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Dough properties and baking performance of einkorn flour

by luciano

The presence or absence of specific proteins, the quantities of gluten proteins and the ratios of gliadins to glutenins or of gluten protein types determine the dough properties and baking performance of flours [1] and these characteristics can be very different, in terms of quality and quantity, according to the accessions.

Highlights from scientific literature:

Einkorn lines may have strongly different contents of protein even under the same growing conditions [2]
Einkorn flours have a relatively high contents of total gliadins when compared to the contents of glutenins. The content of gliadins or glutenins can also doubles between different accessions.
The ratio of gliadins to glutenins it can also triples between different accessions.
The α-gliadins were more abundant than γ-gliadins: they can also be double that of γ-gliadins.
The contents of ω5-gliadins is very hgh for einkorn compared to common wheat. The quantity of ω5-gliadins can also triples between different accessions. In accession ID331 the ω5-gliadins are absent.
In einkorn flours HMW-GS present a very low contents compared to common wheat. HMW-GS proteins can also double between different accessions.
LMW-GS are the protein type most present in the glutenin fractions. LMW-GS proteins can also double down between different accessions.
The influence of the genotype on the proportions of gliadins, glutenins and the different gluten protein types with respect to total protein can be very strong. Gliadins represent the 80-94% of total gluten proteins, glutenins represent the 6-20% of total gluten proteins.
HMWGS, essential for creating the network of gluten polymers [21], are far lower in quantity than common wheat. Their quantity can also be about 4% lower.

These characteristics (strongly affected by the genotype [4]) are decisively reflected on the rheological characteristics, clearly influencing:
• the formation of the dough which has very low stability (dough development time was negatively correlated with the ratio of gliadins to glutenins and positively with the content of glutenins) and a poor ability to rise (due to the weakness of the glutinic network which has a generally very limited ability to expand).
• The final result: loaf form, crumb structure, and bread volume (mainly dependent on the content of HMW glutenins; and not very sensitive to the ratio gliadins to glutenins)

  • However, there are also genotypes with an excellent aptitude for baking (Saponaro et al., 1995; Borghi et al., 1996)

• Einkorn gluten has a high gas retention capacity and a low water retention capacity (D’Egidio et al. 1993)
• Doughs prepared from einkorn flour also exhibit lower mixograph characteristics and are sticky and difficult to handle mechanically (Yamashita et al. 1957)
• Einkorn grain has a very soft texture (Pogna et al. 2002)
• In contrast to common wheat, the bread quality of einkorn flour is not influenced by the content of total gluten proteins, whereas other parameters such as glutenin content and the ratio of gliadins to glutenins are as important as for common wheat [5].

From the “Studies on the protein composition and baking quality of einkorn lines Herbert Wieser · Karl-Josef Mueller · Peter Koehler”
“The absence of a group of γ-gliadins at the beginning of the γ-gliadin elution region was unique for einkorn compared to all other wheat species. “
Questa caratteristica ne permette la classificazione in quattro gruppi, ulteriore sottodivisione è possibile analizzando il numero di ω5-gliadine presenti e le subunità delle glutenine a basso peso molecolare.

1. Kieffer R, Wieser H, Henderson MH, Graveland A (1998) J Cereal Sci 27:53–60
2. Brandolini A, Hidalgo A, Moscaritolo S (2008) J Cereal Sci 47:599–609
3. Wieser H, Bushuk W, MacRitchie F (2006) In: Wrigley C, Bekes F, Bushuk W (eds) Gliadin and glutenin—the unique balance of wheat quality. AACC International, St. Paul, pp 213–240
4. Borghi B, Castagna R, Corbellini M, Heun M, Salamini F (1996) Cereal Chem 73:208–214
5. Abdel-Aal E-SM, Hucl P, Sosulski FW, Bhirud PR (1997) J Cereal Sci 26:363–370

Keywords: einkorn dough properties; einkorn baking performance; gliadins; glutenins; ratio of gliadins to glutenins; α-gliadins; γ-gliadins; ω5-gliadins; einkorn dough development time; einkorn loaf form; einkorn crumb structure, einkorn bread volumes and HMW glutenins; high einkorn gas retention capacity; einkorn low water retention capacity; einkorn handle mechanically difficult; sticky einkorn doughs; einkorn low mixograph characteristics

Coronavirus: from darkness to light

by luciano

A necessary reflection in a moment that will change us all.

