Is the presence of dust and small stems in packaged rolled oats a sign of inferior processing equipment? Would higher-end brands like Bob's Red Mill have less of those? Is it likely that for any big brand, their oat products are produced, packaged, and exported from a single region/country?

I make granola bars using rolled oats, occassionally swapping between 2 brands. I've noticed that one brand has more dust and stems than the other brand, however of course, this is just based from personal observation, and maybe the bias that the other brand is already a seminal brand i.e., must be a century-old company already. Notably, the brands come from two, different wheat producing countries.

  • 1
    Looks like your first paragraph is unfinished
    – canardgras
    Mar 27, 2017 at 7:47

1 Answer 1


I'm not sure what you means by dust exactly but stems are definitely a sign of less sophisticated processing and quality control. You should rarely, if ever get a stem. As for dust its very hard to say as it could just be oat dust produced when oats rub together during transport. If one brand consistently has more dust in the bag than the other then it could be from processing, maybe they are allowing more byproducts into their final product in order to save costs, or perhaps the dust is there because a less sophisticated processing plant. If one brand travels more than the other the dust could be from more rubbing and shaking.

If the dust is not oat dust then its a definite cause for concern, you don't want real dust in your oats! That would definitely be a sign of poor processing and I'd personally avoid that brand.

Having oat dust and stems in oats doesn't mean the oats themselves are bad quality, that's more determined by the wheat varieties and how well it was grown. It does mean there's labor involved to search for stems and perhaps sieve out the dust, which is inconvenient.

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    Oat quality determined by "wheat varieties"? :) +1 anyway. Mar 27, 2017 at 21:45

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