I have been enjoying Barbara’s Honey Rice Puffins for well over a year. They remind me a lot of Quaker Oat Squares that I can no longer eat. I happened upon an ad a couple weeks back about a new version of Puffins – Multigrain. They said “gluten-free” on the box, so I quickly went to investigate the ingredients:
Ingredients: Corn Flour, Dehydrated Cane Juice, Brown Rice Flour, Whole Oat Flour, Fructan (NutraFlora® Natural Dietary Fiber), Oat Hull Fiber, Calcium Carbonate, Natural Flavor, Baking Soda, Natural Caramel Color, Sea Salt, Ascorbic Acid, Iron, Annatto, Vitamin D, Vitamin E (Mixed Tocopherols [Soy]).
I started to browse around the rest of Barbara’s site, as I knew that the Peanut Butter Puffins, Original Puffins and Cinnamon were wheat-free, but not gluten-free. Boy, was I confused!! It seemed to me that the only ingredient on the wheat-free puffins that would be suspect would be the oats as well. I went ahead & sent an email to Barbara’s to get some clarification on why the Multigrain would be gluten-free. Had they used certified gluten-free oats in the Multigrain Puffins? Here is the response that I received:
Thanks for your inquiry and comments about the oat flour in our new Multigrain Puffins.
Barbara’s Multigrain Puffins contain only “pure” oats, which are certified uncontaminated.
As you may know, for many years those adhering to a gluten-free diet omitted oats due to cross-contamination with wheat, rye and barley. Barbara’s commitment to a true wheat-gluten free product led us to purchase “pure” oats.
These oats cost almost four times as much as conventional oats but the result is a truly wheat gluten-free oat. Our oat products are certified by the Gluten-free Certification Organization (GFCO) and tested by ELISA (enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay). Further, our production team follows strict protocols to make and package Multigrain Puffins to avoid possible cross-contamination. We test every batch through a third party accredited lab. No product leaves our facility until we get back the clean test results. By ensuring quality at each step, Barbara’s Bakery is able to guarantee a safe, delicious and nutritious gluten-free cereal.
What do authoritative organizations say about pure oats?
Recent studies show that pure oats can be safely eaten in a gluten-free food plan. Several authoritative organizations are now allowing for oats in a gluten-free diet:
- In April 2008, the American Dietetic Association’s hot topic on the inclusion of oats in a gluten-free diet stated, “although oats contain the gluten protein, avenin, research shows that pure oats in moderation (1 cup, cooked) are safe for most people with CD (celiac disease), however, most oats and oat products sold can be cross-contaminated with gluten-containing grains.”
- The American Dietetics Association’s Nutrition Care Manual patient education materials state, “In the past oats were believed to be harmful to persons with celiac disease. Based on recent research, moderate amounts of uncontaminated oats are now considered safe to include in a gluten-free nutrition prescription. However, commercially available oats in the United States may be contaminated with small amounts of wheat, barley, or rye.”
- Health Canada and the Canadian Celiac Association (CCA) conclude that the “majority of people with celiac disease can tolerate moderate amounts of pure oats.”
I was also given a list of gluten-free products made by Barbara’s that can be viewed here.
I was able to find a box of the Multigrain Puffins at my Whole Foods on Monday. I was not disappointed! These Puffins taste even more like my beloved Quaker Oat Squares! I believe that I like them even better than the Honey Rice Puffins, though I won’t stop eating those. I love that both the Honey Rice & Multigrain Puffins don’t get soggy quickly in milk. I usually use Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Breeze on my cereal. The Multigrain Puffins were more expensive at Whole Foods than the Honey Rice Puffins. They were $4.50+/box and I believe the Honey Rice Puffins were under $4. 00.
Anyone else out there try the new Multigrain Puffins yet? What did you think?