Scientists find a way to make sure your food is really gluten-free

Grains can mean serious trouble for people with gluten allergies. 


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If you’re gluten intolerant, you might be able to breathe (or eat) a little easier. Scientists from Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) have completed the “Grand Slam” of gluten-detection. Now, in addition to detecting specific glutens in three other gluten grains — wheat, barley and oats — they have detected gluten in a less well-studied grain: rye.

The organization said commercial tests can only tell that gluten is present in a food, but not the grain from which it originates. Detection kits currently available can also tell how much gluten is present, CSRIO said in its report.

“Being able to detect any protein in diverse foods and beverages will help food companies ensure that what’s in the pack is what’s on the pack, and help consumers trust pack labelling around gluten-free claims,” professor Michelle Colgrave said in the report.

The CSRIO researchers analyzed 20 varieties of rye from 12 countries. The experiment revealed six proteins that are specific to all rye varieties but don’t appear in other grains. While testing a range of products, the team found that a cereal labeled “gluten free” contained trace amounts of rye, but the ingredient wasn’t listed.

CSRIO said it plans to continue validating the method’s accuracy.


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Shelby Brown

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