Detoxifying gluten protein might be the next big thing
Here’s some good news for gluten-free food lovers and those affected with celiac disease. Scientists from Spain, Portugal, Italy, and France have developed a process to detoxify gluten proteins. The study published in the journal Food Hydrocolloids , will give gluten-allergic people the go-ahead to safely eat rye, spelt, barley and wheat.
How does it work?
Researchers have found a way to reorganize the molecular structure of protein so it can’t easily cause an immune response. They used natural polysaccharides such as chitosan to accomplish this. After undergoing this process, digestibility of gluten becomes limited and prevents the protein and toxic peptide release that occurs in people with celiac disease. Adhering to a gluten-free diet is often expensive and hence this development is significant for celiac patients and those with gluten sensitivity. Also, gluten-free products may not have the same nutritional value or offer the same taste, flavor or texture as those containing gluten at levels higher than 20 parts per million, which is the limit that food and drug administration has set for labeling food gluten-free.
If this technology has a minimal effect on flour and products made from it, it could benefit both consumers and manufacturers. The market could also prosper because such products would appeal not just to people with celiac diseases but also to those who want to avoid any immune response from gluten.
Whether this technology will be adopted and scaled up for commercial use will depend on how it is available, the cost, how much it alters the processing procedures and whether too many changes will be made to labeling. If it does though, it could be a workable solution for the gluten-intolerance problem.