Is Oatly barista gluten free?

Is Oatly barista gluten free?

Oatly products sold in the US are gluten free because they’ve decided to source gluten free oats grown within the US for that specific market. The company made a choice between oats that were gluten free or organic, and decided on gluten free oats so that they could be an option for more people within the US. According to this article from Gluten Free Watchdog, the oats used in Oatly’s US products are mechanically/optically sorted. You can learn more about the different types of gluten free oats in our oats article.

Oatly products sold in Europe and Asia are not gluten free, but they do contain less than 100 ppm (mg/kg product). The company has stated that their Swedish-grown oats (used in European and Asian Oatly products) would be too expensive to source and process gluten free at this time. Until they’re able to change that process, it’s best to avoid Oatly in Europe and Asia if you have celiac disease or gluten sensitivity. In the meantime, we’ve found some great gluten free Oatly alternatives.


Oats by Jocelyn Morales via Unsplash

Oatly is a popular brand of oatmilk-based products. The company was founded in the 1990’s and is based in Sweden. Oatly was created by food scientist Rickard Öste, based on research he conducted at Lund University. Their products were first introduced to the US in 2016 and marketed directly to baristas in major cities. This turned out to be a great move, because Oatly is an ideal alternate milk option for coffee drinks. It was such a successful marketing strategy that NYC experienced an Oatly shortage in 2018 because their new US division couldn’t keep up with such high demand.

Oatly’s oat milk is not gummy or slimy and does not separate when steamed, and the barista blend includes a higher fat percentage (3% rather than 1.5%) for better foaming. In the barista blend, dipotassium phosphate is also included as an acidity regulator to help with foaming. The oat milk includes naturally-occuring soluble fiber and is enriched with vitamins and calcium. All Oatly products are non-GMO, vegan and kosher certified.


'The Oatly process' via Oatly

Oatly is created using specific enzymes and heat treatment, which is why it’s not easy to achieve the same results when making oat milk at home. Although it might be a fun project if you’re scientifically inclined. Greg.Randall has an article about replicating Oatly, for reference. However, his experiment includes malted barley for the enzymes, so it would not result in a gluten free product.

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* Title image courtesy of Madalyn Cox via Unsplash.

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