Confused about oats

Katarina Mollo MEd, RDN, LDN

Q: I have read both your & Gluten Free Watchdog’s statements on GF oats, purity protocols, testing methods, etc. My question is, if the product they are in is Certified Gluten Free, then do I really need to worry about what process was used? Because regardless, in the US, doesn’t the certification process mean that the product itself will have less than 20 ppm? This is the aspect that confuses me.


Great question! We currently recommend the purity protocol because it has shown to be the safest and most consistently low in gluten. Manufacturers using other methods like mechanical/optical sorting have shown to have higher levels of contamination.  In terms of gluten-free certifications - they vary, there are several different certifications that food companies use, most do not require testing of every batch, therefore even if the product is certified gluten-free it may still not be safe if it is made with mechanically sorted oats and that particular batch did not get tested.

Your safest bet for now is to use oats from sources that have used the purity protocol. Here is a link to manufacturers that use the purity protocol:

Note: This information is provided by NCA and Katarina Mollo MEd, RDN, LDN, NCA's Director of Education. This information is meant for educational purposes only and is not intended to substitute for personalized medical advice or replace any medical advice provided directly to you by your health care provider. No liability is assumed by the NCA or Katarina Mollo, MEd, RDN, LDN by providing this information.

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