The second Italian Renaissance

Italy, all of Europe will not be as it is now after the coronavirus. Not only will the economic-financial vision not be, it cannot be the same but, before that, the collective conscience of society will not be the same. 
The virus is producing significant changes in the perception of the values, society and, above all, in the perception of the economy element as the only regulatory index of people’s lives. 
 Globalization had long since begun to show its macroscopic limits either for commercial interests, for needs of pre-eminence of power, or for difference in the evaluation of the basic value, that constitute 
the foundations of each society, first of all the environment and the concept of freedom. Globalization is now in crisis.
It can be the epochal turning point that allows us to get out of the decadence in which our society is, from the torpor of the pseudo well-being that we achieved in the last twenty years. 
Well-being largely compromised by the expiration of the social values that create the cohesion of a society, make it strong, allow you to move in a single direction and achieve a single purpose 
even if respecting a necessary pluralistic vision.
Now a part of us is facing the primary need of the health emergency and providing all the support for society to overcome these difficult moments. 
It is also time to prepare the projects for the house that we will build past the darkness otherwise when rebirth will be possible we will be unprepared and without tools.
It’s time to imagine the world we would like later, it’s time to give life to the second Italian Renaissance: while our doctors, nurses and all paramedical staff fight to eradicate the virus the best minds we have 
in the economic-financial field and socio-political should begin to implement the project that will allow us to leave immediately after the storm with clear and feasible ideas. 
The project must involve all social partners and citizens: the Italy vessel, now in the storm, must have and follow a new route, motivating both the sailors who govern the ship and the “inhabitants” of the Italy vessel.
The timeliness and effectiveness of the recovery depend on the ability to imagine our future and to foresee the tools necessary to implement it. 
Essential premise for the project to start once the darkness is over and that now and immediately those activities that if “die” will now no longer rise again and in the same way 
support will be created for people who can be “alive” for the rebirth .
The launch of the project will be perceived by citizens as a light indicating a path in the darkness and their involvement will create a “strong sense of belonging”, a prerequisite for a new society 
no longer based solely on money and the self. 
From Italy to all peoples.
Sangiorgio Luciano, Roma Italia


Einkorn and protein composition

by luciano

Presentation of the study of Dt. K.J. Mueller et al. : Studies on the protein composition and baking quality of einkorn lines (2006).
The study analyzes the quantitative and qualitative composition of the proteins of 24 monococcus wheat cultivars. The study is interesting in that it highlighted the possibility of classifying monococcal accessions through the presence of γ gliadins. “The absence of a group of γ-gliadins at the beginning of the γ-gliadin elution region was unique for einkorn compared to all other wheat species. ” This feature allows it to be classified into four groups, further subdivision is possible by analyzing the number of ω5-gliadins present and the subunits of high molecular weight glutenins. In addition, the identification of the individual gluten proteins, their subgroups and the relationship between the components highlights the significant differences with the spelt flour and soft wheat and highlights the characteristics that make the einkorn wheat flour less performing for the production of salted bakery products (bread). More details in: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/226901132_Studies_on_the_protein_composition_and_baking_quality_of_einkorn_lines

Einkor wheat bread 100%: the strength of gluten makes the difference

by luciano

The study aims to evaluate the role of gluten strength of the same genotype (equal genetic imprinting) but with different cultivation on the final volume of bread. Therefore, two loaves were made with two einkorn wheat flours which are completely identical in quantity of ingredients and methods of execution. Both flours used belong to the einkorn genotype type ID331; one (A) grown without any fertilizer or other chemical compounds, the other (B) grown with the supply of nitrogen.
Both loaves were prepared with the same method:
“New Method for making fermented bakery products n. EP 3305078B1: at the bottom of https://glutenlight.eu/en/2019/09/27/einkorn-bread100/”.
The result clearly shows how the strength of gluten (1) played a decisive role in giving bread (B) a higher volume, a more open and regular crumb (Photo NN. 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8).
It is known that the supply of nitrogen contributes to increasing both the quantity and strength of gluten (2). This was a decisive factor for the development of agrotechnics which allowed flour to be produced with better workability from an industrial point of view; the increase in the strength of gluten, however, led in parallel to a less digestible (3) and less tolerable (4) gluten.

Dietary Triggers in Irritable Bowel Syndrome: Is There a Role for Gluten?

by luciano

A very important study that highlights the superimposition of the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome with those generated by the sensitivity to non-celiac gluten, by the ATI and by Fodmaps.

