Celiac.com 06/10/2010 - New research is currently underway in Ireland, as researchers test "pseudo-cereals" to determine the quality of replacements for glutenous grains such as, wheat, rye and barley. Many celiacs, especially those with delayed diagnosis', suffer from malabsorbtion and malnutrition. It is therefore more important for celiacs to ingest grains that are vitamin fortified than it is for non-celiacs. Researchers at Teagasc Food Research Ashtown are attempting to address the nutritional concerns for gluten-free products. They are working to formulate gluten-free bread products that are tasty, and have higher nutritional properties.
Doctor Eimear Gallagher, of Teagasc Food Research Ashtown, is leading the current research project which primarily focuses on using “pseudo-cereals” such as amaranth, quinoa and buckwheat, to replace gluten containing grains, also known as wheat, rye and barley. Dr. Gallagher suggests that the demand for new and improved gluten-free bread products is growing rapidly due to greater public awareness of celiac disease, and the rise in positive celiac diagnoses'.
Dr. Gallagher and researchers are studying characteristics of pseudo-cereals to replace wheat in grain products. Amaranth, quinoa and buckwheat are naturally high in nutritional values with high levels of protein and dietary fiber, which make them excellent grain alternatives for celiacs. Dr. Gallagher's findings showed that all of the pseudo-cereal breads revealed a significant increase in antioxidant and polyphenol activity, compared to the gluten-free control group.
Teagasc food researchers are also working hard to create a dairy-based ingredient that can produce the same properties in bread as gluten does. So far researchers have discovered that casein aggregates and forms a protein network which can retain gas in gluten-free dough. The reactions are similar to gluten containing wheat dough, but this is a work in progress and more studies are needed.
Dr. Gallagher's studies have revealed significant information on ingredients, formulations and technologies used to make gluten-free products, which will help provide edible and healthy alternatives to gluten-free products.