Answer Bank

Frequently Asked Questions


What do you mean by “processing” when you say “gluten-free grains run a greater risk of cross-contamination the more they are processed?”

Processing means the grain has been broken down from its whole grain kernel. A whole grain contains germ, endosperm, and bran. Stripping the kernel to its center is the process of refining, which makes it usable for a variety of grain products, including cereals, bread, and pasta. Processing may bring in other sources of contamination such as wheat or oat flour, if, for instance, a product is made on shared equipment with wheat. On the contrary, processing may actually make a gluten-containing product free of wheat protein, and make it safe to consume. If a wheat kernel is stripped to produce wheat starch (and is free of all traces of wheat protein), it may produce a gluten-free product. February, 2013