“A tight link exists between dietary factors and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), one of the most common functional syndromes, characterized by abdominal pain/discomfort, bloating and alternating bowel habits. Amongst the variety of foods potentially evoking “food sensitivity”, gluten and other wheat proteins including amylase trypsin inhibitors represent the culprits that recently have drawn the attention of the scientific community. Therefore, a newly emerging condition termed non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS) or nonceliac wheat sensitivity (NCWS) is now well established in the clinical practice. Notably, patients with NCGS/NCWS have symptoms that mimic those present in IBS. The mechanisms by which gluten or other wheat proteins trigger symptoms are poorly understood and the lack of specific biomarkers hampers diagnosis of this condition. The present review aimed at providing an update to physicians and scientists regarding the following main topics: the experimental and clinical evidence on the role of gluten/wheat in IBS; how to diagnose patients with functional symptoms attributable to gluten/wheat sensitivity; the importance of double-blind placebo controlled cross-over trials as confirmatory assays of gluten/wheat sensitivity; and finally, dietary measures for gluten/wheat sensitive patients. The analysis of current evidence proposes that gluten/wheat sensitivity can indeed represent a subset of the broad spectrum of patients with a clinical presentation of IBS. (J Neurogastroenterol Motil 2016;22:547-557). Umberto Volta, Maria Ines Pinto-Sanchez et al.

Extrac from the study:
…..omissis. Experimental Evidence for a Role of Wheat Components in Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Different mechanisms have been proposed to explain how gluten may trigger gastrointestinal symptoms in the absence of celiac disease (Figure).

In vitro studies have demonstrated that digests of gliadin increase the expression of co-stimulatory molecules and the production of proinflammatory cytokines in monocytes and dendritic cells (40,57,58). Certain “toxic” (that only stimulates the innate immune response) gliadin-derived peptides such as the 31-43mer, may evoke epithelial cell dysfunction, increased IL-15 production and enterocyte apoptosis (59). Recent studies have demonstrated increased expression of TLR-2 in the intestinal mucosa of non-celiac compared to celiac patients, suggesting a role of the innate immune system in the pathogenesis of non-celiac reactions to gluten or other wheat components (49). Other studies have shown that monocytes from HLA-DQ2+ non-celiac individuals spontaneously release 2-3 fold more IL-8 than monocytes from HLA-DQ2 negative patients. This suggests that patients without celiac disease (no enteropathy and negative specific serology), but with positive HLA-DQ2 status, may represent a subpopulation reacting mildly to gluten (60). In terms of gut dysfunction, gluten sensitization in mice has been shown to induce acetylcholine release, one of the main excitatory neurotransmitters in the gut, from the myenteric plexus (57).
This correlates with increased smooth muscle contractility and a hypersecretory status with increased ion transport and water movements (57). These functional effects induced by gluten were not accompanied by mucosal atrophy, and were not observed after sensitization with non-gluten proteins. Interestingly gluten-induced gut dysfunction was particularly notable in mice transgenic for the human celiac gene HLA-DQ8 (57).
ATIs, a group of wheat proteins that confer resistance of the grain to pests, are strong inducers of innate immune responses via TLR4 and via the myeloid differentiation factor 88-dependent and -independent pathway (40). This activation occurs both in vitro and in vivo after oral ingestion of purified ATIs or gluten, while gluten-free cereals display no or minimal activities (61). The role of ATIs in IBS is not yet known, however there is clear description of a mechanism that could be involved in the generation of gut dysfunction and symptoms. These mechanisms are different from those proposed for gluten and thus it is conceivable that they could co-exist in given patients or have a synergistic effect.

Improving wheat to remove coeliac epitopes but retain functionality

by luciano

An interesting study that explores the possibilities of obtaining low toxicity grains by investigating the quality, quantity and distribution of the toxic fractions (for celiacs) of whea

“…..omissis. Wheat gluten proteins are traditionally classified into two groups based on their solubility. The gliadins are readily extracted from flour with alcohol:water mixtures, such as 60% (v/v) ethanol or 50% (v/v) propan-1- ol, while the glutenins were traditionally extracted with dilute acid or alkali. However, these fractions contain related proteins and the differences in solubility are determined by their presence as monomers or polymers. Thus, the gliadin fraction comprises mainly proteins which are present as monomers, with small amounts of polymeric components, while the glutenins comprise “subunits” assembled into high molecular mass polymers stabilized principally by inter-chain disulphide bonds. When these disulphide bonds are reduced the monomeric glutenin subunits resemble the gliadins in being soluble in alcohol: water mixtures. Hence, the protein subunits present in both fractions correspond to alcohol-soluble prolamin proteins as defined in the classic studies of Osborne (1924). more in full text”. Improving wheat to remove coeliac epitopes but retain functionality. Peter R. Shewry and Arthur S. Tatham. Journal of Cereal Science 2016 Jan

