Gluten Contamination of Commercial Oat Products in the United States

New England Journal of Medicine (Impact Factor: 55.87). 12/2004; 351(19):2021-2. DOI: 10.1056/NEJM200411043511924
Source: PubMed

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    • "inclusion in the gluten-free diet is the potential for cross contamination because of frequent contact with wheat during the harvesting, milling and processing (Kasarda, 2001; Thompson 2004). "

    Full-text · Dataset · Sep 2014
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    • "Gluten contamination of Canadian commercial oats was detected in 8 of 12 tested oats samples [23], and more recently 88% of samples on a larger Canadian survey was found contaminated by gluten [24]. Similarly, a study in the USA found 9 out of 12 samples of oats to be gluten contaminated [25]; another in Europe found 13% of oats products heavily contaminated with gluten with over 200 ppm [26]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Although most consumers show no adverse symptoms to food allergens, health consequences for sensitized individuals can be very serious. As a result, the Codex General Standard for the Labelling of Prepackaged Foods has specified a series of allergenic ingredients/substances requiring mandatory declaration when present in processed prepackaged food products. Countries adhering to international standards are required to observe this minimum of eight substances, but additional priority allergens are included in the list in some countries. Enforcement agencies have traditionally focused their effort on surveillance of prepackaged goods, but there is a growing need to apply a bottom-up approach to allergen risk management in food manufacturing starting from primary food processing operations in order to minimize the possibility of allergen contamination in finished products. The present paper aims to review food production considerations that impact allergen risk management, and it is directed mainly to food manufacturers and policy makers. Furthermore, a series of food ingredients and the allergenic fractions identified from them, as well as the current methodology used for detection of these allergenic foods, is provided.
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    • "It cannot be assumed that all varieties of oats sold in Canada are uncontaminated with other gluten sources because the infrastructure used for growing, transporting and milling of other grains may be used for oats and cross-contamination is likely to occur. There have been a few studies that have shown the likelihood and levels to which oat varieties are contaminated with other gluten-containing cereals, but most of these investigations were on oats sold in the United States and Europe and only two had limited information on varieties sold in Canada (Thompson 2004; Hernando et al. 2006, 2008; Geíinas et al. 2008). To obtain a better picture of gluten contamination within the oat varieties sold at Canadian retailers we collected a large sampling from across the country for a variety of different oat products. "
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    ABSTRACT: A growing body of evidence suggests that a majority of people with celiac disease and on a gluten-free diet can safely consume pure oats in moderate amounts; however, previous studies have indicated that the commercial oat supply in other countries, and in Canada to some extent, is contaminated with other grains. This study has confirmed that the commercial oat supply in Canada is heavily contaminated with gluten from other grains. Approximately 88% of the oat samples (n = 133) were contaminated above 20 mg kg(-1) and there were no differences between the oat types tested. Only one gluten-free variety of oats was analysed and it consistently provided negative results in all analyses. It is difficult to determine where the contamination originates, but there are possibilities for cross-contamination in the field, in the transport of the grain, in the storage of the grain, and in the milling and packaging facilities. It is clear from this study that only those products that have been certified 'pure' oats would be appropriate for a gluten-free diet.
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