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Alternate Names

Wheat Gluten


A mixture of proteins from wheat mainly comprised of gluten in and gliaden. On its own it is a very thick gelatinous substance that is extracted by making a wheat dough and washing away all the starch. It contributes to the structure and chewiness of bread. During baking of leavened breads it is the gluten network that traps carbon dioxide molecules causing it to rise. It is frequently added as a stabilizing agent in many foods and often makes up the bulk of imitation meat products.

Gluten - Quick Stats

Wheat Gluten

Allergy Information


Dough Conditioner, Nutrient, Thickener, Stabilizer, Texturizer

Additional Information

Gluten is present in wheat, barely and rye. While oats do not contain gluten, a percentage of people with celiac disease are also sensitive to oats. Gluten concentrations over 20 parts per million (ppm) can cause symptoms in sensitive celiac sufferers. In Europe foods must contain less than 20 ppm to be labeled gluten free.

Found In

bread products, imitation meats, ketchup, ice cream, powders, beer, crackers, pasta

Possible Health Effects

Gluten causes damage to the lining of the small intestine for people that have celiac disease (or coeliac disease). This can cause them to become very ill and can cause life threatening complications. Those with a wheat allergy can also be affected by gluten.

Allergy Information

Wheat (Gluten), May be Genetically Engineered or Modified

Researcher Comments

The grade refers to gluten as an additive and not to the naturally occurring gluten found in many grains. When taking into account the large amounts of added gluten in foods (especially baked goods) and the high number of people with gluten sensitivities, gluten should be a D+/C- grade.

Online Resources/Related

Print Resources

Copyright November 13, 2010 Be Food Smart

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