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Found 11 results

  1. What is Gluten? Gluten is a huge molecule held together by smaller molecules linked together called amino acids. A very tiny part of the gluten molecule can initiate a response. If each amino acid that makes up gluten is represented as a single letter that very tiny part would be: SGQGSFQPSQQ. There are other sequences of amino acids that cause a reaction in gluten sensitive individuals, but the point is, as tiny as this fragment is with respect to the entire gluten protein, it is still HUGE with respect to the size of ethanol (the stuff you are drinking). What is Alcohol? The alcohol you drink is ethanol. Ethanol is smaller than the size of the smallest amino acid in the smallest fragment of gluten that has been shown to initiate an autoimmune reaction. More specifically, ethanol is about 10 atomic mass units smaller than just the G in the sequence shown above. What are Amino Acids? The G is glycine, and by the way, each of these amino acids (represented by letters) by themselves is safe, and sold at most health food stores. For example Q = glutamine (yes, “L-glutamine,” the same amino acid mentioned in a recent post and used to heal intestinal damage). If the protein is viewed as beads on a string, then one of those beads might be good for you, but certain sequences strung together can initiate an allergic reaction of many types from acute peanut allergy to less-than-obvious gluten sensitivity. What is Distillation? When a distillation is performed, pure ethanol is separated away from all of the other “stuff” that forms as a result of fermentation. This is because ethanol is volatile (meaning it becomes a gas in the distillation process). Imagine a vat of fermentation products, you heat it, and only the volatile molecules like ethanol enter a tube attached to the vat. This tube is not just any tube - it is a curved condensation tube! Here is what it does: While the heated gas form of ethanol floats into it (because that is what gases do), the molecules are cooled and condense back into a liquid, and fall into a new sparkling clean vessel containing the stuff that intoxicates you and any other volatiles. So the fancier distillation columns that are actually used industrially also purify the ethanol away from other volatiles. Gluten does not stand a chance of “crossing over” because it is not volatile. Here is a simplified analogy. Let's say you put some sand in the bottom of your tea kettle. If you take the spout off your tea kettle, and attach a condensing tube to the opening (a curved tube would be the simplest type of condensing tube but there are many elaborate types), you could distill your water away from the sand. The condensing tube would be curved so as to open into a new clean pot. Let us pretend that the sand is gluten and the water is ethanol. When you heat to the boiling point, the liquid becomes gas so it travels into the condenser, cools and becomes liquid, then falls into the clean pot. Now having read that, is there any way that the new clean pot would contain any sand? No, and distilled alcohol (ethanol) does not contain any gluten. Remember, gluten is not volatile. Another non-volatile compound is table salt. So you could perform a distillation at home, with salt water. Has anyone ever inadvertently done this? Boiled a pot of salt water, perhaps to make some Tinkyada pasta, and walked away to do something else. You came back to find your pot almost empty with white crusty stuff (salt) all inside the pot. So the gluten is left behind in a distillation process. If malt is added to the distilled product it will be disclosed on the ingredients label. What is Vinegar? Vinegar is formed by fermentation in a similar way that ethanol is formed by fermentation. The process is to take ethanol and ferment it with bacteria. Later, there is a filtration to remove the bacteria. Rarely, vinegar is fermented from wheat-based alcohol. “Distilled vinegar,” gets its name from the fact that it was fermented from distilled alcohol. Why is Vinegar Still Questioned? The answer could be, perhaps, because so many people report a reaction to it and vinegar-based products. The never-ending fear is that cross-contamination during the fermentation process is leading to barely detectable amounts of gluten in the finished product (by barely detectable, I mean in terms of commercially available tests). Since the vinegar is rarely distilled post fermentation from the ethanol, the “messy” nature of the second fermentation step could pose a problem, especially for highly sensitive individuals. If the alcohol