A word about Gluten and Organic!

People regularly ask us if our products are gluten free and/or organic. We try to be 100% honest but the truth is – it depends where you are from and what standards you adhere to! Here is a very clear letter from the CEO of the Australian company we buy our oats from, as a good example.
“The term ‘gluten’ is used to describe the parts of grain storage protein (‘prolamins’) from wheat, rye, barley and oats that are toxic to people with coeliac disease. The prolamins from each grain have different names: Wheat – Gliadin; Barley – Hordein; Rye – Secalin; Oats – Avenin. In people with coeliac disease, ingestion of these prolamins results in an immune reaction.

In Australia under the food standards code we are required to declare oat cereal products as containing gluten due to the presence of the protein Avenin. This differs to some other countries e.g. UK and the US where oat products can be labelled as gluten free and there is a higher ppm tolerance for gluten (i.e. in the US it is 20ppm).”

granola hoi anSo if you buy your oats from USA they might say that “the oats are processed in a factory that also processes wheat” which indicates that there is a slight risk of contamination. Indeed, our advice has always been that if you are Gluten intolerant or are on a Gluten free diet for reasons other than being Coeliac, our products are safe to eat – if you are Coeliac they are not safe. But if we were in Australia we would have to say “contains Gluten” on the pack.

 

healthy food hoi an

There is even more confusion when it comes to Organic! There is NO accepted standard in Vietnam for Organic food. It items claim to be organic, you need to look where they are from and make an assessment of the standards likely to prevail in that country. We say our products are clean, healthy, and there are no added preservatives, colourings and (in most cases) sugar. But we stop short of saying Organic because it is just not ethical to do so here in Vietnam…

gluten free breakfast

I hope that answers some oft-raised questions.

Cheers!

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