Celiac.com 07/21/2010 - Naturally gluten-free foods have long held the assumption that they are supposed to be gluten-free. However, a new study has found that many naturally occurring gluten-free foods are in fact not gluten-free.

Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye and barley, and people with gluten sensitivities know to avoid those grains. However,  a new study lead by celiac disease nutrition consultant, Tricia Thompson, proves that many naturally gluten-free grains, seeds and flours found in your local supermarket are definitely not gluten-free.

Tricia and her team of researchers evaluated 22 naturally gluten-free seeds, flours and grains that were not labeled as being “gluten-free”. They tested the products using the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) standards for acceptable gluten levels of 20 parts contaminant per million parts product. Trish and her researchers found that 7 of the 22 products tested, would not pass the FDA standards, including millet grain and flour, buckwheat flour, and sorghum flour.

Currently the FDA does not mandate that companies labeling their products as “gluten-free” actually test for acceptable gluten levels in their products. Although, under the new proposed FDA gluten-free regulations, the FDA would be able to inspect foods labeled “gluten-free” for validity of the gluten-free claim.

Unfortunately the scope of this study is not vast enough to determine exactly which products to watch out for, but Tricia and her  colleagues agree that more research is needed in this area. Meanwhile Tricia recommends that people with celiac disease and gluten sensitivities only purchase grains, flours and seeds labeled as “gluten-free”, as these products are more likely to be tested for acceptable FDA levels of gluten.

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