Our pure whole grain oat products are grown and processed under rigorous standards and undergo numerous inspections to ensure a top quality product. From production through to finished product packaging we take care.
The quality of our pure whole grain oat products begins on the farm where our growers follow stringent guidelines and protocols to ensure cross-contamination does not occurs. Our dedicated farmers use only approved, pedigreed seed to grow their crop. They grow on fields that have not grown gluten-containing crops (wheat, barley, rye, triticale, spelt, kamut) for at least 3 years. Throughout the growing season they continue to follow strict procedures for harvesting, cleaning, storage and handling.
To further ensure purity the Canadian Food Inspection Agency routinely inspects the crops in the field and our oat dedicated facility.
Prior to delivery, our oats are tested by our in-house lab and by independent third party labs to ensure no cross-contamination has occurred. Our pure whole grain oat products must test to less than 10 ppm of gluten to be accepted. Using the R5-ELISA gluten test (the most sensitive gluten test available) we verify that our pure whole grain oat products meet this standard. Oats that do not pass the test are not delivered to the facility.
All oats are cleaned to remove trace foreign material, dust, thin and dehulled oats before delivery to our oat dedicated facility. Before hulling we clean the grain one more time.
The hulling process separates the oat pearl (groat) from the outer shell, or hull, using impact hullers. Aspiration is used to remove loose hulls, small fibers and dust from the oats. Paddy tables are used to remove any remaining unhulled oats and these are returned into the processing line to be hulled.
The oat groats are conditioned using steam to deactivate the lipase and other enzymes that would otherwise break down the fat in oats ultimately causing an off flavour. The oats are further conditioned and enhanced using a unique roasting process resulting in an oat pearl (groat) with an appealing roasted flavour and amber colour. The moisture level is reduced in this final process resulting in an oat pearl that can be easily stored for long periods.
Cutting & Flaking
In the manufacture of steel cut oats, oat pearls are passed through a series of stainless steel blades cutting the pearl into 2 or 3 pieces. The steel cut oats are treated with steam to increase their moisture and pliability.
The steel cut oats are passed through flaking mills to produce pure whole grain quick oat flakes. Whole oat pearls are flaked to produce our pure whole grain rolled oats. Oat bran is also produced in this process.
Avena Foods produces pure whole grain oat flour, both regular and fine grind quality.
All of our pure whole grain oat products test below the level of 10 parts per million of gluten making them safe for a celiac diet.