Flahavans Porridge Oats

I have been enjoying a bowl of this delicious porridge every morning for ages with no adverse reactions but my husband noticed it contained beta-glucan. I wrote to Flahavans and had this immediate reply which I felt would be useful for everyone:


Our Porridge Oatflakes are 100% oats, there are no additives. However, there is the possibility that wheat/barley was sown in the field a year or two before the oats and some may have come through the crop. Also if the combine harvester which harvests the oats had already harvested wheat/barley and was not cleaned out properly.

I hope this is of some assistance to you and if you need any further clarification please do not hesitate to revert to me.

Kathleen Whelan

Customer Service Manager

19 Replies

  • Hi Margaret, I'm sure you realise that these oats are not 'pure' oats.

    And just to clarify a point beta-glucan is naturally present in all oats as it is a soluble fibre in oats. It is listed as it is known to lower cholesterol.

  • Thank you Jerry. Yes, it is a real dilemna for me but from now on, I shall have to err on the side of caution and not have them.

  • Hi Margaret, why don't you try Nairns Porridge Oats. They are guarenteed Gluten Free. Check out there website for more information. Good news is that they have been added to the Coeliac UK prescribable products list so should be available on prescription. I tried to get some this month but they weren't on the doctors list so it may take a month or so to get through the system.

  • Good news about Nairns. Their product cooks up a treat - currently available in Waitrose.

  • Great Tim, thankyou!

  • Certainly will Ian and thankyou.

  • hi i got Nairns instant porridge from tescos today (10 sachets)

  • As I have said before. In Australia the Coeliac Society still say that a percentage of coeliacs cannot eat oats as they can cause gluetn reaction. I love to eat oats but have not eaten them for over 6 years but would love to try. Any suggestions?

  • Oats are my favourite cereal too ..... but I have given them a wide birth as I have noticed only minute indications that even the so-called gluten free ones give occasional cause for concern. Oats also contain avenins which is oat protein similar to the proteins found in wheat, barley and rye and their derivatives: gliadins, secalins, hordeins. It is debatable whether every coeliac has problems with avenins - some claim that avenins cause problems to those who also have dermatitis herpetiformis.

    So it is a personal risk and for those who choose to keep eating oats then perhaps they need to monitor their health to make sure that they are not affected either by 'gluten' escapes or by avenins.

  • I don't know Roscoe, because the flip side of coeliac being able to eat oats is that supermarket own brands of biscuits are now being made with pure oat flour and I see this as a potential issue as even tho' oats are classed as gf over here coeliac are advised not to eat more than 50g and coeliac children not more than 15g per day. And 15g isn't a lot when the main ingredient is oat flour and 15g isn't a lot of biscuits.

    Not all coeliac can tolerate oat gluten in the UK either, so just because something is on the free from shelves and labelled as gf doesn't mean that much to many of us.

    What really bothers me is that many coeliac appear to be able to tolerate ordinary oats and that to me is a warning that there is more to ingesting gluten than flattened villi so I think that you guys in Australia are the lucky ones.

    I wonder how many coeliac who think that they are all right with codex wheat, malted cereals and oats still have low vitamin, mineral and or iron levels? or worse IBS.

    So my suggestion is that you are glad that you have shall we say more robust standards than us and be thankful for that.

  • Just another comment to throw into this mix: Tillqhillie do 'gluten free oats'. I believe one half of the couple who run the farm is coeliac. I am not saying that I condone them, just letting you know that they are out there. They can be bought online, and they are for sale in some outlets (like the Clatterin Brig coffeeshop on the Cairn o'Mount road!). I have Dermatitis Herpetiformis and have stayed clear of oats since my diagnosis (Jan 2012). I am DESPERATELY missing my oats, as porridge was my staple breakfast and I am a runner and found it perfect for giving me long-lasting energy... I am building up the courage to try a small bowl of porridge made from these oats...soon...not sure yet when!

    Check out this link for further info:http://www.tilquhilliefinefoods.com/

  • Thanks Lexy

  • HI Lexy,

    I too am am a keen runner and cyclist so energy foods like this are so tempting. I tried the Nairns Oats as a test recently and didn't have any adverse reactions. I was diagnosed in Oct 2011.

    My concern is that how do you know for sure if they are doing harm inside - do they have the same damaging effect as the other Glutens ?

  • I was diagnosed around the same time as you and I intend to avoid any kind of oats for at least 6 months. Apparently there's some evidence to suggest that consuming oats whilst there's still gut inflammation makes you more likely to end up reacting to the gluten-like antigen in them.

    They can have exactly the same effect if you do indeed react to them and if you're asymptomatic (as some people are with small doses of gluten), there's no way to know if they're doing you damage unless you have a repeat endoscopy or antibody tests.

  • Hi ianwoowoo, hm, that's a good question. As I suffer from Dermatitis Herpetiformis my symptoms are almost immediate upon ingesting gluten and I get the incessant itching which eventually turns into little blisters which last for days and days... I don't know if avenin (which is I believe what we coeliacs often react to in oats) would cause the same skin reaction...hence my resistance to trying these new-fangled oats...but the loss of stamina since going as totally gf as I've been able to (bar the odd 'gf' roll which I buy, which presumably isn't strictly gf but somewhere in the region of 20ppm) has been constant and very frustrating...so I think the resistance may finally crack when I've had enough of not being able to do my usual runs and then I'll post on here as soon as I can tell whether there were any after-effects or not. Good to hear that you're getting on fine with Nairns Oats though! I must admit, I checked out the Nairns website and I wasn't fully convinced, in the way that I was by the Tilquillie website...but then maybe Tilquillie are more 'au fait' given that one of them actually is coeliac. Anyway, let us know if you keep using the Nairns Oats and still feel ok on them! Be a guinea pig, go on!! :)

    I'll try and do my bit and test the Tilquhillie gf oats too...

  • What worries me is that the glutinous protein in oats is similar to the gluten within wheat. So I think I will just dream of porridge in the cold winter mornings as I eat my gluten free muesli. Home made of course.

  • Muesli it is then :)

  • Have you tried buckwheat flakes to make a porridge? Unfortunately they don't taste like oatmeal porridge but you could try adding bananas and other fruit. It's an acquired taste! But it is very filling.

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