Celiac.com 09/25/2018 - In a patent application that could have a huge impact on the gluten-free industry, General Mills, Inc. has described its method and system for removing foreign, gluten-containing grains to establish gluten-free oats. Current FDA guidelines require all products labeled gluten-free to have a maximum gluten content of 20 parts per million (ppm).
Published August 23rd, patent application No. US 20180236453 A1 details a method for producing oat grains with gluten levels below 20 ppm and, more preferably, below 10 ppm.
The General Mills patent application describes a method of arranging mechanical oat sorting operations in series, or in both series and parallel operations. The multi-step process best includes width grading, multiple length grading steps, along with a potential de-bearding step.
The resulting oats will be gluten-free to under 20 ppm, and possibly to under 10 ppm, and are suitable for the production of gluten-free oat food products, including cereals and granolas.
To receive a patent, General Mills will have to prove that their process does what they say it does. A successful patent for General Mills could have a huge effect on the gluten-free oat foods industry. For one, it may allow General Mills to become a major supplier of gluten-free oats for other manufacturers.
The benefits of larger scale, more economical gluten-free oat production could include more, and more readily available, gluten-free oat products, along with lower prices for both manufacturers and consumers. Stay tuned for more developments on this and related stories.
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