Well this is a prickly one, it depends who you ask! To make sure we cover the most important definition, we will use the recommendation by Coeliacs New Zealand: It is impossible for oats to be genuinely gluten-free. Gluten is the name given to a proteins found in barley, rye, oats and wheat. The individual proteins are hordein (barley), secalin (rye), avenin (oats) and gliadin (wheat). According to Coeliac New Zealand, avenin is an essential part of oats. As avenin is gluten, oats can never really technically be gluten-free. The current tests for gluten can measure gliadin, hordein, and secalin but not avenin as it is a slightly different protein. So when people discuss gluten-free oats (and laboratories advise that oats are gluten-free) what should be said is that they are free from wheat (and rye, barley) gliadin, i.e. there is no measurable contamination. Avenin is an essential part of oats (as gliadin is with wheat). Oats will never be gluten (i.e. avenin) free [even if they are described as gluten (i.e. gliadin) free]. Ya dig? In laymans terms: Always consult your health professional if you’re unsure. If you’re Caeliac, oats definitely aren’t for you. If you’re Gluten intolerant, oats maybe aren’t for you. If you’re Gluten free, holy moly you should try oats – they’re great!
Funny you should ask! We originally started Otis as an organics brand. We quickly learned in our product testing that NZ only has one oat mill, Harraways, which is non organic. Therefore the supply chain to process raw organic oat, and stabilise it through the kilning process (which locks in the nutrients and stops the grain from oxidising) was not possible. We were sad about this, as we love organics, we love regenerative farming practices, and we think the world needs less intervention in our food production. So we had to choose: pack up and go home, or pivot and push ahead to help farmers and consumers alike. Which we did. We still love organics, and we are still exploring ways to add a Kiwi organic m!lk to our family.
We work with an extremely talented and dedicated group of Kiwi oat farmers, known as the NZ Oat Industry Group. This group of collective farmers grow for NZ’s only oat mill, a 150 year old family owned company, called Harraways. We love our growers, and we love our millers. Without them we wouldn’t have this superfood on our doorstep and access to making the best oat based products in the world. Cheers to that. When it comes to Glyphosate use, lets be honest, like anywhere in the world NZ has been sold on the use of this chemical and we as a nation have used it widely. Its well publicised the effects of this chemical especially in our food chain. So, we are extremely lucky that the Oat Growers Group, and Harraways, have banned the use of Glyphosate in the oat growing process. F*k yeah.
All of our oats are proudly Kiwi grown. Southland and Otago, New Zealand, to be precise. (If you haven’t visited, get down here – it’s beautiful). There are around 60 to 70 oat growers that produce the world’s most nutritious oat variety, the L5. All of these oats are processed at Harraways Mill in majestic, sunny Dunedin, NZ.
These are naturally occurring sugars found in the oat grain.
Oats naturally contain beta-glucans. They are a sugar compound and are a natural source of soluble fibre. There is research to suggest that when part of a healthy diet they give the feeling of fullness by lining the stomach, which can also help to reduce harmful cholesterol.