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    Nairn's Sees the Future in Gluten-Free Oats


    Jefferson Adams


    • Gluten-free oats key to growing business for oat giant Nairn's.


    Image Caption: Oat giant Nairn's is looking to gluten-free oats to grow its sales. Photo: CC--Kari Csaba

    Celiac.com 08/17/2017 - Anyone who knows their oats will tell you Nairn's is a familiar name in the industry. The iconic Scottish grocery brand began making that name as Nairn's Oatcakes in 1896, when John and Sarah Nairn set up a village bakery in Strathaven, Lanarkshire. More than 120 years later, it has grown from cottage industry to large-scale production, with about 150 workers, and revenues in excess of £27 million this past year.


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    But consumer tastes, and challenges in production, retail and marketing all press the firm to adjust operations to keep pace, according to managing director Martyn Gray.

    Gray says that, as business has grown, the company has "had to look at specialists in each department because, it's not just a small family business now, we are a good medium-sized business that needs to adapt to the markets that we're now in."

    In addition to its core oatcakes and biscuits, the firm also sells products under the Simmers header, including Abernethy and Butter Biscuits, with an additional gluten-free range providing a key growth driver.

    Nairn's has said it is in the process of investing £6m in a new gluten-free manufacturing operation after the existing one proved unable to meet growing demand. However, with manufacturing becoming increasingly automated, the company saw a notable reduction in both permanent and temporary staff.

    In addition to being the UK's top oatcake producer, Edinburgh-based Nairn's, has become the UK's second-largest gluten-free producer according to Mintel, having entered the sector in 2010 from what Gray calls a "standing start." Gray says the new gluten-free facility will meet demand and "bring a pipeline of new products currently in development to market. In turn, this will protect and enhance the sustainability of the entire business."

    Gray admits that such expansion is a double-edged sword, offering both the chance to accelerate revenues, but with other players keen to take a cut themselves. "The market is very, very competitive," he says, but sees its long-term viability as highly positive.

    Nairn's also said the UK gluten-free market was worth nearly £500 million and was expected to see growth of more than 40 per cent in coming years. Much of that growth will be driven by gluten-free oat products.

    Read more at: Scottsman.com

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  • About Me

    Jefferson Adams is a freelance writer living in San Francisco. He has covered Health News for Examiner.com, and provided health and medical content for Sharecare.com. His work has appeared in Antioch Review, Blue Mesa Review, CALIBAN, Hayden's Ferry Review, Huffington Post, the Mississippi Review, and Slate, among others.

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  • Related Articles

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 08/31/2016 - Oats are traditionally one of the more commonly contaminated gluten-free grains on the market.
    According to Gluten Free Watchdog, "gluten-free" foods made with oat ingredients are more commonly contaminated than foods made with other "gluten-free" grains. In light of their survey results, people with a high sensitivity to gluten might want to consider taking some extra steps to make sure their oats are truly gluten-free.
    The solution? Know your oats! To be sure that your oats are safe, Gluten Free Watchdog recommends following these easy extra steps:
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    2) Ask for test results. Regardless of where you source oats, ask your supplier to provide you with test results, including how frequently oats are tested and what assay is used for testing.
    3) Test the oats yourself. There is no such thing as too much testing. If you really want to be sure, you can send samples of oats to a third party lab for testing using the sandwich R5 ELISA and cocktail extraction. Labs include Bia Diagnostics and FARRP.
    Read more at Gluten Free Watchdog.

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 08/03/2016 - As part of its mission, Gluten Free Watchdog performs gluten testing on gluten-free products and shares that information with the gluten-free community. They've tested many gluten-free products over the years, and collected data from their efforts.
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    All testing for Gluten Free Watchdog was conducted by Bia Diagnostics, LLC using the sandwich R5 ELISA (Ridascreen Gliadin R7001) and cocktail extraction—Mendez method.
    Based on testing data from Gluten Free Watchdog, oat products labeled gluten-free have an almost three times higher risk of gluten contamination as compared to labeled gluten-free foods as a whole. The results showed 28 of 35 or 80% of oat products testing below 5 parts per million of gluten, and 2 of 35 or 6% of oat products testing at or above 5 ppm but below 20 ppm of gluten. Meanwhile, 5 of 35 or 14% of oat products tested at or above 20 ppm of gluten.
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    Read more at Gluten-free Watchdog.org.

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 05/01/2017 - To avoid symptoms, and promote full gut healing, people with celiac disease should follow a strict gluten-free diet. Oats might increase the nutritional value of a gluten-free diet, but their inclusion for people with celiac disease remains controversial, and data have been conflicting.
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    Out of 433 total studies, the team found 28 that met their criteria for analysis. Of these, 6 were randomized and 2 were not-randomized controlled trials comprising a total of 661 patients. The remaining studies were observational. All randomized controlled trials used pure, uncontaminated oats.
    Their results showed that celiac patients who consumed oats for 12 months experienced no change in symptoms, histologic scores, intraepithelial lymphocyte counts, or serologic test results.
    To provide a more authoritative conclusion, they call for clinical double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized trials, using commonly available oats sourced from different regions.
    Source:
    Gastroenterology

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 05/12/2017 - The Gluten Intolerance Group (GIG) is an organization that certifies gluten-free products and food services. The GIG's latest definition and requirements for the product purity protocol was published by AACC International. The purity protocol defines the way of growing, harvesting and processing oats to keep them safe from gluten contamination, GIG's CEO, Cynthia Kupper, said.
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    Farmers collect higher fees for growing and managing oats under purity protocol conditions, and those higher prices usually get passed to consumers.
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    Read more at BakeryandSnacks.com.

