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What is Gluten?

What is Gluten?

Gluten – lost than known now! It belongs to the storage protein family. These are found in some grains like Wheat, rye, barley, and a few others (also known as prolamins). Usually, prolamins fall under the gluten category but frequently they are known by the grains in which they are found. Ex. In wheat, the prolamins are glutenins & gliadins, secalins in the rye, and hordeins in barley.

When it comes to food, this gluten has a range of gastronomic benefits. The soft, stretchy, and chewy texture is given by gluten.  Taking the example of bread, gluten creates an elastic complexity that traps gas and expands, this in turn allows the bread to hold the moisture and rise double in size. Due to this distinctive feature, gluten is regularly used in processed foods to retain moisture and give an amazing texture to the product.

Foods containing gluten

A variety of whole and processed food contain gluten –

Processed products: soba noodles (containing wheat), meat alternatives, breadcrumbs & bread, pastries, seitan, crackers, and pasta

Grains: semolina, whole wheat, barley, wheat bran, cracked wheat, wheat germ, triticale, rye, farro, couscous, bulgur, spelt, farina, durum, einkorn mir (wheat & rye hybrid), matzo

Additional foods and drinks: Flavoured chips, malt vinegar, soy sauce, a few salad dressings, gravies and sauces (set with flour), broths and bouillon, beer, barley malt, some spice mix, a specific variety of liquor and wine, processed meats

Often gluten is used as a thickening agent or stabilizer in most food production units, though the clarity as to whether any food item contains the same is still unknown. Adding more to this scenario, we have even seen that there are many profitable food units that share the food processing equipment (which they use while preparing gluten-free food with gluten in some way or the other). To those who wish to go ahead with a gluten-free regime but are not sure of the status of it being gluten-free or not, they need to contact the manufacturer before purchasing the same or check if the label strictly says that it’s absolutely gluten-free.

Some individuals even add oats to their diet considering them gluten-free but if it is true or not is still a mystery. Again as mentioned above, these are also processed or transported along with foods that contain gluten.  In some cases, a very small percentage of the population who are gluten intolerant might even be intolerant to avenin as well. Oats which are uncontaminated are rich sources of essential nutrients and fiber, thus they are added to diets for those who have gluten disorders.

Having said that, oats do contain avenin which affects digestion and the body’s resistant function in people who suffer from gluten disorders, this still needs more research and a better understanding of how and why’s of it.

To those who are gluten intolerant, KNEED provides gluten-free bread which is hand-made and free of any contamination. 


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