Are oats gluten free?
Oats contain avenin, which is a protein similar to gluten.
However, research has shown that most people with coeliac disease can safely eat avenin.(source: www.coeliac.org.uk/gluten-free-diet-and-lifestyle/gf-diet/oats/)
Problems can occur if oats are produced or farmed on the same farms as wheat, barley and rye as the oats can then become contaminated with these and other grains. White’s oats are normally grown as a “crop rotation” crop, often in rotation with wheat. This means that all oats are potentially contaminated with wheat (and to an extent barley) in the field. At White’s we have the best equipment in the industry for removing non-oat seeds (these include wheat, barley and other weed seeds). However despite all of our precautions some traces of wheat may remain in the oats.
Only oats which are uncontaminated can be eaten by people with coeliac disease. However, there are a very small number of people with coeliac disease who may still be sensitive to gluten-free uncontaminated oat products.
Oats that are not contaminated that test at 20 parts per million (ppm) gluten or less may be labelled ‘gluten-free’.
Oats are a great way to add variety to a gluten-free diet. They are also a good source of soluble fibre beta-glucan which helps to keep a healthy gut, can help to treat high cholesterol and can help to keep blood sugars stable.
Please speak to your healthcare team, your GP or dietitian who can give you specific advice and monitor you if you do choose to try oats.