gets all used up by the bacteria, the bacteria go on to form carbon dioxide and water from the vinegar. So alcohol is periodically added in the fermentation process. Conceivably, one “shortcut” would be to just add beer at this juncture. Adding beer or some other form of cheap malted alcohol would keep the culture alive, and increase the “quality” and yield of the vinegar. Another fear is that the bacterial “mother” as it is called, contains trace gluten through cross-contamination. Claims that these practices actually take place are unsubstantiated by evidence. Why are Distilled Spirits Still Questioned?That is a good question, I do not know.Take a Short Quiz on this Topic: You bought mustard and pickles at the grocery store. These products contain “distilled vinegar” according to the ingredients labels, and the label does NOT say “contains: wheat.” Are the mustard and pickles gluten-free? Rum, gin, whiskey, and vodka are distilled beverages. If they are not flavored with something that contains wheat (would be declared on the label), rye, or barley (usually in the form of “malt”), are they gluten-free? What is wrong with the following statements (they have all been cut and pasted from various blogs and forums on the topic of celiac disease)?a. “Most alcohols are distilled in such a way that any wheat gluten is no longer present.”b. “Even trace amounts of gluten that make it past the filter system can be harmful.”c. “It seems improbable to me, too, that gliadin could survive the distillation process.” Answers: Yes, unless you have reason to believe otherwise, in which case you should simply avoid them. Yes. 3a. All alcohols, if distilled, have been removed from any type of gluten. 3b. Distillation is nothing like a filtration. We are not separating small from large, there is no filter. Filtration would be like how your coffee pot separates water from the coffee grains. A tear in the filter would result in a big problem, right? Filtration is a separation based on size, distillation is a separation based on volatility. 3c. Do we care whether gliadin (a name given to part of wheat gluten) “survives” the process or not? No, because it has been left behind to stew in its own juices in the distillation pot. Your stuff (the ethanol) has floated away, and entered a new, clean pot. Some people have this idea that we heat the fermented mixture to smithereens and it somehow decomposes the molecules of gluten. Clearly, such a process would be ineffective or else we could simply “cook,” “roast,” “fry,” or “burn” the gluten out of our foods, and we know that we cannot do that.
  2. Celiac.com 11/15/2017 - Quinoa is regarded as safe for people with celiac disease. For many years, some celiac support groups listed quinoa as unsafe due to cross-contamination concerns. But any grain is unsafe for celiacs if it is contaminated with wheat, rye or barley. Some grains have a higher risk of such contamination, others have a low risk. Based on its low risk for cross-contamination, Celiac.com has had quinoa on our safe list since 1995. A vast amount of evidence supports that listing. The latest research shows that celiac patients can safely tolerate up to 50 g of quinoa daily for 6 weeks. The researchers in this test point out that further studies are needed to assess long-term effects of quinoa consumption. In the short-term test, the researchers looked at 19 treated celiac patients who ate 50 g of quinoa every day for 6 weeks as part of their regular gluten-free diet. The team evaluated diet, serology, and gastrointestinal parameters, and made histological assessments of 10 patients, both before and after they consumed quinoa. The results show that celiac patients seem to tolerate quinoa well, and it doesn't trigger any symptoms or cause any gut damage or dysfunction. The team found normal gut structure and mucosa to confirm that assessment. In fact, patients saw a general improvement histological and serological results, so better gut conditions and less blood antibodies to gluten in patients who ate quinoa. Celiac patients who ate quinoa for 6 weeks also experienced a mild reduction in blood pressure. Overall, this is the first clinical study to show that celiac patients can safely tolerate up to 50 g of quinoa daily for 6 weeks. Obviously, future studies need to look at the safety of long-term quinoa consumption. That said, quinoa seems to be safe for celiac patients on a gluten-free diet. If you really want to be sure, quinoa grown in main producer countries of Bolivia, Peru and Ecuador, where practically no wheat is grown, is probably the safest bet for those on a gluten-free diet.