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    Celiac.com 07/16/2018 - Did weak public oversight leave Arizonans ripe for Theranos’ faulty blood tests scam? Scandal-plagued blood-testing company Theranos deceived Arizona officials and patients by selling unproven, unreliable products that produced faulty medical results, according to a new book by Wall Street Journal reporter, whose in-depth, comprehensive investigation of the company uncovered deceit, abuse, and potential fraud.
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    Jean Duane
    Celiac.com 07/13/2018 - I went to a friend’s home for dinner.  A few days before, she called and asked me what I could eat.  I asked her what she was planning to make, and she said she was grilling meats with side dishes.  I said, “Great.  Please just grill a piece of chicken for me with salt and pepper, and I’ll be happy to bring a side.” She said, “No need to bring a side.  I’ve got this.” When I arrived, she greeted me and said, “I spent all day cooking tonight’s dinner so you can eat it. Hey would you just check this salad dressing to see if it is OK for you?” I looked at the ingredients and it contained gluten and dairy, both of which I cannot eat.  Then I glanced around the kitchen and saw evidence of wheat cross-contamination, including buns being toasted on the grill, and gluten-containing barbeque sauce spilling on the grill where my “clean” chicken was cooking. She had other guests to tend to, and I couldn’t offer instruction or read the ingredients of everything she used in the meal. 
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    Each edition of this column will present a scenario, and together, we’ll determine appropriate, polite, and most importantly, safe ways to navigate this tricky gluten-free/food allergies lifestyle in a graceful way.  If someone disagrees with our new behavior patterns, we can refer them to this column and say, “Here are the new rules for those of us with food allergies or celiac disease.”  When we are guests in someone’s home, we can give them links to this column so they understand the plight we are faced with, bite after bite. Perhaps this will help those of us living with us to understand, be more compassionate, and accepting of our adaptations to keep ourselves safe. 
    This column will present a scenario such as the one above, and ask that you comment on how you would navigate it. Let’s talk about it. Let’s share ideas.  Using the example above, here’s the scenario for this issue:
    What would you do?
    Your kind-hearted friend invites you to dinner and insists on cooking for you.  You arrive and the first thing she says is, “I’ve spent all day making this for you. Oh, I bought this salad dressing for you, but you might want to read the ingredients first.”  You do, and it contains malt vinegar.  You look around the kitchen and notice evidence of cross-contamination in the rest of the meal.  What do you do? 
    Please comment below and feel free to share the tricky scenarios that you’ve encountered too.  Let’s discuss how to surmount these social situations.  What would you do?

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 07/12/2018 - Previous research has shown that the oral administration of Bifidobacterium infantis Natren Life Start super strain (NLS-SS) reduces of gastro-intestinal symptoms in untreated celiac disease patients. The reduction of symptoms was not connected with changes in intestinal permeability or serum levels of cytokines, chemokines, or growth factors. Therefore, researchers suspected that the reduction of symptoms might be related to the modulation of innate immunity.
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    Their results showed that a gluten-free diet lowers duodenal macrophage counts in celiac disease patients more effectively than B. infantis, while B. infantis lowers Paneth cell counts and reduces expression of a-defensin-5.
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    Source:
    J Clin Gastroenterol

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 07/11/2018 - For people with celiac disease, finding decent gluten-free bread is like searching gold. Many have given up on bread entirely and others begrudgingly relate themselves to the ignominious frozen aisle at their supermarket and content themselves with one of the many dry, shriveled, flavorless loaves that proudly tout the gluten-free label. 
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    These days, a single sign on the awning speaks to hungry customers who peruse the tarts and chou buns, and the loaves that fill the cooling on racks behind a glass pane at Chambelland boulangerie and café in Paris’ 11th arrondissement. The sign lettered in French translates: “artisan baker; flour producer; naturally gluten free.” That’s right. Naturally gluten-free. At a bakery. In Paris. 
    Only the flat, focaccia-style loaves, and the absence of baguettes, tells customers that this bakery is something different. Chambelland opened its doors in 2014 and continues to do a brisk business in delicious, freshly baked gluten-free breads and other goods.
    The boulangerie is the work of Narhaniel Doboin and his business partner, Thomas Teffri-Chambelland. They use flour made of grains including rice, buckwheat and sorghum to make delicious gluten-free baked goods. Doboin says that customers queued in the rain on the first day, hardly believing their eyes, some began to cry. 
    For gluten-free Parisians, there was a time before Chambelland, and the time after. If you find yourself in Paris, be sure to search them out for what is sure to be a gluten-free delight.
    Or maybe book your ticket now.
    Read more at: Independent.co.uk