Cheerios are finally launching a gluten-free line beginning in July!
Included in the line up are five Cheerios products will be going gluten free: Original Cheerios, Honey Nut, Multi-Grain, Apple Cinnamon and Frosted Cheerios. (1) Although cheerios are made from oats, which are naturally gluten free, because oats are often grown in fields where wheat, rye and barley are grown and because of production methods, oats that are not labelled gluten free might contain gluten.
According the Wall Street Journal Blog’s, Mr Murphy, the president of Big G Cereals says “It took the Minneapolis-based company about three years to invent a mechanical filter to take out the gluten grains at its facilities.” They also have phased out the inclusion of wheat starch in the recipe and this ingredient will not be included in the recipe when the gluten free cereal lines are launched.
While I am super excited for the gluten free community that Cheerios is launching a gluten free line–I am a little concerned about the idea of removing gluten grains using a mechanical filter. I am sure that they will launch a product that is below the 20 ppm threshold of gluten but it is well known that many people with celiac react to traces below this threshold.
Not only is this great news for the gluten free community , it is also great news for parents who are introducing this staple food to toddlers. I clearly remember my son projectile vomiting and getting sick within hours of trying cheerios at 11 months. We thought he had the flu (but it was August!) and we had absolutely no idea it was from the gluten in the cheerios until months later when we discovered two genes for celiac and a severe intolerance for gluten was behind his being sick continuously from the moment he tried cheerios until when we removed gluten completely from his diet.
Although some people with celiac are unable to handle oats, (6%-8% of celiacs with the HLA DQ2 gene) for sure it is better to reduce the gluten content in this staple food for many reasons. I do hope that General Mills will also take into consideration how the cereal is received by the public–and whether their “mechanical filter” is enough to keep people from getting sick. I would love to see testing levels of the Gluten Free Cheerios well below the 20 ppm and I would love to find out more about General Mills mechanical process and the level of the final product.
For sure, this announcement is a happy one for many people who are avoiding gluten. Not only will a lot of people be able to enjoy Cheerios again, but for little kids it will help them to minimize the introduction of large amounts of gluten when they first start eating Cheerios. Without a doubt, without the gluten, Cheerios will be a better choice for everyone.
Can Oats Be Included on a Gluten Free Diet?