Extract from the study:
1.2. Wheat gluten protein
1.3. Wheat gluten protein genes and expressed proteins
2.2. Identification of coeliac disease epitopes
2.3. Distribution of coeliac disease epitopes
3.1. Genetic diversity of wheat
3.2. Exploiting genetic diversity in gluten proteins to reduce coeliac toxicity
3.3. Developing coeliac-safe wheat

Wheat genotypes containing minimally harmful gluten sequences

by luciano

“Previous studies have documented that landraces and older wheat varieties contain more diverse gene combinations for prolamins (wheat proteins) in comparison to modern varieties (10, 11). Literature shows variations for specific gene sequences mainly in the epitopic regions of Glia-α9, Glia-α2, Glia-α20, and Glia-α in older landraces (9). In the last decade in the context of CD, the immunogenicity of T-cell specific epitopes has been bought to the forefront (9, 12). The immunogenic potential amongst different hexaploid wheat varieties is variable; hence it is possible that there are breeding-induced differences in the presence and expression of T-cell stimulatory epitopes in modern varieties of wheat (13, 14). This raises the question of, whether there is any specific variety of wheat which is less immunogenic and can be used in breeding programs for developing a wheat genotype completely safe for consumption by patients suffering from CD”.

• The identification of less/non-immunogenic wheat species is an important milestone that could help patients or even prevent CD.
• With the use of gluten-specific T-cells and PBMCs, wheat genotypes containing minimally harmful gluten sequences can be selected.

Adverse Reactions to Wheat or Wheat Components.

by luciano

The research we present is an excellent compendium of current knowledge on non-celiac gluten sensitivity

“Abstract: Wheat is an important staple food globally, providing a significant contribution to daily energy, fiber, and micronutrient intake. Observational evidence for health impacts of consuming more whole grains, among which wheat is a major contributor, points to significant risk reduction for diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and colon cancer. However, specific wheat components may also elicit adverse physical reactions in susceptible individuals such as celiac disease (CD) and wheat allergy (WA). Recently, broad coverage in the popular and social media has suggested that wheat consumption leads to a wide range of adverse health effects. This has motivated many consumers to avoid or reduce their consumption of foods that contain wheat/gluten, despite the absence of diagnosed CD or WA, raising questions about underlying mechanisms and possible nocebo effects. However, recent studies did show that some individuals may suffer from adverse reactions in absence of CD and WA. This condition is called non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS) or non-celiac wheat sensitivity (NCWS). In addition to gluten, wheat and derived products contain many other components which may trigger symptoms, including inhibitors of α-amylase and trypsin (ATIs), lectins, and rapidly fermentable carbohydrates (FODMAPs). Furthermore, the way in which foods are being processed, such as the use of yeast or sourdough fermentation, fermentation time and baking conditions, may also affect the presence and bioactivity of these components. The present review systematically describes the characteristics of wheat-related intolerances, including their etiology, prevalence, the components responsible, diagnosis, and strategies to reduce adverse reactions.

Extract from the study:

Non-Celiac Gluten/Wheat Sensitivity
During recent years a third group of people has been classified who experience symptoms after eating wheat products, but have been diagnosed not to suffer from either WA or CD. Mostly these individuals are self diagnosed wheat intolerant/sensitive. In these individuals, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)-like gastrointestinal symptoms and extra-intestinal complaints occur, which improve on a gluten-free diet. This group of patients is referred to as “non-celiac gluten sensitivity” (NCGS), or the more recently, “non-celiac wheat sensitivity” (NCWS). Di Sabatino emphasizes that NCWS is not a homogeneous disease syndrome (such as CD and WA), but rather a heterogeneous syndrome (Di Sabatino & Corazza, 2012). It is probable that the underlying causes and mechanisms are not the same for all people with NCWS and that reactions may be caused by different components of wheat or grain (products) and involving different host factors. Ludvigsson et al. (2013) defined NCGS as follows: one or more of a variety of immunological, morphological, or symptomatic manifestations that are precipitated by the ingestion of gluten in individuals in whom CD has been excluded. However, despite the word “gluten” in the currently most cited definition “NCGS,” it is far from certain that the gluten is the (main) cause of the symptoms observed. The more recent term “NCWS” was adopted since it was noted that gluten (NCGS) may not be the real cause (Biesiekierski, Peters, et al., 2013; Skodje et al., 2018). For that reason, we will use the term NCWS as most appropriate in the remainder of this article.


