Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

Gluten is a glycoprotein that acts as a binding, emulsifying and gelling element, which works effectively as a structuring element since it binds water molecules and retains gases during fermentation inside the flour dough.

It is responsible for the elasticity of the dough, which allows the bread to obtain volume, elastic, and spongy consistency through fermentation and baking and that is why it is so widely used in bakery, confectionery, and more similar products.

Gluten is found in the seeds of cereals such as wheat (and all its varieties: triticale, bulgur, couscous, spelled, kamut), barley, and rye.

Gluten can be obtained from the flour of the aforementioned cereals by washing the starch. The resulting product will have a sticky and fibrous texture similar to schewing gum. For example, 80% of wheat is gluten.

Gluten is composed of gliadin, which is mostly found in the products that are forbidden to celiacs, and glutenin, which is extremely elastic.

THE OAT IS GLUTEN FREE. Historically it has been believed that it has gluten but it is not true, what happens is that there are celiacs who can not tolerate it because their body recognizes prolamin (avenine) as gliadin, since they are very similar molecularly. The body believes it is gluten and attacks it as if it were gluten.

That is why it is very important to know which products have gluten and which products do not. At first it can be a little confusing, and maybe you take a product believing it does not contain gluten and then you realize that it does.

Despite its widespread use, gluten is not an essential component for human nutrition. From the nutritional point of view it is not a problem to exclude it from the diet and it can be substituted by other animal or vegetable proteins.

If you want to find out about gluten intolerance, check out our article on this topic: 10 signs of gluten intolerance.

[Photo from Unsplash]