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  • Jefferson Adams

    AN-PEP Successfully Degrades Gluten in Rye Sourdough Products

    Jefferson Adams


    Reviewed and edited by a celiac disease expert.

      New development could fuel an increase in the number and kinds of high-quality gluten-free foods for celiac patients.


    Caption: Image: CC--jeffreyw

    Celiac.com 09/24/2018 - A team of researchers recently set out to investigate the degradation of gluten in rye sourdough products by means of a proline-specific peptidase.

    The research team included Theresa Walter, Herbert Wieser, and Peter Koehler, with the Deutsche Forschungsanstalt für Lebensmittelchemie, Leibniz Institut in Freising, Germany.



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    Their team monitored gluten content of rye sourdough during fermentation using competitive ELISA based on the R5 antibody. The team noted a decrease in gluten over time, but found that even prolonged fermentation did not bring gluten levels below 20 ppm requirement for gluten-free foods. 

    Interestingly, they did find that Aspergillus niger prolyl endopeptidase (AN-PEP) extensively degraded gluten concentrations of up to 80,000 mg/kg in rye flour, rye sourdough, and sourdough starter under specific temperatures and pH values. Nor did the enzyme inactivate the microorganisms in the sourdough starter. 

    Gluten-free rye flour alone or in combination with sourdough starter was used to produce gluten-free bread, which the team then assessed for its sensory characteristics. 

    Whereas gluten-free sourdough bread lacked any of the favorable qualities of conventional rye bread, the replacement of sourdough by egg proteins yielded gluten-free bread comparable to the conventional rye, and with better qualities than bread made with naturally gluten-free ingredients. 

    This study demonstrates the feasibility of using ANPEP treatment to produce high-quality gluten-free sourdough bread from originally gluten-containing cereals, such as rye. 

    Rye products rendered gluten-free in this manner have the potential to increase the choice of high-quality foods for celiac patients. 

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  • About Me

    Jefferson Adams is Celiac.com's senior writer and Digital Content Director. He earned his B.A. and M.F.A. at Arizona State University, and has authored more than 2,500 articles on celiac disease. His coursework includes studies in science, scientific methodology, biology, anatomy, medicine, logic, and advanced research. He previously served as SF Health News Examiner for Examiner.com, and devised health and medical content for Sharecare.com. Jefferson has spoken about celiac disease to the media, including an appearance on the KQED radio show Forum, and is the editor of the book "Cereal Killers" by Scott Adams and Ron Hoggan, Ed.D.

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