Supplier of gluten-free oats to expand
Gluten Free Oats has signed a long-term lease purchase agreement with the city of Lowell, Wyo., to build a 90-foot by 150-foot warehouse, said Seaton Smith, company president. The warehouse should be completed this year. Gluten Free Oats is a global supplier both in bulk and retail. The company sells GF Harvest brand gluten-free oats and Canyon Oats brand ready-to-eat oatmeal cups.
Mr. Smith, his wife Jill and his son Forrest all have celiac disease. The company’s origin dates to 2004 when Forrest created a Future Farmers of America agricultural business project while in high school. Forrest is now production manager and Jill is in charge of quality assurance.
People with celiac disease must avoid gluten. While oats do not contain gluten, normal agricultural practices may result in the unintended presence of small amounts of gluten in oats from other grains, including wheat, rye and barley.
Health Canada, Ottawa, this year approved a claim for gluten-free oats that aligns Canada with both the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and Codex Alimentarius standards. Health Canada has said scientific evidence shows it is safe for the majority of people with celiac disease to eat specially produced oats as long as the oats do not contain more than 20 parts per million (p.p.m.) of gluten from wheat, rye, barley or their hybridized strains.
For one example of the difficulty of gluten-free requirements, Mr. Smith said that to stay under 20 parts per million, a 2-lb sack of gluten-free oats would have to have less than one-eighth of a seed of barley. Gluten Free Oats is certified by the Gluten Free Certification Organization, which requires less than 10 p.p.m. of gluten.
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