A recent study, published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, tested 15 different cultivars of Quinoa for both gluten and for any immune system response to the Quinoa in Celiac patients. The results:
Fifteen quinoa cultivars were tested: 4 cultivars had quantifiable concentrations of celiac-toxic epitopes, but they were below the maximum permitted for a gluten-free food. Cultivars Ayacuchana and Pasankalla stimulated T cell lines at levels similar to those for gliadin and caused secretion of cytokines from cultured biopsy samples at levels comparable with those for gliadin.
What does that mean? Well, really not much. 4 of the cultivars had testable levels of gluten, meaning their test had results. However, all of those that returned those results were below the 20ppm which is used as an acceptable level of gluten to be called gluten free. Further, of the 4 that had testable levels of gluten, only two of them caused any sort of reaction at all in the patients.
They conclude by saying that more testing needs to be done.
Obviously, I don’t think the results of this study are anything to panic about. Of the 15 cultivars tested, all had below 20ppm results. I’m not sure if there’s a way to avoid the 2 cultivars that cause some reaction. As the NFCA noted in their article (here) on the same study, it serves as a good reminder to check the labels of anything that you’re planning on eating to make sure that the ingredients are gluten free, and have had as few chances of cross-contamination as possible.