"Are GORP Bars gluten free?" is the most popular question we are asked! We want to share our answer with you:
The short answer is that our bars are 'Gluten Friendly'. We do not add any ingredients that contain gluten. So most people with a sensitivity to gluten, or those just avoiding it by preference, don't seem to have any issues eating our bars. However, we do not use 'Certified Gluten Free' oats. By definition, oats are gluten free, but there is more to it than that.
“According to the University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center, yes — oats are technically gluten-free since they aren't a type of wheat, barley or rye grain, the three groups of whole grains that naturally contain the protein gluten. Instead of containing gluten, oats actually have a protein called avenins”
However, the long answer goes more into depth than that. The oats that we use are Manitoba grown oats, many of them that are grown on our farm fields. We can’t say that 100% of the oats are from the family farm, due to the fact that all oats need to go to a federally regulated processing plant, here in Manitoba. Basically speaking, all the oats being processed in Manitoba go through the processing plant, then we have to buy them back. Which means we aren’t sure if the oats we grow are the oats we are getting back. Nonetheless, we are using Manitoba grown oats.
The certified gluten free oats process begins right from the ground. These oats need to be grown where no wheat, barley or rye grain has been grown. For the non-gluten free process, they use a sifting process which rids the oats of any wheat that is found. However, due to the size of the barley grain, it cannot be separated from the oats. So think of a bucket of oats. If the bucket is 99% oats and 1% wheat, barley or rye, and a person who suffers from celiac disease happens to eat the 1% that contains gluten, they are likely to react. Health Canada’s definition of “gluten-free oats” are oat products that do not contain more than 20 parts per million (ppm) of gluten from wheat, rye, or barley. This is why the “certified gluten free” label is very important to our celiac friends.
The next step in the process is that the oats need to be planted and harvested using equipment that hasn’t been touched by gluten – equipment that is used for ONLY these gluten free oats.
The process continues after harvest, where they can only be shipped to the processing plant using trucks that are specifically for these gluten free oats, and of course, they need to be processed in a plant that doesn’t process anything with gluten.
You might be thinking “But GORP! You see the issue, so help us Celiac fighters out!”. We hear you! Believe me, we do. As a smaller size manufacturer, with a bar that’s already packed full of expensive and high quality ingredients, we want to provide this for you! Here are the current reasons why GORP Bars aren’t Certified Gluten Free:
So while gluten free oats aren’t in our near future, it’s definitely something we are thinking about, so that everyone can enjoy our tasty and healthy, real food, protein bars!
Hope this explains things!
We strive to make the best energy food on the planet and we want to be transparent about it, and about our struggles, successes and everything in between. Do you want to know more about us? Send your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org :)