  3. Celiac.com 10/03/2017 - As people eat less processed foods, and more people adopt a gluten-free diet, manufacturers are selling less and less refined wheat flour, less bread, rolls, and cereals. Consumption of wheat is plummeting, and that has the people who grow wheat wondering what to do. Well, one thing wheat growers can do is hire researchers to study the problem in such a way that the logical conclusion is that foods made from refined grains, such as breads, rolls, and cereals, aren’t really that bad after all. And that seems to be what happened with a recent study funded by the Grain Foods Foundation, an industry group. Unsurprisingly, perhaps, the study, published last month in the journal Nutrients, calls things like breads, rolls, tortillas, and ready-to-eat cereals "meaningful contributors" of nutrients like thiamin, folate, iron, zinc, and niacin. The study notes that such foods are also low in added sugars and fats, which is not the case with many grain foods like baked goods. Rather than being independent, both authors of the study work for PR companies that help other companies, including major food and beverage companies, communicate the benefits of their products. While it’s true that many refined grain foods provide these nutrients, there are many other sources. For example, foods like white beans, lentils, spinach, dark chocolate, and tofu provide iron, while oysters, beef, baked beans, yogurt, and chickpeas provide zinc. Is bread bad for people? Mostly not. People with celiac disease need to eat gluten-free, and should probably make an extra effort to eat foods that are nutrient dense. For most folks bread is fine, but as with many foods, not all breads are equal. Look for whole-grain breads that are nutrient dense. Watch out for the added sugar, salt, and fat that come with many processed foods. And don’t be swayed by industry-funded studies that tell you to eat more of the product they are peddling. Read more at: Healthline.com
  4. Celiac.com 05/29/2009 - Quinoa is making a comeback as a "wonder grain." Before going gluten free, most people have never heard of quinoa. But, once you embrace the gluten-free lifestyle, you should learn more about this amazing grain. Quinoa is an ancient grain that has been grown in South America for thousands of years and was called the "gold of the Incas." The grain resembles millet and has a bitter protective saponin coating that protects the grain from being eaten by birds and insects. Today, many companies that sell quinoa in the United States remove the bitter saponins. This allows you to prepare the quinoa without having to rinse it first. Quinoa is gluten-free, high in fiber and a complete protein, meaning it has all nine amino acids. Quinoa also contains high amounts of lysine, manganese, magnesium, iron, copper and phosphorus. Due to quinoa being a complete protein, it is an excellent food choice for the gluten-free vegan. To prepare the quinoa for cooking, either purchase pre-rinsed quinoa or rinse the quinoa in a strainer until the saponins are removed. To cook the quinoa, add one part of the grain to two parts liquid in a saucepan. After the mixture is brought to a boil, reduce the heat to simmer and cover. One cup of quinoa cooked in this method usually takes 15 minutes to prepare. When cooking is complete, you will notice that the grains have become translucent, and the white germ has partially detached itself, appearing like a white-spiraled tail. Serve quinoa as a replacement for rice or couscous. Quinoa is delicious served cold or warm and can be frozen and reheated. It is recommended to prepare the entire box of quinoa and freeze the unused portions for later use. Tuscan Quinoa Salad Recipe Ingredients 2 cups cooked quinoa ¼ cup scallions, chopped 2 cloves garlic,minced 1 box cherry tomatoes, sliced in half ½ cup pine nuts, toasted ½ cup fresh parsley, chopped ½ cup fresh basil, chopped 3 T olive oil juice from half of a lemon kosher salt and pepper to taste To Prepare Prepare quinoa according to recipe on package. Add remaining ingredients to quinoa. Season with salt and pepper to your liking. You may replace oil and lemon juice with Italian dressing. Sources for info on quinoa: Quinoa Corporation Eden Organics Homegrown Harvest
  5. Celiac.com 05/04/2015 - Kansas farmers grow a lot of wheat. People with celiac disease avoid wheat like the plague. Not only are people with celiac disease avoiding wheat, but the vast majority of people who avoid wheat now do so for non-medical reasons. With celiac disease rates on the rise, and millions of non-celiacs now avoiding gluten for non-medical reasons, the gluten-free food industry is worth nearly a billion dollars a year in the U.S. alone. This reality has wheat farmers and researchers scrambling to develop wheat strains and products that are safe for consumption by people who follow gluten-free diets. If the The Kansas Wheat Commission has its way, people with and without celiac disease will eat gluten-free wheat in the future. The Commission is providing $200,000 in seed money to support a project intended to identify every component in wheat’s genetic sequence that might trigger adverse reactions in people with celiac disease. The project is being led by researcher Chris Miller, senior director of research for Engrain, a Kansas company that makes products to enhance the nutrition and appearance of products made by the milling and cereal industry. Understanding the causes of celiac disease and gluten intolerance is the goal of numerous researchers worldwide. Some researchers focus on human diagnosis and treatment, while others work on better understanding the 20 or so wheat protein fragments currently known to cause celiac reactions. But no research team has identified every component in wheat that contributes to adverse reactions in people with celiac disease. No researcher or team has yet bred a variety of wheat that is safe for celiac sufferers to eat. Miller says his team hopes to be "one of the first to establish this comprehensive screening of reactive proteins in wheat." The research began in July at the Wheat Innovation Center in Manhattan, Kansas, and remains in its early stages, with researchers extracting proteins from various varieties of wheat in the Kansas wheat repository that dates back to the 1900s in hopes of finding a variety that might already be low in reactivity for celiac sufferers. Later on, the team intends to combine the proteins with anti-gluten antibodies produced by the human immune system to test for immune reactions. Eventually, researchers hope to develop a gluten-free wheat using traditional breeding methods. What do you think? Will they succeed? Would you eat products made from gluten-free wheat? Read more at AP.
