders in introducing uncontaminated Oats to Australian consumers. There is no doubt that other companies will begin to import other uncontaminated oats varieties into Australia and attempt to call them gluten-free oats, which unfortunately is not in line with current Australian and New Zealand labelling guidelines.
When it comes to good health, GF Oats is dedicated to go the extra mile. Our gluten-sensitive customers trust us to make great tasting snacks and cereals that won’t cause flares or digestive problems. We make all our products with Purity Protocol oats, guaranteed to be free of wheat, barley, and rye. A farm-to-table process, it identifies and eliminates points where contamination could have occurred. Only a handful of companies follow this protocol in the world which is increasingly important as many farms have neighbouring crops of wheat, rye or barley which can contaminate the oats during processing.
In 2017, farmers, processors, and agencies like the Gluten Intolerance Group (GIG), and the Gluten-Free Certification Organization (GFCO) in USA & Canada, set out to create guidelines to define Purity Protocol after a series of cross contaminated oats plagues products causing customers many health problems. It is a rigorous process, it embraces everything from seed purity, standards for crop rotation, planting and harvesting equipment, milling facilities, third-party testing, and safe shipping. Industry benchmarks were essential to winning consumer confidence. A unique traceability model connects products to individual growers. Purity Protocol oats surpass Health Canada and FDA standards for contamination by 50 to 75 percent.
For you as a consumer searching for pure oat products that you trust, you need to be aware of the Global Purity Oats Protocol, which was established so customers could identity which oats were in fact pure oats meeting very strict nil gluten levels from the contamination from wheat, rye or barley.
- Some oats being used in products labelled 'Wheat free oats" are not grown and processed with the “Purity Protocol” guidelines and may contain wheat, rye and barley contamination.
- At the 2015 AACCI conference, one manufacturer presenting mentioned that they used mechanically sorted commodity oats in their “gluten-free” oat products. They stated that they average 10% of their samples testing over 20 parts per million (ppm) so with a statistical average they can meet the FDA standard. (see below for example)
Know where the oats in every product you purchase come from and how they were grown?
Ask these important questions of suppliers:
- Are the oats being used certified to<10ppm or less? Australia <3 ppm
- Are their oats grown with “Purity Protocol” steps?
- Pure planting seed stock with pre-planting field history audits
- All equipment inspected and approved for gluten-free production
- Each field inspected prior to harvest by the company and 3rd party
- Harvested seed only stored in dedicated gluten-free grain storage
- Processed in a dedicated and certified gluten-free oat mill
- Packaged on a dedicated and certified gluten-free packaging line
- 3rd party audits showing the final product is certified gluten-free
- Ask if they use a blended test average on the oats they use?
Without a “Purity Protocol,” a mill must rely on mechanical processing to separate out the gluten-containing grains while processing 2,500 to 5000 lbs. of oats per hour.
What does 10 ppm look like? (US protocol)
- 10 dimes out of a bucket of 1,000,000 pennies as it passes by a machine.
- 13 gallons of material from an Olympic swimming pool with 660,000 gallons of water.
“Uncontaminated” or “Safe” oats were introduced and accepted into the gluten-free diet over the last decade by including all of the “Purity Protocol” steps. Not by just adding a machine into the process to try to remove the glutinous grains from common/commodity oats.
If the oat product you are using was not grown with this kind of care, ask yourself if it’s worth the risk.
GF Oats have always strived to be the 'Oats you can Trust" and are now trusted by thousands of customers across Australia, NZ and now Asia since 2009. Australian farmers follow the above guidelines. All oats are received into our warehouse with a batch test showing Nil gluten detected as part of our Growers Blueprint.