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The Safety of Malt Flavoring for Those with Celiac Disease

The following is a post by Donald D. Kasarda that was written to Michael Coupland of Kellogg (Cereal Company).

Dear Michael,

I have been asked to comment on your reply to Bev Lewis about the absence of gluten (or the barley equivalent) in malt flavoring. I am a cereal chemist who is sometimes asked for advice in regard to the gluten proteins as they relate to celiac disease by celiac patient organizations. I have provided advice to Kellogg in the past in regard to safe processing of a rice cereal (Kenmei) in order to avoid contamination. Kenmei has since been discontinued by the company.

While it is possible that the malt flavoring you refer to is free of all harmful peptides, your statement that because the flavoring is a water wash of malt, it is free of gluten, is not in itself completely satisfying for the following reasons.

At present, we are pretty sure that peptides derived from gliadin proteins that consist of as few as 12 amino acids can be toxic. These small peptides are sometimes quite water soluble as well. When malt is prepared by germination of barley, hydrolytic enzymes break down the harmful (to celiac patients) hordein proteins. It is possible that some of the resulting peptides are small enough to be water soluble, but large enough to retain harmful activity in celiac disease. A peptide of molecular weight no greater than about 1300 could potentially still be active in celiac disease.

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Therefore, the water wash could pick up harmful hordein peptides. Furthermore, unless the wash was centrifuged or filtered to clarify it, it could pick up small amounts of suspended particles that could contain hordein proteins or fragments of them that resulted from the protease action during germination.

The amounts of harmful peptides or proteins that end up in a malt-flavored cereal might well be insignificant for celiac patients, for, after all, the amounts in the wash are likely to be small and the amount of flavoring added to the cereal is probably a small part of the total solids. My main point is that some transfer of harmful peptides to the water wash could occur and unless your researchers have studied this question and have some basis for concluding that the amounts are insignificant (other than because a water wash was used), perhaps it would be best to indicate that some uncertainty still exists.

Incidentally, my suspicion is that there is not enough of the harmful peptides in Rice Krispies to cause harm to celiac patients, but for me it is only a suspicion in that I know of no experimental measurements or calculations in regard to the question and we still do not have a really solid indication of how little of the harmful proteins or peptides is OK for celiac patients on a daily basis.

Sincerely,
Don Kasarda

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7 Responses:

 
Link
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said this on
21 May 2009 7:46:57 PM PDT
What does this have to do with scotch whiskey?

 
john
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said this on
30 Jun 2009 7:06:20 AM PDT
exactly, sort the title out

 
Bryan Patrick Coleman
Rating: ratingfullratingemptyratingemptyratingemptyratingempty Unrated
said this on
13 Aug 2009 5:59:38 AM PDT
Please rename this article. It seems to be about adding malt flavoring to cereals, and has nothing to so with Scotch which is made of malted barley, but then distilled which removes the gluten.

 
Denise
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said this on
01 Dec 2009 6:18:21 AM PDT
Maybe this would relate if I poured Scotch Whiskey on my Rice Krispies...

 
Jesse James
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said this on
04 Feb 2010 7:41:28 AM PDT
What about the booze??

 
Jim Binkley
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said this on
08 Jul 2010 3:25:00 PM PDT
Article has nothing to do with title.

 
johnd
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said this on
05 Aug 2010 8:43:59 AM PDT
The chemists always seem to forget that Scotch whiskey manufacturing allows aging in used barrels...normally port, but including beer barrels. Yes, the distillation process removes the peptides, but the green whiskey is then dumped into a contaminated barrel for 3 to 20 years. The type of used barrel is regarded as a trade secret and not listed in the ingredients... so you don't know what you are getting.




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I still prefer steaming, but I wash my white rice throughly. I purchase California rice which has a lower level of arsenic. Moderation is key to most everything! ?

I eat pretty much grain free just fine, I eat fats instead. But on a side note I posted some specialty and grain free options as of late in the food alternative page where I list companies and food product alternatives. I honestly just welcomed bread back into my life, I found a company that makes grain free bread out of nut flours. Given you have to toast the dang bread to use it well but seems to work decently. Pasta there are carb free versions out there, and there are ones made with quinoa, buckwheat, or other grains, I even know one company that makes nut flour based ones. You can get these gluten-free options and avoid the rice. As to levels of arsenic they do test foods for these, and all should be safe, the trace amounts and the sheer amount you would have to eat to get effected is staggering, a bit of rice will not hurt you regardless if your concerned I know gluten-free watchdog does arsenic testing on products you could check and find the "safest ones" for your concerns.

I've forgotten them, just remember the good stuff. Weekends in Baja or Vegas or up Pacific highway to see the Redwoods and Frisco. Watching the sunrise at Mount Soledad and watching it drop into the Pacific in the evening. Carne Asada Burritos on Garnet* Solana beach ale* Gorgeous women entranced by my exotic accent, humboldt county weed, raves at the romper room, *1.99 are you out of your mind Denny Breakfasts, Christmas on the beach, *Beers in the gaslamp quarter. I need one of these * which by the power of my imagination have magically become gluten free AANNNYWAAY... Arsenic in rice. Yeah.

Oh, it definitely struck me as very odd! It also says "no significant increase in intraepithelial lymphocytes". That's their favorite word I guess! My blood work pre-biopsy also showed increase lymphocytes and my primary doctor said it usually means increased inflammation. Doing all the things I can now---filing a complaint, I've emailed my doctors to tell them I'm upset and don't think I received proper care, I'm in the process of trying to see a naturopath that diagnosed a friend of a friend w celiac. I'm going to see if i can get the other blood work done with them---and I've been gluten free for a week and a half!

There are plenty of negatives......?