Who is Using Gluten Free Purity Protocol Oats

Many years ago, celiacs were taught to avoid oats at all costs. There just wasn’t a safe method to eat oats that were safe from errant grains and co-mingled fields and processing plants. Even when I was diagnosed in 2009, I was taught to only have a quarter cup of oats a day, maximum, and was (eventually) advised to only eat gluten-free labeled oats. Eventually, our Canadian besties said that pure uncontaminated oats are safe for most with celiac.

But uncontaminated oats are hard to find. Over the year, Tricia Thompson from Gluten Free Watchdog has found that errant grains are still rampant among manufacturers – even when mechanical and optical sorting technology. This can lead to hot spots. The entire product may be gluten-free, but what if you’re the unlucky one that has an errant wheat grain in your oatmeal?

Purity protocol, while without a strict definition (except this 2017 paper from GIG), are generally defined as oats that are grown in a gluten-free field, that has been free from the use of gluten for a set amount of years, and processed without gluten in a gluten-free facility. This is the safest possible way to consume oats – as their gluten-free journey is traceable from their start.

Gluten Free Harvest (meet them below) warns, “…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.” I can’t even keep track of my cat in our backyard, and it’s like 2,500 square feet. While I believe that they think this is a method that’s useful, celiacs everywhere are starting to think that it’s not enough. In 2018, the National Celiac Association came forward and recommended the use of purity protocol oats by those with celiac.

Gluten Free Oats Using Purity Protocol

I love to make oatmeal cookies and like starting my days with oatmeal topped with brown sugar. So where do I get my oats? Check out this list for manufactures and brands using purity protocol gluten free oats.

This list has been sourced from third-party websites, Gluten Free Watchdog and personal correspondence with brands. Updated February 2020.

Avena Purity Protocol Oats

Avena Purity Protocol™ is a leader in the manufacturing of purity protocol oats.

Gluten Free Harvest

Gluten Free Harvest is an incredible family operation out of Wyoming run by celiacs! Not only are their oats superior, but you’ve got to try their pancake mix. They make oats, oat flour, mixes, and even to-go oatmeal cups.

Why do they use purity protocol oats?

At the 2015 AACCI conference, one manufacturer presenting mention they used mechanical 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.

In 2018, I interviewed one of the Gluten Free Harvest family members about why purity protocol was so important to our celiac community. In 2018, they started to see the shift, with more and more oat brands labeling their oat-based products gluten-free without really investing in the processing of truly gluten-free oats. It was a

Gluten Free Prairie

I love Gluten Free Prairie and their dedication to purity protocol. The Wheatons are pure gems of the gluten-free community. I’ve supported this brand from the very beginning, when Deb was involved with the Celiac Disease Foundation. They might have been the first purity protocol oat brand I ever met! You must try their baking mixes – like their brownie or sugar cookie mix!

Montana Gluten Free

Montana Gluten Free are not new to this purity protocol game – they created it in 2003. They are also very particular with who can grow their oats – you can actually meet the farmers that grew your oats. They sell every imaginable permutation of oats, including a baking mix.

ZEGO Foods

ZEGO foods uses purity protocol Exceptional Oats organic oats in their muesli mixes. I am an affiliate for ZEGO Foods and I’ve written about their oats.

Brands That Are Using Purity Protocol Oats In Their Products

OATzarella Dairy-Free Mini Cheese Wheels

Gluten Free Oats with Mechanically/Optical Separation

  • Bob’s Red Mill has personally confirmed that they use a mix of purity protocol and mechanically separated oats.
  • General Mills (including Cheerios and Lucky Charms)
  • Nature’s Path
  • Purely Elizabeth – “Our granolas are not purity protocol at this time but we are starting to transition all of our oats to purity protocol oats in 2020!” (Feb 2020)
  • Quaker Oats (however, Gluten Free Watchdog does recommend them based on their strict method of testing)

Gluten Free Oat Milk

With the surge of dairy-free milks on the market, oat milk has compounded in popularity over the past few years. At first, there were only two or three oat milk brands, and now there are over 10 in the supermarket, and even more products (like canned coffee, yogurts, ice creams) using oat milk.

Here are just a few that come to mind!

  • Califia Farms
  • Chobani Oat Drink
  • Dream Oat
  • Elmhurst Milked Oats
  • Happy Planet
  • Oatly
  • Oatsome
  • Pacific Oat
  • Planet Oat
  • Pressed Juicery Oat Milk
  • Silk Oat Yeah (contains malt, so not even gluten-free!)

Gluten Free Oat Milk Not Using Purity Protocol

On my never-ending search for purity protocol oat milk, I’ll be updating this whenever I can confirm or deny major brands and what oat sources they use. Stay tuned!

Califia Farms – “All of our products are gluten-free according to FDA guidelines, which requires products have under 20ppm of gluten. Our Oatmilks are processed in Bakersfield, California and made with whole rolled oats grown in North America. Although oats are naturally gluten free, they may come into contact with wheat, barley, and rye as the supply moves from the fields to the mills. Our vendors have to guard against adventitious contamination with these gluten-containing grains and employ proprietary cleaning and sorting technologies that ensures not only adherence to government standards but goes beyond that to provide an ingredient that surpasses government standards for “Gluten-Free”. Unfortunately, sorting is necessary in order to ensure there are controls in place to prevent adventitious contamination with gluten-containing grains that would surpass the maximum threshold level for sensitivity by celiacs and gluten-intolerant individuals.” (Feb 2020)

Oatly – I confirmed this in person at Expo West, and their website claims they use Grain Millers (not PP).

Planet Oat –  “The oat ingredient used to make Planet Oat Oat Milks are certified by the Gluten-Free Certification Organization (GFCO), an industry program of the Gluten Intolerance Group (GIG). No other ingredients in Plant Oat Oat Milks come from sources that contain gluten.” (Feb 2020) Basically they didn’t answer the question.

Oat Milk Using Purity Protocol

On my never-ending search for purity protocol oat milk, I’ll be updating this whenever I can confirm or deny major brands and what oat sources they use. Stay tuned!

BetterBody Foods Oatsome

Oatsome Milk Betterbody Foods

“BetterBody Foods has truly brought the best Oat milk to market. Oatsome contains clean ingredients and beneficial nutritionals while tasting delicious. AND, Oatsome is the only oat beverage that is certified Organic, Non-GMO and Gluten free.”

According to the company as of February 2020, “…the oats come from farmers in Southern England that have been growing the highest quality gluten-free oats for years.  BetterBody Foods uses the purity protocol  (i.e,. grown in gluten-free fields and processed and shipped in gluten-free environments) and our oats are tested to be under 5 ppm, well under the excepted standard 20 ppm.”

Happy Planet – “Our certified gluten free oats are grown in Western Canada and processed in a dedicated gluten free oat facility. After processing we test our oat milks for gluten so you can rest assured that the finished product does not contain any gluten and is celiac friendly.” (Feb 2020) At this time, the question is still out there if they are grown to purity protocol standard before processing.

Mooala – “Our oats are purity protocol oats.” (Feb 2020)


1 comment

  1. Jen February 18, 2020 at 3:01 am Reply

    What about about Kind brand oat products? They are a popular brand for celiacs. I can’t get a straight answer out of the company….

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