Gluten Free

Gluten is a protein found in Wheat (including spelt), Rye, and Barley.


Oats are themselves gluten free but as they are a between season crop and may become contaminated with wheat in the field or in the factory, they cannot be labelled as gluten free in Australia or New Zealand.

Coeliac Australia and New Zealand currently recommend that people with coeliac disease avoid even uncontaminated oats because of some people reacting to the protein in oats called avenins.

What is coeliac disease?

In people with coeliac disease the immune system reacts abnormally to gluten (a protein found in wheat, rye, barley and oats) causing small bowel damage. The tiny, finger-like projections which line the bowel (villi) become inflamed and flattened. This reduces the surface area of the bowel available for nutrient absorption, which can lead to various gastrointestinal and malabsorption symptoms.

Visit your GP to have your blood tested if you think you have coeliac disease.

The Gluten Free Diet

A strict gluten free diet is the only medical treatment for people with coeliac disease. Removing gluten from the diet allows the gut to heal and symptoms to improve.

A small number of people with coeliac disease may also react to a type of protein in oats called avenins.

It is recommended that should an individual wish to consume oats as part of the gluten free diet, a bowel biopsy prior to and 3 months during regular oat consumption be done to determine its safety on the individual.