  6. If you're looking for a quality product that can make several different kinds of baked goods including muffins, pancakes, waffles, sweet bread, and brownies you definitely need to get VersaMeal's Whole Grain Gluten-Free Baking Blend. This new product comes in a two pound bag and it does not contain starches, gums or cellulose that are used in most other conventional mixes. I tried the blueberry muffin recipe and they came out moist with a golden crust topping that was delicious! These muffins are great for breakfast or a midnight snack or any time in between. For more information visit: www.versameal.org
  7. Celiac.com 04/04/2014 - Many people looking for gluten-free grains that pack a big punch turn to ancient grains like quinoa, sorghum, and millet. Now, more and more people are expanding that list to include teff, the ancient grain that is a staple in the Ethiopian culture. In fact, in some circles, teff is being called the next rival to quinoa. That may be due in part to the Ethiopian government's campaign to promote teff to western markets. The main selling points are that teff is gluten-free and nutritious, rich in amino acids, protein, iron and calcium. Teff also makes a good substitute for wheat flour in many recipes. These facts, along with plans by the Ethiopian government to double the production of teff by next year could help feed the growing global demand for gluten-free grains. I've known about teff since around the turn of the century. There was, and I think still is, a great little Ethiopian restaurant in town that, with a few days advance notice, would make injera, the spongy traditional bread using pure teff and no wheat. Their food was delicious, and I've remembered teff fondly ever since then. Source: WIKIPEDIA
  8. Celiac.com 11/21/2013 - Gluten-free food manufacturer Against the Grain, of Brattelboro Vermont, has filed a trademark infringement lawsuit against a California company doing business as Against All Grain. Against The Grain Gourmet Foods has filed documents in the U.S. District Court for the District of Vermont asking the court to order Against All Grain to give up all claims to the name. The lawsuit, which was filed on Oct. 11, alleges the use of Against All Grain by the defendants "is likely to cause confusion, to cause mistake, or to deceive and therefore constitutes infringement of Plaintiff's federally registered trademark ..." In the court documents, attorneys for Against The Grain assert that the defendants are using a website and Facebook page and have published a cookbook of gluten-free recipes using their "Against All Grain" marks. The documents filed by Against The Grain further assert that Against All Grain's alleged infringements have devalued Against The Grain's brand and will confuse consumers, some of whom might assume there is a relationship between the two companies. Sound complicated? It is, a bit, and not just for the similarity of names. Want to read a detailed account? Check out this excellent article by Bob Audette for the Brattleboro Reformer, which does a great job of laying out the legal zigs and zags of this particular gluten-free name battle.
