Celiac.com Sponsor (A1):

Join eNewsletter

Celiac.com Sponsor (A1-m):

Join eNewsletter
  • Join Our Community!

    Ask us a question in our celiac / gluten-free forum.

  • Scott Adams

    Imagine a Gluten-Busting Enzyme that Worked Like Lactaid

    Scott Adams
    Reviewed and edited by a celiac disease expert.

      Imagine and enzyme that could work much the way like lactase works to make milk safe for people with lactose intolerance.

    Milking Betty. Image: CC BY 2.0--greggoconnell
    Caption: Milking Betty. Image: CC BY 2.0--greggoconnell

    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.

    Celiac.com Sponsor (A12):

    Celiac.com Sponsor (A12-m):

    It's a very cool idea. One major hurdle involves the fact that glutenase enzymes that break down gluten proteins can't take the high temperatures used to manufacture or process food.

    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


    User Feedback

    Recommended Comments

    There are no comments to display.

    Join the conversation

    You are posting as a guest. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
    Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

    Add a comment...

    ×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

      Only 75 emoji are allowed.

    ×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

    ×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

    ×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • About Me

    Scott Adams was diagnosed with celiac disease in 1994, and, due to the nearly total lack of information available at that time, was forced to become an expert on the disease in order to recover. In 1995 he launched the site that later became Celiac.com to help as many people as possible with celiac disease get diagnosed so they can begin to live happy, healthy gluten-free lives.  He is co-author of the book Cereal Killers, and founder and publisher of the (formerly paper) newsletter Journal of Gluten Sensitivity. In 1998 he founded The Gluten-Free Mall which he sold in 2014. Celiac.com does not sell any products, and is 100% advertiser supported.

  • Celiac.com Sponsor (A17):
    Celiac.com Sponsor (A17):

    Celiac.com Sponsors (A17-m):

  • Related Articles

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 10/05/2016 - So, you're one of the millions of people with celiac disease, one of those folks who has to avoid gluten and eat a gluten-free diet. Maybe you'd like to be able to safely eat out. Maybe you'd like to safely eat some bread.
    Imagine a day a few years from now when you take a pill containing enzymes from a carnivorous plant, which allows your gut to fully break down gluten. You take the pill and sit down to that pizza and beer you've been missing for so long. Is such a day really somewhere in the near future? U of C researcher David Schriemer thinks so.
    "The idea here is that you would take it like Beano," Schreimer...

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 06/26/2017 - Designed to reduce or eliminate symptoms of gluten contamination in gluten-sensitive individuals, the product known as AN-PEP, marketed in the U.S. as Tolerase G, is a prolyl endoprotease enzyme, derived from Aspergillus niger, that has shown promise in breaking down gluten proteins.
    The latest news comes in the form of a small study that shows the enzyme to be effective in the stomach itself, where harshly acidic conditions render many enzymes ineffective.
    Speaking to an audience at Digestive Disease Week (DDW) 2017, lead investigator Julia König, PhD, of Sweden's Örebro University, said that the enzyme was special, because…[...

    Jefferson Adams
    Will a new treatment enable people with celiac disease to ditch a gluten-free diet?
    About one in a hundred people in the United States is affected by celiac disease. If you're one of them, you know how hard it can be to maintain a strict gluten-free diet.
    Everyone's got their horror stories about trying to simply eat a meal, only to have a tiny amount of gluten wreck havoc on their digestive system.
    There are currently no therapeutics on the market to treat celiac disease, says Sydney Gordon, a scientist at Ab Initio Biotherapeutics. Sure, there are other over-the-counter enzyme treatments, Gordon adds, but most are slow to act, or don't break...

    Dr. Albert Zickmann
    Celiac.com 03/06/2020 - Celiac disease has an incidence of about 1% in the general population. It is an automimmune disease triggered by a proline-rich protein, gliadin, when it enters the small intestine and leaks into the wall of the small intestine (therefore the name leaky gut). Humans cannot break down proline-rich proteins. In healthy persons, gliadin passes through the gastrointestinal tract and is excreted in stool and urine without consequences. Celiac patients, build antibodies in the small intestine and these antibodies travel through the blood stream in all areas of the body. In some patients, there are no apparent symptoms or they can be very ...