by luciano

What are antinutrients?
“Antinutritional or antinutrient compounds are natural or synthetic substances that interfere with the metabolism and absorption of nutrients. They are present both in plant organisms, where they perform structural, reserve or defense functions against any predators, and in animal organisms (e.g. toxins and biological amines present in molluscs or fish, in milk derivatives and in wine). They can also form from degradation, cooking (e.g. heterocyclic amines of cooked meats) or food preservation processes, or be present as environmental, microbial, fungal or xenobiotic contaminants (agrochemicals, hormones, etc.).
Gli antinutrienti possono essere classificati in base all’azione che svolgono:
• riducono la digestione proteica e l’utilizzazione delle proteine (es. inibitori della tripsina e della chimotripsina, lectine o emoagglutinine, composti fenolici, saponine);
• interferiscono con la digestione dei carboidrati (es. inibitori dell’amilasi, composti polifenolici, fattori di flautolenza);
• disturbano la digestione e l’azione dei sali minerali (glicosinolati, acido ossalico, acido fitico, gossipolo);
• inattivano le vitamine o causano un incremento del loro fabbisogno (antivitamine);
• producono un effetto tossico ( es. afla-tosine, nitrati);
• stimolano il sistema immunitario (istamina, antigeni).

Absence of ω-5 gliadin in monococcum wheat (Einkorn)

by luciano

Omega gliadins, especially omega-5 thermostable gliadin, are responsible for wheat-dependent exercise-induced anaphylaxis, WDEIA, which is wheat-dependent exercise-induced anaphylaxis, mainly prevalent among adults.
“Wheat [Triticum aestivum (T.a.)] ingestion can cause a specific allergic reaction, which is called wheat-dependent exercise-induced anaphylaxis (WDEIA). The major allergen involved is ω-5 gliadin, a gluten protein coded by genes located on the B genome. Our aim was to study the immunoreactivity of proteins in Triticum monococcum (einkorn, T.m.), a diploid ancestral wheat lacking B chromosomes, for possible use in the production of hypoallergenic foods. A total of 14 patients with a clear history of WDEIA and specific immunoglobulin E (IgE) to ω-5 gliadin were enrolled. Skin prick test (SPT) with a commercial wheat extract and an in-house T.a. gluten diagnostic solution tested positive for 43 and 100% of the cases, respectively. No reactivity in patients tested with solutions prepared from four T.m. accessions was observed. The immunoblotting of T.m. gluten proteins performed with the sera of patients showed different IgE-binding profiles with respect to T.a., confirming the absence of ω-5 gliadin. A general lower immunoreactivity of T.m. gluten proteins with scarce cross-reactivity to ω-5 gliadin epitopes was assessed by an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Given the absence of reactivity by SPT and the limited cross-reactivity with ω-5 gliadin, T.m. might represent a potential candidate in the production of hypoallergenic bakery products for patients sensitized to ω-5 gliadin. Further analyses need to be carried out regarding its safety”. Study on the Immunoreactivity of Triticum monococcum (Einkorn) Wheat in Patients with Wheat-Dependent Exercise-Induced Anaphylaxis for the Production of Hypoallergenic Foods. Lombardo Cet altri J Agric Food Chem. 2015


What are antinutrients?

by luciano

“Antinutritional or antinutrient compounds are natural or synthetic substances that interfere with the metabolism and absorption of nutrients. They are present both in plant organisms, where they perform structural, reserve or defense functions against any predators, and in animal organisms (e.g. toxins and biological amines present in molluscs or fish, in milk derivatives and in wine). They can also form from degradation, cooking (e.g. heterocyclic amines of cooked meats) or food preservation processes, or be present as environmental, microbial, fungal or xenobiotic contaminants (agrochemicals, hormones, etc.).

Gli antinutrienti possono essere classificati in base all’azione che svolgono:
• riducono la digestione proteica e l’utilizzazione delle proteine (es. inibitori della tripsina e della chimotripsina, lectine o emoagglutinine, composti fenolici, saponine);
• interferiscono con la digestione dei carboidrati (es. inibitori dell’amilasi, composti polifenolici, fattori di flautolenza);
• disturbano la digestione e l’azione dei sali minerali (glicosinolati, acido ossalico, acido fitico, gossipolo);
• inattivano le vitamine o causano un incremento del loro fabbisogno (antivitamine);
• producono un effetto tossico ( es. afla-tosine, nitrati).
• stimolano il sistema immunitario (istamina, antigeni).