  9. From Brian Kuhl (bkuhl@dantec.com) of Dantec Corp. - Waterloo, ON, Canada (Celiac.com 06/12/2000) I work for a company that supplies computerized control equipment to the grain handling industry. I have been in grain elevators across Canada and the US. I have limited experience with flour mills. Virtually all grains and bean crops are contaminated, their is little economic incentive for the elevators to fix this problem as most often a small amount of a less expensive crop is contaminating a more expensive one. I have even seen elevators intentionally contaminate certain high price commodities (i.e. bean crops), though to be fair most of this is removed by cleaning equipment at the mills. And if the allowable limits are exceeded the train-car or transport-truck will be rejected by the mill and sent back to the elevator at a considerable expense. Since all grains are moved by the same equipment and this metal equipment is forever wearing out allowing small amounts of amounts of grain to spill into the holding area for another. Also the same equipment is used to move different grains, it is possible for a truck carrying one grain to dump into the same elevating equipment that was just used to carry another, a certain amount of residue is left in even the most well maintained equipment. As someone with mild wheat intolerance (I have never been tested for celiac), I do not worry about this. The intolerance is not an allergic reaction, the miniscule amounts of gluten I would encounter from this sort of thing is miniscule, and I have never had a symptomatic reaction to any oat product. But I am forever reacting to restaurant food that has been dusted with flour, or potato soups that have been thickened with flour. My worst experience is when I was served cream-of-wheat as oatmeal.
  10. Celiac.com 10/16/2008 - Having gone gluten-free I, like many of you,have been struggling with gluten-free baking challenges. I began withpancakes. My first pancakes, made with a popular mix, were not thelight, fluffy things that I remembered. My son compared them to hockeypucks. They got eaten, but were not a favorite. The next time I tried apopular author's gluten-free pancake recipe. These were a hit, and didnot have the sourness of the popular mix (which were bean-based)! Theauthor's recipe was also based on sorghum flour, so I have becomeconvinced that sorghum holds the greatest potential for gluten-freebaking. I also tried the author's recipe for bread, which is based onher same sorghum flour mix as her pancakes. The bread, however, was adisaster, and it collapsed as soon as it was taken from the pan. Ithink possibly that the problem was that by the time you take hersorghum flour mix, and add the additional potato starch called for inmaking the bread mix, you end up with a mix that is overwhelminglystarch rather than flour. There is actually very little sorghum flourin it by that point. I repeated these problems when trying to use yetanother popular sorghum-based gluten-free bread mix. Meanwhile,in my search for a good sorghum bread recipe I kept coming across ablurb by the Agricultural Research Service to the effect that they haddiscovered that sour dough fermentation improved the quality of sorghumbread. Well, I have never been fond of the sourness of sourdough bread,but I was interested to know that the ARS was trying to find goodrecipes for sorghum bread. Apparently they are convinced, as I am, thatit holds the highest promise for good gluten-free bread. Well,heck, the Agricultural Research Service was my old stomping ground! Fora couple summers during college I worked at the ARS in Beltsville,Maryland, and at least one of them was spent in the Human NuitritionResearch Division. I worked as a biochemical technician. While I wasworking with test tubes and distillation apparatus, the wonderfularomas from the nearby test kitchens would waft by me and I would envythe taste testers. I decided to contact those sorghum researchers whohave been involved in the search for a good gluten-free bread recipe. Iemailed them requesting to know if they had developed any goodnon-sourdough recipes, and I received the following replies (the replyfrom Tilman Schober was particularly valuable): Dear Hallie Davis, Thereare a couple of things which could help you to get the desiredgluten-free sorghum bread. Sourdough is not imperative, it justadditionally helps to stabilize the bread structure. But we know thatmany people object to the flavor. So, besides sourdough, the followingthings may help: 1) Add the hydrocolloid HPMC (hydroxypropyl methylcellulose).It tremendously helps to get a good crumb. It is a food additive, andsome people object to it because they regard it as not natural.However, it is available in a food grade version designed for humanconsumption, and we simply know nothing that works better. Xanthan gum,probably the second best hydrocolloid, is much inferior in gluten-freebread making. There are various slightly different versions of HPMCcommercially available. As US