CCA releases results from Agri-food Growing Forward 2 funded study


February 4, 2019 – Mississauga, ON. A gluten-free diet is central to the management of celiac disease. During the processes of growth, harvest, and manufacturing, non-gluten containing grains (NGCG) may become contaminated with gluten containing grains.

Accurate testing for gluten is a critical tool to support the necessary preventive controls at the manufacturing level to verify and validate that they are being delivered as designed and that they work. However, there are many unanswered questions regarding the optimal testing of these grains to ensure that they contain less than 20 ppm gluten and are safe for consumption by individuals requiring a gluten free diet. Over the past three years, with funding from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada through the Growing Forward 2 Program, the Canadian Celiac Association (CCA) secured industry experts, Allergen Control Group and Environex conducted a stakeholder consultation and study examining optimal ways of detecting gluten in NGCG.

The results are summarized below and will help guide industry as standards related to optimal testing of these grains are developed. These principles are now being applied to the Gluten-Free Certification Program (GFCP) and will be formally embedded as GFCP Version 3 which will be in effect as of August 2019. The ultimate result will be the development of food products that will be accurately tested to ensure they are safe for the gluten-free consumer.



This study looked at how sample preparation and sampling methods can reduce variability when testing gluten in non-gluten containing grains (NGCG) including oats, pulses and oilseeds (flax and hemp).

These are the conclusions:


Additional tools and materials

White paper on gluten detection – EnglishDownload
White paper on gluten detection – FrenchDownload
2016 Stakeholder Session ReportDownload
Additional study: Managing variance in order to assess the relationship between gluten concentration and visual assessment of gluten-containing grains in oats, oilseeds, and pulses (As published in Cereal Chemistry)Download


CCA wishes to extend its appreciation to the following companies that contributed to this project through provision of services and/or expertise:

Environex, Canadian Grains Commission, University of Guelph Labs, Pulse Canada, Centre for Systems Integration, R-Biopharm AG, Avena Foods (Only Oats), Belle Pulses, Prairie Oat Growers, Interlake Agri., Diefenbaker Spice and Pulse, Johnson Seeds


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