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  • Jefferson Adams
    Jefferson Adams

    Can People with Celiac Disease Eat Baked Goods Made of Hydrolyzed Wheat Flour?

    Reviewed and edited by a celiac disease expert.

    Caption: New CGH study on safety of hydrolyzed wheat flour for celiacs.

    Celiac.com 11/15/2010 - Fermentation of wheat flour with sourdough lactobacilli and fungal proteases decreases the concentration of gluten in wheat. Depending on the level of hydrolyzation, gluten levels can be reduced as low as 8 parts per million.

    A team of researchers recently conducted a small study to assess whether people with celiac disease can eat baked goods made with wheat flour that is hydrolyzed via sourdough lactobacilli and fungal proteases during food processing.


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    The team included L. Greco, M. Gobbetti, R. Auricchio, R. Di Mase, F. Landolfi, F. Paparo, R. Di Cagno, M. De Angelis, C. G. Rizzello, A. Cassone, G. Terrone, L. Timpone, M. D'Aniello, M. Maglio, R. Troncone, S. Auricchio.

    They are affiliated with the Department of Pediatrics and European Laboratory for the Study of Food Induced Diseases, University of Naples, Federico II in Naples Italy.

    The team evaluated the safety of daily administration of baked goods made from this hydrolyzed form of wheat flour for patients with celiac disease.

    Patients who volunteered for the study were assigned at random to consume 200 grams per day of baked goods from one of three groups. The did so every day for 60 days.

    The first group of six patients ate natural flour baked goods (NFBG), with a gluten content of 80,127 ppm gluten.

    The second group of 2 patients ate baked goods made from extensively hydrolyzed flour (S1BG), with a residual gluten content of 2,480 ppm.

    The third group of patients ate baked goods made from fully hydrolyzed flour (S2BG), with just 8 ppm residual gluten.

    In the first group, two of the six patients consuming baked goods made with natural flour (NFBG) discontinued the challenge because of adverse symptoms. All six patients in this group showed increased levels of anti-tissue transglutaminase (tTG) antibodies and small bowel deterioration.

    The two patients who ate baked goods made from extensively hydrolyzed flour (S1BG) had no clinical complaints, but biopsy showed intestinal damage in the form of subtotal villous atrophy.

    The five patients who ate baked goods made with made from fully hydrolyzed flour (S2BG), at just 8 ppm residual gluten had no clinical complaints. Also, they showed no increase in anti-tTG antibodies, and Marsh grades of their small intestinal mucosa showed no adverse change.

    Evidence with this small 60-day dietary study shows that people with celiac disease can safely consume baked goods made from fully hydrolyzed wheat flour, manufactured with sourdough lactobacilli and fungal proteases. This flour shows no toxicicity to patients with celiac disease.

    The team notes that a combined analysis of serologic, morphometric, and immunohistochemical parameters is the most accurate method to assess new therapies for this disorder.

    The results need to be borne out by further study, but, in the future, baked goods made with fully hydrolyzed wheat flour, manufactured with sourdough lactobacilli and fungal proteases may become another option for people with celiac disease.

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    Rate Mr. Adams' translation of the scientific article, not your own feelings about the content. Mr. Adams did an excellent job presenting this!

     

    As for whether I will switch to using hydrolyzed wheat flour, that's going to depend on the quality of the baked products made with it. I would assume that since the gluten is destroyed in this flour, that it would have just as much problem with bread rising as other non-gluten flour has. But at least it might retain that "wheaty" taste that I miss!

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    It's a study w/ a mere 13 ppl split over 3 groups, and there isn't even a NO GLUTEN group.

     

    Why anyone would think celiacs want de-glutened (mostly) wheat flour when there are so many types of never-had-gluten-never-will flours is beyond me.

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    I won't be trying this flour since even 1 ppm affects my intestinal tract. I do worry now that this will cause cross-contamination in other gluten-free products produced in the same facilities. Flour dust can stay in the air for a very long time.

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    Mr. Adams' reporting is excellent. I will not be looking for the products made from hydrolyzed wheat flour. Why risk it? The research involves a very small "N" and no long-term effects or cumulative results are available.

    Why risk it? This would be very like an alcoholic drinking alcohol free beer (which really isn't alcohol free).

    Celiac Disease and Alcoholism are both potentially fatal diseases.

    I'm doing great on my gluten free foods and am grateful.

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    This is a very interesting article... Check out Sally Fallon and her book Nurishing Traditions. It talks about how early/primitive societies used to soak their grains extensively before eating them and they would rise without baking soda or yeast. One early European community ate sourdough rye bread exclusively along with other fermented foods. Sally talks about how nutrients are much more available and absorbed into the body using this method and how we don't do it very much in our modern bread making, which has caused havoc on a lot of peoples health. In a back issue of her news letter, Wise Traditions, there was a celiac man who tried the sourdough breads after 3 or 4 years of being gluten free and he could successfully eat it without feeling tired or other ill effects. He still couldn't eat regularly prepared flour items, with out ill effects.

    I look forward to trying sourdoughs after a couple more years of being gluten free... it is possible to prepare sourdough rice bread using the same techniques. Wise Traditions, Summer 2009 p.65

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    Very interesting stuff here. I am quite happy with the variety of gluten free flours I am able to eat, but adding gluten-free hydrolyzed wheat flour to the mix could definitely have its benefits. Wheat is cheaper and (sometimes) more nutritious than its gluten-free counterparts, so using gluten-free wheat flour could help some celiacs on a budget or looking to eat a more nutritious diet.

     

    There are other wheat products on the market that are suitable for most celiacs. I use a fiber supplement made from wheat dextrin, which is made gluten-free by its extensive processing. The company tests its product for safe gluten levels (<20ppm) and it is clearly labeled gluten free. I am quite sensitive and can use it every day without any problems.

     

    Of course, if you are so sensitive that you can't even tolerate products marked gluten-free, common sense would dictate that this is not the option for you.

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    I am always amazed that celiacs are deemed in need of rescue concerning our diets. I have been gluten free for over 35 years. I feel it is the manufacturers of wheat flour that subsidize these studies. There is nothing wrong with our diets. Would they force a child to eat peanut butter that is rendered sage?

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    Rate Mr. Adams' translation of the scientific article, not your own feelings about the content. Mr. Adams did an excellent job presenting this!

     

    As for whether I will switch to using hydrolyzed wheat flour, that's going to depend on the quality of the baked products made with it. I would assume that since the gluten is destroyed in this flour, that it would have just as much problem with bread rising as other non-gluten flour has. But at least it might retain that "wheaty" taste that I miss!

    I agree with Hallie. Mr. Adams article is excellent in reporting the facts. Take the information and use your personal choice. I would give it a try and not use it on an everyday basis. It sure would be a treat for special meals.

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    Good article but I wonder if when making sourdough bread, the flour that is souring may become gluten free but what about the flour you add to it to make the bread. I did try fresh baked sourdough bread from HEB bakery and it did not affect me. I tried it again and it did not affect me. I would like to know more for I do love sourdough bread. Not knowing until 3 years ago that I have celiac I do miss the flavors of all the special breads. I guess one who has always been on a celiac diet would not know the difference.

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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 2,000 articles on celiac disease. His coursework includes studies in biology, anatomy, medicine, science, and advanced research, and scientific methods. 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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