AVENA PURITY PROTOCOL
For safe, healthy diets and a sustainable world
WHAT IS PURITY PROTOCOL?
Though Oats are naturally gluten-free, they can be contaminated with gluten-containing grains, such as wheat, rye, barley, and their hybrids, as well as grain dust.
How do oats become contaminated?
- via seeds containing gluten
- drift from neighboring fields
- cross-contamination from farm equipment such as combines, augers, bins, trailers, and trucks
- cross-contamination within crop production/processing and milling facilities that are not gluten-free dedicated
- gluten in grain dust
Purity Protocol is a farm-to-plate method of ensuring that oats are gluten-free and have met requirements for seed stock purity, as well as criteria for growing, harvesting, transport, storage, processing and manufacturing (gfco.org). However, this standard definition of Purity Protocol does not dictate final production lot size nor sampling and testing protocols.
In order to be labeled as gluten-free, the FDA and Health Canada Bureau of Nutrition require that the final product needs to be verified as containing less than 20 parts per million (ppm) of gluten. The Gluten-Free Certification Organization (GFCO) requires that products contain less than 10 ppm of gluten in order to be certified as gluten-free.
Avena Purity Protocol goes beyond this industry standard. With strict requirements for final production lot size, and sampling and testing protocols, Avena Purity Protocol oats and oat ingredients are guaranteed to contain less than 5 ppm of gluten.
HOW IS AVENA PURITY PROTOCOL DIFFERENT?
Over the last decade, Avena Foods has developed an integrated approach throughout the chain of custody to prevent cross contamination of oats with gluten. This multi-layered strategy is grounded in the knowledge that no single control is adequate to control gluten-contamination.
It is important to note that the GFCO definition of Purity Protocol does not dictate final lot size and sampling or testing protocols. Avena Purity Protocols takes processes a step further by treating gluten contamination as both a physical and chemical hazard with clear grain receiving protocols, defined lot size and method and frequency for final product testing. This system of multiple control points is key to providing safe, pure oats and certified gluten-free oat ingredients.
Avena Purity Protocol is grounded in:
- strong farmer relationships
- dedicated and certified gluten-free oat processing facility
- in-house sampling protocols dictating sampling size, frequency, product lot size, and proper homogenization techniques for finished product
- R5-ELISA method for gluten testing, the industry standard
- full traceability of oat ingredients right back to the farm and field
- gluten-free oats and oat ingredients that are allergy-friendly (free of all labeled allergens), heavy metals, and mycotoxins, as well as controlling for the risk of glyphosate contamination
- state of the art pasteurizing system with a validated kill step (6 log reduction), producing RTE (ready-to-eat) oat ingredients
THE FACES OF AVENA PURITY PROTOCOL
Avena Purity Protocol is anchored in long-term partnerships with our farmers. Each year, farmers who are interested in growing Avena Purity Protocol Oats, submit an ‘Expression of Interest’ application. Our grain procurement team reviews the applications and contracts acres for oat production.
Avena Purity Protocol oat farmers follow stringent crop production protocols to maintain the purity of the oats. This begins with field selection, and continues throughout the crop production with seeding, growing, harvesting, cleaning, and then delivery to the dedicated gluten-free certified Avena Purity Protocol oat processing facility.
To learn more about what it’s like to be an Avena Grower and the crop protocols required to grow Avena Purity Protocol oats, visit our farmers page.
OUR GRAIN PROCUREMENT TEAM
Our grain procurement team works closely with the farmers and our oat crop processing team in the plant. Our grain buyer is involved right from the seed and through all stages of the oat crop production, leading to its eventual delivery to our dedicated and certified gluten-free oat mill in Regina, Saskatchewan.
Our oat grain buyer is responsible for:
- contracting with select farmers based on growing history, field/crop rotations, region, and oat variety
- farmer communications throughout the year
- organizing grower School, an education session held annually for new and existing farmers
- field and crop inspections throughout the growing season
- organizing third party lab analysis on all oat field samples
- scheduling Avena Purity Protocol oat deliveries
OUR OAT MILLING AND PROCESSING TEAM
Over the last decade, Avena Foods’ oat milling and processing team have developed a milling system that safely produces pure, uncontaminated oat ingredients. Essential to this system are protocols for cleaning and inspecting equipment. Avena Purity Protocol in-house systems control not only for gluten contamination but for the presence of other contaminants.
Avena Purity Protocols include state-of-the-art pasteurizing equipment that ensures Avena Purity Protocol oat ingredients are RTE (ready-to-eat) with an extended shelf-life. This equipment has a 6-log reduction validated kill step, guaranteeing clean and safe gluten-free oat ingredients.
OUR FOOD SAFETY AND QUALITY ASSURANCE TEAM
With more than a decade of experience in oat and oat ingredient testing, Avena’s food safety and quality management team has developed a system to verify that Avena Purity Protocol oats contain less than 5ppm of gluten. The team has a sound understanding of where gluten contamination can happen, and the level of testing required to guarantee pure, safe oats and oat ingredients.
Avena Foods has an in-house laboratory for finished product analysis. This lab allows our team to test every lot of product quickly, and, if necessary, to retest with minimum delay. The required frequency of gluten testing, with several hundred tests run every week, would be economically prohibitive without our in-house laboratory.
Significant reductions in gluten findings year over year attest to the rigor of Avena Purity Protocol food safety and quality management programs.
OUR CUSTOMER SERVICE AND LOGISTICS TEAM
Our customer service team directs and monitors orders from receipt of the PO to delivery of the oat ingredients to the customer’s door.
Control of distribution is critical to Avena Purity Protocol. Our outbound logistics team reviews, inspects, and approves carriers, making sure that finished goods are received by and delivered to customers in good condition.
OUR SALES AND MARKETING TEAM
Our sales and marketing team strives to understand your food product development needs and challenges, and to provide you with solutions. The team has a wealth of experience in food ingredients, applications, and formulations. We work to help you identify the best ingredients for any given application, and to provide ongoing technical support for your project.
Customers are also provided with regular food marketing updates and intelligence, and the opportunity to attend joint training opportunities with the sales and marketing team.
A big shout out to everyone at Avena Foods who shared their time and resources to generously collect and donate…
by Mike Gallais, Director Procurement/GM Rowatt Growing crops was one of the few things that were not affected by the…
Harvest is done, the fields are ready for winter, and the oat crops are being cleaned, dried and safely stowed….