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We are often asked by our customers how is it possible that our tea is gluten free when the words barley wheat and oats are listed on the ingredient list. There is no deception at play in our product but let’s look closer at this issue as gluten intolerance is not to be taken lightly.
What Is Gluten?
Basically stated it is a structural protein found in the cereal grains of wheat, barley and rye. More specifically, when it comes to wheat, gluten is formed when two of wheats proteins (glutenin and gliadin) come in contact with water. Although the glutens found in barley and rye are slightly different they have similar characteristics. One of the desirable aspects of gluten is that it allows bread to rise and gives it the “doughy” texture we are familiar with. It is also used as a thickener and stabilizer in a whole host of food products which can be a challenge for those needing to avoid gluten.
Gluten Intolerance and Sensitivity
Where is the Gluten contained in Plants?
As I underlined above, gluten is only found in the seed kernels of wheat , barley and rye. As we strictly only harvest the green leaves of the plant, the formation of seed kernels has not begun and thus there is zero gluten in the green leaves of the plants. (See picture of when we harvest)
What About Cross Contamination?
This may be an issue in the large industrial complex of our food production, but as all our leaves are harvested from our farm only, and done so by hand, there is no opportunity for cross contamination. Moreover, we do not grow any wheat, barley or rye on our farm to the grain stage. We take one cut only of the green leaves when they are at their nutritionally peak, and then use the green regrowth as a soil enhancement as we turn it back into the soil.
Taking the Extra Step.
One thing that is of the utmost importance to us is the confidence our customers have in the quality and integrity of our products. Add to this the critical importance to those customers who do suffer from Celiac disease or gluten sensitivity to know for sure a product does not contain gluten. We have decided as of the writing of this blog that we will send our teas to an accredited lab who is certified to complete gluten testing. Going forward you can look for the seal that will certify that our teas are gluten free.
In this day and age of misleading ingredient labels and marketing schemes we thought it was the least we could do for our customers so you can enjoy a warm cup of our Supergreens tea on these cooler fall days with complete confidence.
Wishing you the best of health.
Great explanation. I will try some of your teas!