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Canada Allows Gluten-Free Claims in Oat Products

The Canadian government has issued a marketing authorisation allowing the inclusion of "gluten-free" claims on specially produced oats and food containing these oats. While normal agricultural practices can result in the unintended presence of small amounts of gluten from other grains in oats, Canadian authorities indicate that recent evidence shows that oats can safely be consumed by the majority of people with celiac disease as long as they have been produced and processed to avoid cross-contamination by gluten from other cereals.

To be able to carry a "gluten-free" claim the oats, as a food or as an ingredient or component of a food, must:

  • be specially produced and processed in a manner designed to avoid their contamination by gluten from barley, rye, triticale or wheat or from a hybridised strain created from at least one of those cereals, and not contain more than 20 parts per million of gluten from those cereals and hybridised strains created from at least one of those cereals; or
  • be specially processed in a manner designed to limit or reduce the amount of gluten from barley, rye, triticale or wheat or from a hybridised strain created from at least one of those cereals, and not contain more than 20 ppm of gluten from those cereals and hybridised strains created from at least one of those cereals.

In addition, the food must not contain (i) any oats other than the oats referred to above; (ii) more than 20 ppm of gluten from barley, rye, triticale or wheat or from a hybridised strain created from at least one of those cereals; or (iii) any added gluten from barley, rye, triticale or wheat or from a hybridised strain created from at least one of those cereals. Moreover, all representations with respect to oats on the label of the food and in an advertisement for the food must clearly refer to the oats as gluten-free.

Content provided by Picture: HKTDC Research
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