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    Is Gluten-Free Canary Seed the Next Big Thing?

    Jefferson Adams
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    Reviewed and edited by a celiac disease expert.   eNewsletter: Get our eNewsletter

    Celiac.com 05/04/2016 - First, the good news. Canary seed, commonly used as feed for its namesake yellow birds has been approved as gluten-free and fit for human consumption in Canada.

    Photo: CC--Steve P2008Health Canada and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration deemed canary bird seed as a health food suitable for those who need to adhere to a gluten-free diet. Canary seed is similar in size to flax or sesame seeds, is high in protein, and has a nutty flavor with a pleasant aroma.



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    Canary seed can be added whole into energy bars and snack bars, sprinkled on yogurt or cereal. It can be used to top buns, bagels and breads. It can be ground into flour and use to make delicious cookies, muffins, crackers, breads, tortillas and pasta. Coincidentally, perhaps, Canda is the largest producer and exporter of canary seed.

    Kevin Hursh, executive director of the Canaryseed Development Commission of Saskatchewan says, "It's hoped the approval for human consumption can broaden the market."

    Now the bad news. Canary seed, might not not be suitable for everyone with a serious gluten sensitivity, as it shares a single common protein with wheat. That means the seed will be labelled with an allergen warning, until research can determine if the restriction can be safely removed, say Hursh.

    In the meantime, stay tuned to see what canary seed means for the future of gluten-free foods.

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    Talk about eating like a bird!

     

    But seriously - Why promote it as gluten-free if those of us who are highly sensitive to gluten can't eat it! I'm wondering why there is no indication of how many ppm of gluten there is in Canary seed as well.

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  • About Me

    Jefferson Adams is Celiac.com's senior writer and Digital Content Director. He earned his B.A. and M.F.A. at Arizona State University, and has authored more than 2,500 articles on celiac disease. His coursework includes studies in science, scientific methodology, biology, anatomy, medicine, logic, and advanced research. He previously served as SF Health News Examiner for Examiner.com, and devised health and medical content for Sharecare.com. Jefferson has spoken about celiac disease to the media, including an appearance on the KQED radio show Forum, and is the editor of the book "Cereal Killers" by Scott Adams and Ron Hoggan, Ed.D.


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