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Found 5 results

  1. Celiac.com 08/11/2016 - In many ways, millennials are the special diet generation. To drive that point home, a new survey shows that a full one in five 18-34 year olds now have a food intolerance. That means 20% of millennials must either avoid certain foods, and/or eat special dietary foods to be healthy. So, while one in three consumers are actively avoiding gluten right now, that number rises to 40% with millennials. With the gluten-free market now worth GBP 210m, the Swedish bakers are calling upon chefs, caterers and operators to take a second look at their offerings. Andrew Ely, managing director at gluten-free cake maker Almondy, says that an in-house company survey confirms that more and more consumers are avoiding gluten, with three quarters of people having bought a gluten-free product in the last year. Meanwhile, market researcher Mintel projects annual gluten-free market growth to increase another 50% by 2019. The research also found that over 25% of people would be more likely to order a gluten-free cake than a non-gluten-free cake, making celiac friendly desserts a solid bet for boosting profits and driving sales of hot drinks. Companies like Almondy are perched to take full advantage of the market. A recent survey showed that nearly half of those with a gluten-intolerance had heard of the Swedish cake company, while a staggering 71% of millennials would buy Almondy's globally best-selling branded cakes, Daim Cake and Toblerone Cake. Stay tuned for more gluten-free market research and food trends.
  2. Celiac.com 02/23/2015 - There's an interesting article over at Mother Jones regarding the possible role that shorter rising times in most commercial bakeries might play in celiac disease and gluten-intolerance. In the article, author Tom Philpott interviews Stephen Jones, a wheat breeder at Washington State University, who points out that bread rising times in commercial bakeries has been cut from hours or even days down to just minutes, through the use of fast-acting yeasts and additives. What's more, Jones points out, commercial bakers add a lot of extra gluten to their products. Many supermarket sliced breads, especially whole-wheat breads include something called "vital wheat gluten" among the top four ingredients. Because whole-wheat flour has a lower gluten density than white flour, and to make the bread more soft and chewy, like white bread, commercial bakeries add extra gluten in the form of vital wheat gluten. So bakers are using more gluten and fermenting very rapidly, compared with traditional fermentation techniques that take up to 12 hours and more. By contrast, the team in Jones' laboratory, located in a rural stretch along Puget Sound has found that the longer the bread rises, the more the gluten proteins are broken down in the finished bread. It's certainly true that long fermentation reduces the amount of gluten in bread, and that long fermentation using strains of lactobacillus, as in many sourdough breads, breaks down even more of the gluten; in some cases, enough to be tolerated by people with celiac disease. Celiac.com has written about this in several articles on the future of long-fermentation sourdough, its tolerability and gut healing potential in people with celiac disease. However, Jones' notion that modern baking techniques, rather than modern wheat breeding techniques, are responsible for rising rates of celiac disease, and gluten-sensitivity remains unproven.
  3. Celiac.com 01/14/2015 - Recent epidemiological studies show that celiac disease rates are still underestimated, both in Europe and in Mediterranean regions. But how is better testing impacting higher celiac numbers in Europe? To get a clearer picture, a team of researchers recently set out to review the latest data on celiac rates and incidence in the European Union (EU) as of September 2014. The research team included E. Altobelli, R. Paduano, R. Petrocelli, and F. Di Orio. They are variously affiliated with the Department of Life, Health and Environmental Sciences at the University of L'Aquila in L'Aquila, Italy, and with ASREM in Molise, Italy. They assessed the celiac disease rates and cases by conducting a search of PubMed for papers in English using the key words "celiac disease", "celiac disease plus prevalence" (limits: 1990-2014), "incidence" (limits: 1970-2014), and "frequency", plus "in Europe". They conducted additional searches using the same key words plus the name of each European country. The team included only prevalence data obtained by serology using anti-gliadin antibodies (AGA), EMA test, tTG test, and/or duodenal biopsy, and only studies that were retrospective and prospective, such as population-based, cross-sectional, case-control and cohort studies. They found that the overall undiagnosed celiac population in EU is 0.5-1%, whereas the highest estimate reported in population-based studies is approximately 1%. Considering data from different periods, incidence seems to range from 0.1 to 3.7/1000 live births in the child population and from 1.3 to 39/100,000/year in the adult population. Interestingly, though perhaps unsurprisingly, the data show clear geographical variation in both cases and rates of celiac disease in various European countries. They note a rising occurrence of celiac disease in recent decades in European countries, due partly to the advent of improved serological testing (tTG + EMA) and partly to increased awareness of its clinical presentation. Source: Ann Ig. 2014 Nov-Dec;26(6):485-98. doi: 10.7416/ai.2014.2007.