government employees, we cannot endorse aspecific product. However, I would like to let you know that we hadgood success with Methocel K4M, food grade, which is available fromretailers like Ener-G Foods. The larger your bread pan the more likely the bread willcollapse. Try to use small pans, and just bake more loaves. This alsohelps to keep them fresh (just freeze the loaves which you do not eatfresh immediately after cooling). A good pan size might be e.g. 6inches by 2-3 inches and 2-3 inches high. Mix sorghum flour with starch. A recipe that has worked for usis described in the attached article (wHPMC, p. 5138). It is as follows: 105g water, 70 g sorghum flour, 30 g potato starch, 1.75 g salt, 1 gsugar, 2 g dry yeast, and 2 g HPMC. Highest accuracy in weighing theseingredients is not required, but I would prepare a larger amount ofdough (e.g. all ingredients multiplied by 10), so that it is easier toweigh. Mix all dry ingredients first in a large bowl (make sure thatthe HPMC is well mixed with the rest, it tends to form lumps withwater). Then add the water, mix (electric mixer) until a smooth batterresults, and pour (or spoon) the batter in the greased bread pans. Letthe dough rise for about 30-45 min (depends on temperature, observe howit increases in volume) and bake at 355 oF for about 30 min (depends onpan size, you will need to find out for your pan size and oven type). Another source for sorghum recipes you can find here: http://www.twinvalleymills.com/ They sell a celiac disease with recipes (it is copyrighted, so I cannot send it to you). If you have success, we would love to hear about it. If you need further assistance, please let us know. Kind regards Tilman Tilmanthen wrote again, enclosing a copy of the referenced article, andasking that I cite it. The article was published in the "Journal ofAgricultural and Food Chemistry", 2007, 55, 5137-5146, and is entitled,"Gluten-Free Sorghum Bread Improved by Sourdough Fermentation:Biochemical, Rheological, and Microstructural Background." The Authorswere Tilman J. Schober, Scott R. Bean, and Daniel L. Boyle. They areworking in the Manhattan, Kansas Grain Marketing and ProductionResearch Center of the Agricultural Research Center. The otherperson who responded to my inquiry was Scott R. Bean. He sent me anearlier but related article, entitled, "Use of Sorghum Flour in BakeryProducts." This article was published in the "AIB InternationalTechnical Bulletin" in Volume XXVIII, issue 3, May/June 2006. Theauthors here were: T.J. Schober and S.R. Bean, USDA-ARS, GMPRC, Manhattan, KS 66502 E.K. Arendt, University College Cork, Cork, Ireland C. Fenster, Savory Palate Inc., Centennial, CO 80122 This article had the formulas for two sorghum flour blends:Sorghum-Corn Flour Blend and Sorghum-Bean Flour Blend. Furtherreferences for the mixes and also a brownie recipe is given as: Fenster, C. 2004. Wheat-Free Recipes & Menus: Delicious, Healthful Eating for People with Food Sensitivities. New York: Avery (Penguin Group). Arecipe for Sorghum Waffles was also given with a citation, "Recipe byAmy Perry and Meredith Wiking, used with permission fromwww.twinvalleymills.com." So, the ARS, like me, is using recipesby popular authors and Twin Valley Mills as a starting point, and areexperimenting from there.I don't know about you, but I, forone, intend to get the Methocel K4M, food grade, and try using itinstead of guar gum or xanthan gum! I also plan to try the 70-30sorghum mix described today by Dr. Schober. I am TIRED of gummy bread,and collapses!
  11. Gastroenterology, Oct 2003, Vol 125, No 4, p1105-13 Celiac.com 10/30/2003 – It has long been known that celiac disease is caused by T-cell responses to wheat gluten-derived peptides, but the toxicity of other widely consumed grains has not been well studied. The researchers who conducted this study were aimed at determining the toxic T-cell stimulatory properties of barley hordeins, rye secalins, and oat avenins. Except for one instance, they found that there were no identical T-cell stimulatory gluten peptide matches in these grains. There were, however, similar responses found in "11 homologous sequences in hordeins, secalins, and avenins located in regions similar to those in the original gluten proteins," and seven of the 11 peptides were recognized by gluten-specific T-cell lines and/or clones from patients with celiac disease. The team discovered that key amino acids can be substituted, which will either partially or totally stop the T-cell stimulation by the gluten peptides, and that "single nucleotide substitutions in gluten genes will suffice to induce these effects." The researchers conclude: "These results show that the disease-inducing properties of barley and rye can in part be explained by T-cell cross-reactivity against gluten-, secalin-, and hordein-derived peptides. Moreover, the results provide a first step toward a rational strategy for gluten detoxification via targeted mutagenesis at the genetic level."
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