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The Buzz About Gluten

The Buzz About Gluten

Gluten (also known as the “sticky” protein) is a component in many types of grain and has a positive effect on the baking properties of flour in that it binds to water to make a smooth and stable dough. It consists of the protein components gliadin and glutenin and cereal grain, especially wheat, contains this protein. It develops rubber-like elastic and plastic properties when moist thereby affecting the baking properties of flour. Like a skeleton, it passes through the bread dough and ensures that a fine-pored soft dough forms, which keeps it shape during baking. Wheat contains the highest quantity and quality of gluten. The wheat has its excellent baking properties due to this protein, and therefore wheat is also "the" cereal in the world. Gluten has long been known as an important allergen. Even the industry has already recognized its important role in diet. 

Yet for many people, this protein can cause health problems like diarrhea, nausea, and bloating. People affected by these symptoms have to follow a strict gluten-free diet. They include mainly celiac-disease patients who have an inflammatory disease of the intestinal lining triggered by gluten.  It has been noticed that gluten from historic types of grain like einkorn wheat, emmer, and spelt causes far fewer reactions than gluten from wheat. Gluten is also associated with delayed food allergy, which can trigger chronic gastrointestinal problems, migraines and joint inflammation.

Gluten-free products

Some types of grain are fully gluten-free, such as amaranth, millet and quinoa. Use theses as alternatives to grains, such as wheat, rye and barley. Pay careful attention to semi-finished products and finished products. Here, gluten is often used as a natural grain protein or as wheat starch for binding. It is definitely helpful to create a shopping list and to check the ingredients lists of the food.

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Shopping at a health food store often makes it easier to find gluten free options. There, you can also receive expert advices. Alternatively, you can order some products directly from specialized companies. In the past few years, the supply of gluten-free food has grown. While there were only a few products around ten years ago, the range is now so wide that the daily menu does not have to be boring.