  4. Celiac.com 03/27/2013 - Increased rates of celiac disease over the last fifty years are not linked to wheat breeding for higher gluten content, but are more likely a result of increased per capita consumption of wheat flour and vital glutens, says a scientist working with the US Department of Agriculture (USDA). The researcher, Donald D. Kasarda is affiliated with the Western Regional Research Center of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service. Kasarda recently looked into one prominent theory that says that increased rates of celiac disease have been fueled by wheat breeding that has created higher gluten content in wheat varieties. His research article on the topic appears in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. Kasarda says that, while increased consumption of wheat flour and vital wheat gluten may have contributed to the rise in celiac disease over the last decades, "wheat breeding for higher gluten content does not seem to be the basis." He notes that vital gluten is a wheat flour fraction used as an additive to improve characteristics like texture, and commonly featured in numerous and increasingly popular whole wheat products. However, he says that there is a lack of suitable data on the incidence of celiac disease by year to test this hypothesis. Part of his article features statistics on wheat flour consumption throughout the two centuries. He notes wheat flour consumption from all types of wheat hit an all-time high of 220 pounds per person (100kg) in 1900, declined steadily to a low of around 110 pounds per person (50kg) in 1970, then gradually rose to about 146 pounds per person (66kg) in 2000, and then decreased to about 134 pounds per person (61kg) in 2008. He goes on to point out that, even though consumption of wheat flour "seems to be decreasing slightly in recent years, there was an increase in the yearly consumption of wheat flour of about 35 lb (15.9kg) per person in the period from 1970 to 2000, which would correspond to an additional 2.9 lb (1.3kg) of gluten per person from that extra flour intake." Kasarda suggests that 'crude estimates' indicate that consumption of vital gluten has tripled since 1977. He finds this fact very interesting, because, he says, "it is in the time frame that fits with the predictions of an increase in celiac disease." However, he says that attributing an increase in the consumption of vital gluten directly to the rise of celiac disease remains challenging, partly because consumption of wheat flour increased far more significantly in the same time frame. Additionally, Kasarda says that there is no evidence that farmers have been breeding wheat to ensure higher protein and gluten content over the years. He points out that numerous studies have compared the protein contents of wheat varieties from the early part of the 20th century with those of recent varieties. These studies have all shown that, "when grown under comparable conditions, there was no difference in the protein contents," he said. One factor that remains unanswered is the relationship between higher rates of celiac disease and higher rates of diagnosis. That is, are more people developing celiac disease, or are more people simply with celiac disease getting diagnosed than in the past? It's likely that more and more people with celiac disease are being diagnosed, but it's unclear whether celiac disease rates are rising. There is just not enough evidence yet to provide a solid answer, although studies in the US and in Finland suggest that rates of celiac disease may be on the rise. Kasarda's article points out how much more research needs to be done. We need to determine if there is, in fact, a genuine rise in celiac disease rates and, if so, how such a rise might relate to gluten consumption. For now, though, there just isn't any solid evidence that wheat has any higher gluten levels than in the past, or that gluten consumption is driving an increase in celiac disease levels. What do you think? Have you heard this theory about modern wheat having higher gluten levels, or being substantially different than wheat in the past? Have you heard that such a difference may be driving higher rates of celiac disease? Please share your comments below. Source: J. Agric. Food Chem., 2013, 61 (6), pp 1155–1159. DOI: 10.1021/jf305122s
  5. Celiac.com 09/06/2010 - Celiac disease rates have risen some 400% in the last fifty years. Some of that is due to advances in diagnostic technology, and increased awareness, but scientists also consider increased wheat and gluten consumption to be a major cause. Proper celiac disease diagnosis takes over a decade for about one in four sufferers, so clearly a significant portion of that increase reflects an alarming rise in celiac disease rates over the last decades. According to a new study by a team of plant researchers from The Netherlands, it's possible that modern wheat breeding habits have promoted an increase in celiac disease epitopes, and thus a proliferation of celiac disease. The research team set out to compare the presence of celiac disease epitopes in modern and old hexaploid wheat varieties. The team included H. C. van den Broeck, H. C. de Jong, E. M. Salentijn, L. Dekking, D. Bosch, R. J. Hamer, L. J. Gilissen, I. M. van der Meer, and M. J. Smulders, all affiliated with Plant Research International, Wageningen, The Netherlands. It's well-known that gluten proteins from wheat can induce celiac disease in genetically susceptible individuals. This happens when antigen presenting cells expose gluten-sensitive T-cell lymphocytes to specific gluten peptides. To analyze whether wheat breeding contributed to the increase of the prevalence of celiac disease, the team compared genetic diversity of gluten proteins for the presence of two celiac disease epitopes (Glia-alpha9 and Glia-alpha20). They examined samples of 36 modern European wheat varieties and 50 older varieties grown up to the beginning of the 20th century. Glia-alpha9 is a major (immunodominant) epitope that triggers sensitivity in most celiac disease patients. The minor Glia-alpha20 is included as a technical reference. Generally, the modern wheat varieties showed higher levels of Glia-alpha9 epitope, and lower levels of Glia-alpha20 epitope compared to the older varieties. This indicates that modern wheat breeding methods may have promoted an increase in celiac disease epitopes, and thus a proliferation of celiac disease. On more positive note, there are both modern and older varieties that are known to have relatively low contents of both epitopes. The team conceives a scenario in which such varieties serve as breeding stock for farmers to one day breed wheat specifically designed to eliminate proteins and other substances that promote and trigger celiac disease. On a large-scale, such varieties might help to reduce fast-increasing rates of celiac disease. Source: Theor Appl Genet. 2010 Jul 28. PMID: 20664999
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