Are Hemp Hearts Gluten-Free?

Courtesy CCA Newsletter

hemp hearts gluten freeThis discussion arose from questions on the CCA’s Facebook Group.

The question was a simple one: “Do I need to worry about cross-contamination with hemp hearts? These are naturally gluten-free, but is there a potential cross-contamination problem?”

The string of responses were interesting as a number of members combined their knowledge.

One person pointed out that one Canadian company declares that their hemp products were processed in a hemp-only facility. A second noted that the same company once made a gluten-free claim for their hemp hearts, and now don’t. This triggered an email inquiry to the company and a response that stated that it no longer tests for gluten, but barley is grown in close proximity to the hemp so gluten contamination is possible. A little more research pointed out that Bob’s Red Mill no longer processes their hemp products in their gluten-free facility, suggesting that they were not able to make a product that met the gluten-free standard.

Victoria Chapter leader Ellen Bayens summarized the issue very clearly: “Best practice is to purchase seeds and nuts labelled gluten-free. Without those assurances, the consumer has no insight into whether cross-contamination could have occurred at the field level, in harvesting, processing, packaging, repackaging. The more we understand about how our food is handled, the more exacting we need to be.”

About David Fowler

David Fowler is an online marketing consultant specializing in AdWords PPC, SEO, and website updates. He is the webmaster of Kelowna Celiac and was co-chair of the Kelowna 2012 CCA National Conference in Kelowna.