Is Quaker Old Fashioned Oats gluten free?

Quaker Old Fashioned Oats are certified gluten free by the Gluten Intolerance Group (GIG), meaning they contain less than 10ppm of gluten. This makes them a safe choice for people with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity who follow a gluten free diet.

The Gluten Free Certification

Quaker Old Fashioned Oats have been certified gluten free by GIG since 2013. For a product to receive certification from GIG, rigorous standards must be met:

  • The product must contain less than 10ppm of gluten from wheat, rye or barley.
  • The facility must have protocols in place to avoid cross-contamination.
  • Testing must confirm that gluten levels remain below 10ppm.

10ppm is considered the maximum threshold for gluten in order for a food to be considered gluten free. This strict standard gives those who need to follow a gluten free diet confidence in the safety of certified products.

Testing Methodology

GIG uses the R5 Competitive ELISA test to analyze products for certification. This test can detect the presence of gluten down to levels as low as 5ppm. Products are tested regularly to ensure they continue to meet the less than 10ppm standard over time.

In addition to third party certification, Quaker conducts additional testing on all certified gluten free products. This includes:

  • Testing of all incoming raw ingredients used in gluten free products for the presence of gluten.
  • Testing of the manufacturing equipment and facility for gluten before a production run of gluten free items.
  • Testing of finished products to confirm gluten levels remain under 10ppm.

This rigorous testing regime provides assurance that Quaker Old Fashioned Oats consistently meet the requirements to be considered gluten free.

Ingredient List

Quaker Old Fashioned Oats contain just one ingredient: 100% whole grain rolled oats. Oats do not naturally contain gluten. They are grown, harvested and processed separately from gluten-containing grains.

The use of a single, naturally gluten free ingredient means there is very little risk of gluten cross-contamination during processing. This gives further confidence in the gluten free status of Quaker Old Fashioned Oats.

Manufacturing Process

Quaker has strict protocols in place during manufacturing to prevent gluten cross-contamination:

  • Gluten-containing grains like wheat, rye and barley are not allowed in facilities that make certified gluten free products.
  • Thorough cleaning procedures are implemented between production runs.
  • Separate equipment is used to mill and transport gluten free grains.
  • Packaging takes place in a dedicated gluten free area.

Following these steps during the growing, harvesting, transporting and packaging process ensures no gluten comes into contact with the oats along the way.

Validity Period

The GIG certification for Quaker Old Fashioned Oats is valid for one year. It was last renewed on August 11, 2022 and will be due for renewal again in August 2023. As long as Quaker continues to meet the less than 10ppm gluten standard, the certification will remain valid.

Even with certification, Quaker continues testing regularly to confirm the gluten free status. This level of diligence helps assure consumers that Quaker Old Fashioned Oats can be safely included in a gluten free diet.


Products certified by GIG as gluten free will bear the GIG logo on the packaging. This round logo has an ear of wheat crossed out with the words “CERTIFIED GLUTEN FREE” underneath. The GIG website has a full list of certified products that consumers can check for verification.

In addition to the GIG logo, Quaker Old Fashioned Oatsstate “Certified Gluten Free” and “Tested gluten free to less than 10ppm” clearly on the label. This added transparency provides reassurance to those adhering to a strict gluten free diet.

Oat Purity Protocol

Quaker is a part of the Grain Chain-Oat Purity Protocol. This industry group has implemented steps to keep oats pure from field to package. These include:

  • Sourcing oat varieties with the purest genetics.
  • Following production, harvesting and transportation procedures that keep oats segregated from other grains.
  • Using dedicated storage bins, milling equipment and transportation vehicles.
  • Extensive cleaning protocols between handling different grains.
  • Testing of oat shipments to confirm no comingling with other grains.

Quaker abiding by these protocols provides an extra level of control from farm to shelf and helps ensure the purity of the oats used in Old Fashioned Oats.

Field-to-Package Testing

In addition to third party certification and label claims, Quaker conducts testing throughout the supply chain to ensure Old Fashioned Oats purity:

Stage Testing Procedure
Incoming Oats ELISA test for presence of gluten before accepting oat shipment
Post-milling ELISA test of oat flour for gluten levels
Post-packaging ELISA test of finished packaged product

This level of commitment to testing for gluten minimizes any potential for cross-contamination.

Digestibility Concerns

Some individuals with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity may still have trouble digesting the protein avenin found in oats. Oats are considered gluten free, even though they contain avenin because avenin is a distinct protein from gluten.

People with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity should introduce oats into their diet slowly and remain alert to any digestive issues. While oats do not contain gluten, avenin can trigger symptoms in some gluten sensitive individuals. Working with a dietitian can help determine individual tolerance levels.

Contamination Risks

Despite rigorous procedures to prevent cross-contamination, there is a small risk Old Fashioned Oats could be exposed to gluten through:

  • Coming into contact with gluten-containing grains during farming, transportation or storage.
  • Shared equipment used to harvest or mill different grains.
  • Errors in packaging where gluten containing grains are incorrectly labeled as gluten free.

The extensive testing conducted by Quaker at every stage aims to make these risks negligible. But those highly sensitive should be aware of the theoretical possibility of trace contamination.

Ingredients to Avoid

When buying Old Fashioned Oats, consumers should avoid any flavored varieties that list additional ingredients. Stick to plain oats with no add-ins. Other ingredients thatincrease contamination risks include:

  • Oat bran or oat fiber – may be processed with wheat, rye or barley.
  • Malted barley – contains gluten.
  • Dried fruit – may be dusted with flour to prevent sticking.
  • Flavorings – potential for gluten-based ingredients.

Choosing plain Quaker Old Fashioned Oats eliminates these risks and is the best option when following a strict gluten free diet.

Cooking and Serving Considerations

Even gluten free oats can become contaminated if care isn’t taken when cooking or serving. Recommendations include:

  • Using a separate, thoroughly cleaned pot and utensils to prepare oats.
  • Being the first one to take oatmeal from a shared container to avoid cross-contact from serving utensils.
  • Not stirring gluten-containing cereals like Wheaties into gluten free oats.
  • Using a separate toaster if making toasted oats to avoid contamination from crumbs.

Following basic precautions helps keep naturally gluten free oats safe through from preparation through to consumption.


Based on the rigorous certification process, purity protocols, extensive testing and straightforward single-ingredient composition, Quaker Old Fashioned Oats can be considered gluten free. Consumers adhering to a strict gluten free diet can feel confident that Quaker Old Fashioned Oats are a safe choice, provided basic care is taken to prevent cross-contamination during preparation and serving.

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