We wrote the gluten free oat purity protocol
Oats are naturally gluten free, however conventionally grown oats are often contaminated in the growing, harvesting, and packaging stages. So we developed the original Gluten Free Oat Purity Protocol in 2003 to ensure that our oats stay gluten free, from farm to fork. Our Gluten Free Oat Purity Protocol is a set of rules we follow to be absolutely certain our products are truly gluten free. We want you to be able to trust your food.
What is our Gluten Free Oat Purity Protocol?
PrOatina naked oat seed, Avena nuda sp., are a special variety (strain) of oats. We selected this variety to have a high protein content and low allergen potential. Montana Gluten Free supplies Our contracted local growers use only PrOatina naked oat seed, Avena nuda sp., supplied by Montana Gluten Free for planting in their fields.
Our farmers plant PrOatina only on fields that have not been exposed to gluten containing grains for at least 4 years.
After oats are fully headed, the farmer walks the entire field to find any gluten grains that might sneak in. Those grains include all types of wheat barley, and rye. In most fields, our farmers will find only a handful of stray gluten grains. These are often on the edges of a field near the roads where it likely drifts from a passing seed truck. The farmer removes these, of course.
As harvest nears, the farmers clean their combine, transport vehicles and storage facilities. Many farmers have fully dedicated their lands and equipment to gluten free crops. At harvest, the farmer flushes the combine with the first 10 bushel of seed in order to ensure a clean harvest. We do not use this seed as gluten free product unless the grower has a dedicated machine which has not harvested other crops since harvesting PrOatina in previous year.
At harvest time, Montana Gluten Free inspector then has three tasks:
1) Walk field to certify that it is clean.
2) Inspect the combine to certify that it is clean.
3) Inspect storage and transport equipment to certify that it is clean.
The farmer transports the harvested seed to Montana Gluten Free’s totally allergen free processing facility in Belgrade, MT. When the seed arrives, it is weighed, sampled, examined, moisture tested, and tested with ELISA G12 (gluten detection assay) in house. We send seed samples to Montana State Grain Lab (purity and mycotoxin), Montana Cereal Grain Lab (protein), and Romer Lab (Gluten ELISA G12 and R5). If a product tests over 5 ppm on an ELISA R5 we reject it.
We track product identity with lot numbers that identify grower, production year and field throughout entire process. Visit our Meet the Farmers page to see who grew your food.
Our products are all processed and packaged in our allergen free facility.
What makes PrOatina special?
PrOatina is more distantly related to gluten grains than most oat varieties, which makes it an ideal gluten free seed. We naturally selected an oat variety (non-GMO) developed at Montana State University that is notable for its high protein content (average 20% by weight) and low allergen risk.
Oats, like many plants, store amino acids and metal ions in globular proteins. The growing plant needs these storage proteins as an easily accessible food source once it germinates. In oats, one common storage protein is called avenin. For most people, avenin causes no problems. However, many common oat varieties contain a version of avenin that is similar to gluten. The similarity triggers a reaction in people with celiac disease who are especially sensitive or newly diagnosed. PrOatina germplasm contains a non-reactive version of this protein and is safe for people with celiac disease.
We have verified this through the use of G12 ELISA assay, an enzyme based test which can identify gluten and potentially toxic relatives of gluten. The G12 ELISA assay is one of the most stringent tests available for evaluating gluten content in food. That is why we use this test on every batch of oats we grow and produce. PrOatina oats test null on the ELISA G12 gluten test, undetectable at the lowest level of detection. This means our oats contain less than 3 ppm of gluten or gluten-like proteins.
We do not allow gluten containing products in any part of our facility, at any time, in order to prevent gluten contamination. Additionally, our employees wash their hands upon entry to the processing facility to prevent contamination. And of course, many of us at Montana Gluten Free follow a gluten free diet and several of our employees and advisors have celiac disease.