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home_based_mom

Science Project

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I am posting this here and in the "Parents" section and asking the moderators to make it a "sticky" for at least a while for maximum exposure. :rolleyes:

I am still kinds new here but have seen anecdotal reports that there are at least 3 things that might - just might - disable the gluten protein.

Those three things are:

  1. Whatever it is that makes sourdough bread sourdough
  2. Vinegar
  3. Rubbing Alcohol

So, high school and college students, design an experiment to see if any of them really do disable the gluten protein. Check for all sorts of variables such as temperature, concentration, salinity, ph, exposure time, etc. and all that stuff.

Work with your science teacher or someone from a local university so you get really good results.

Why, you might well ask? While none of this would enable anyone to start eating gluten again, think of how it could eliminate cross-contamination! Think washing utensils and counter tops at home - especially for those who have no choice but to share homes with those who eat gluten. Think commercial processors between batches. Think of something I haven't thought of!

Not only could this be an enormous benefit, but it would raise awareness at the same time!

Go For It!

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This sounds very interesting. I've read other posts about trying vinegar or rubbing alcohol for cleaning gluten-contaminated surfaces. But yet I don't think it could be possible that vinegar or alcohol could disable the gluten molecule because if it could, then people could use malt vinegar and drink beer. Unless there is some variable that would enable it to do so, I don't really understand the chemistry behind it.

Do you have any more information as to how the vinegar or alcohol would work? What's the theory behind it? I tried to search the internet for more info, but all I could find were articles or advertisments for gluten-free things. I'd love to think up some experiments, even though I'm no kid!

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Actually, I think the only real way to break down the gluten molecule would be with an enzyme similar to the one normal people have. Acidity won't do it or the acidic conditions in our stomachs would take care of it. Temperature won't do it or it would be destroyed by baking.

One day I think people will come up with a way to duplicate the enymatic action that normal people have, and that will be the way to go. Hopefully soon!

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I just want to say that we can't make 'stickies' that stay up at the top. We do pin every new post, though (if it doesn't violate board rules, that is), putting it temporarily at the top, until another post gets pinned, or gets a reply.

It sounds like an interesting experiment. But how would anybody know what works and what doesn't, without purposely taking the risk of getting glutened? Unless you have a gluten measuring kit, of course, but not many people do.

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I just want to say that we can't make 'stickies' that stay up at the top. We do pin every new post, though (if it doesn't violate board rules, that is), putting it temporarily at the top, until another post gets pinned, or gets a reply.

It sounds like an interesting experiment. But how would anybody know what works and what doesn't, without purposely taking the risk of getting glutened? Unless you have a gluten measuring kit, of course, but not many people do.

It has been far too long since I took chemistry, but I imagine you could isolate the protein, put it into a flask or a petrie dish or some other chemistry lab container and just subject it to controlled versions of all the above mentioned abuse. Then see what happens!

This definitely falls into the "don't try this at home" category and I hope I didn't imply that someone should volunteer to be a guinea pig!

It would need to be done under carefully monitored and controlled conditions such as in a laboratory environment. It would have to be done in such a way that it could be written up in a scientific journal and pass scrutiny.

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Just to add to your list of possibilities, I've read that papain, an enzyme in papaya has a property that renders gluten harmless....

Although I wouldn't dare try it. Another experiment for the lab!

Liz

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Thou shalt not eat the results as rubbing alcohol is deadly poisonous.

Just wanted to throw that in there, one never knows what sort of crazy things kids will attempt to do.

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Thou shalt not eat the results as rubbing alcohol is deadly poisonous.

Just wanted to throw that in there, one never knows what sort of crazy things kids will attempt to do.

Sigh. :( I was hoping people would know that!

Maybe I should point out that the purpose of this experiment is not to make make gluten safe to eat, it is to avoid - or at least greatly lessen - the possibility of getting cc'd from processing equipment, pots and pans, wooden spoons, counter tops colanders, stuff like that.

If it could be shown that some combination of one of these substances at a particular temperature or concentration for a certain length of time (or whatever) breaks up the gluten protein, then that method could become standard for cleaning items that have become contaminated with gluten.

Or the experimenter could try every combination imaginable and show that nothing works better than soap and water does to just wash it away.

The whole point is to investigate and find out.

Inquiring minds want to know! :rolleyes:

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