Celiac.com 04/29/2020 - People with celiac disease cannot eat gluten from products made with wheat, barley or rye. The two main culprits proteins in gluten are glutenin and gliadin, with the latter thought to cause most of the inflammation and adverse health health effects in people with celiac disease. Glutenases are enzymes needed to break down glutens in foods to make these foods easier for people to digest.
Imagine an enzyme that could be added to traditional wheat or gluten-containing products to make them gluten-free. The technology would work very much the way adding lactase to regular milk breaks down the lactose proteins and makes the milk safe for people with milk intolerance.
Researchers Seek Enzymes to Break Down Gluten in Food Production
A team of researchers at Clemson University may have solved that problem, or all least made strong progress. Sachin Rustgi, an assistant professor of molecular breeding in Clemson’s Advanced Plant Technology Program, is working with numerous other to create glutenases capable of withstand high cooking temperatures.
In addition to Rustgi, others involved in the study are: Claudia Osorio, Nuan Wen, Diter von Wettstein and Shannon Mitchell of Washington State University, and Jaime H. Mejías of Institute of Agricultural Research (INIA), Chile.
Early results from their study show that it's possible to create glutenase enzymes that can handle the high temperatures required to manufacture or process foods. However promising, the results are merely preliminary, and further study will be needed before the full results will be known.
Such an enzyme might allow manufacturers to add glutenases to food labeled ‘gluten-free’” Rustgi said. “This will allow people with celiac disease to tolerate foods that are contaminated with gluten/wheat."
Alternatively, such an enzyme could allow researchers to engineer wheat grains that incorporates such glutenases into its structure. "After necessary testing, this may provide an alternative treatment for celiac disease,” Rustgi said.
Imagine traditional bread that was gluten-free and made safe to eat through the addition of enzymes. Few things would be more promising to people with celiac disease. Stay tuned for more on the efforts to develop enzymes that can break down gluten, and potentially help people with celiac disease to avoid damage from accidental gluten-ingestion.
Read more at Newsstand.clemson.edu