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Oats and the Issue of Cross-Contamination with Wheat

The following is a post by Steve Martin (Lucaya@AOL.COM) who has a B.S. in Milling Science, and 10+ years of experience in real world milling, and another 7+ in grain moving and storage.

I have been reading with some interest the discussion about oats and cross contamination. The grain storage/transporting infrastructure in the US virtually promises cross contamination of grains. Cleaning processes can separate grains with large size and shape differences. For instance, at

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the flourmill I use to work at, the wheat would come in with about 0.5% corn and soybeans mixed in, but because of the size difference, they were easy to remove. Oats and wheat, on the other hand, are close to the same size, and much more difficult to remove. I have not worked directly at an oat processing facility, and do not know how well they clean the grains before processing. Some mills I have worked at had the equipment to separate wheat and oats and some did not. I would think that oat mills would be the same. I do know that we will not eat any oat products.

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