Sensitivity to wheat, gluten and FODMAPs in IBS: facts or fiction?

by luciano


IBS is one of the most common types of functional bowel disorder. Increasing attention has been paid to the causative role of food in IBS. Food ingestion precipitates or exacerbates symptoms, such as abdominal pain and bloating in patients with IBS through different hypothesised mechanisms including immune and mast cell activation, mechanoreceptor stimulation and chemosensory activation. Wheat is regarded as one of the most relevant IBS triggers, although which component(s) of this cereal is/are involved remain(s) unknown. Gluten, other wheat proteins, for example, amylase-trypsin inhibitors, and fructans (the latter belonging to fermentable oligo-di-mono-saccharides and polyols (FODMAPs)), have been identified as possible factors for symptom generation/exacerbation. This uncertainty on the true culprit(s) opened a scenario of semantic definitions favoured by the discordant results of double-blind placebo-controlled trials, which have generated various terms ranging from non-coeliac gluten sensitivity to the broader one of non-coeliac wheat or wheat protein sensitivity or, even, FODMAP sensitivity. The role of FODMAPs in eliciting the clinical picture of IBS goes further since these short-chain carbohydrates are found in many other dietary components, including vegetables and fruits. In this review, we assessed current literature in order to unravel whether gluten/wheat/FODMAP sensitivity represent ‘facts’ and not ‘fiction’ in IBS symptoms. This knowledge is expected to promote standardisation in dietary strategies (gluten/wheat-free and low FODMAP) as effective measures for the management of IBS symptoms.

Extract from study:

Wheat is considered one of the foods known to evoke IBS symptoms. However, which component(s) of wheat is/are actually responsible for these clinical effects still remain(s) an unsettled issue. The two parts of wheat that are thought to have a mechanistic effect comprise proteins (primarily, but not exclusively, gluten) and carbohydrates (primarily indigestible short-chain components, FODMAPs). Two distinct views characterise the clinical debate: one line identifies wheat proteins as a precipitating/perpetuating factor leading to symptoms, while the other believes that FODMAPs are the major trigger for IBS.

The controversy over nomenclature
If gluten is a major trigger for IBS, it expands the gluten-related disorders by adding a new entity now referred to as non-coeliac gluten sensitivity (NCGS). Indeed, coeliac disease-like abnormalities were reported in a subgroup of patients with IBS many years ago. A recent expert group of researchers reached unanimous consensus attesting the existence of a syndrome triggered by gluten ingestion. This syndrome recognises a wide spectrum of symptoms and manifestations including an IBS-like phenotype, along with an extra-intestinal phenotype, that is, malaise, fatigue, headache, numbness, mental confusion (‘brain fog’), anxiety, sleep abnormalities, fibromyalgia-like symptoms and skin rash. In addition, other possible clinical features include gastroesophageal reflux disease, aphthous stomatitis, anaemia, depression, asthma and rhinitis. Symptoms or other manifestations occur shortly after gluten consumption and disappear or recur in a few hours (or days) after gluten withdrawal or challenge. A fundamental prerequisite for suspecting NCGS is to rule out all the established gluten/wheat disorders, comprising coeliac disease (CD), gluten ataxia, dermatitis herpetiformis and wheat allergy. The major issue not addressed by the consensus opinion was that gluten is only one protein contained within wheat. Other proteins, such as amylase-trypsin inhibitors (ATIs), are strong activators of innate immune responses in monocytes, macrophages and dendritic cells. Furthermore, wheat germ agglutinin, which has epithelial-damaging and immune effects at very low doses at least in vitro, might also contribute to both intestinal and extraintestinal manifestations of NCGS. Consequently, a further development of this research field led to suggestions of a broader term, non-coeliac wheat sensitivity (NCWS). The problems with this term are twofold. First, rye and barley may be inappropriately excluded. Second, the term will refer to any wheat component that might be causally related to induction of symptoms and, therefore, will also include fructans (FODMAPs). It will then have a very nonspecific connotation in IBS. A more correct term would then be non-coeliac wheat protein sensitivity (NCWPS) since this does not attribute effects to gluten without evidence of such specificity, eliminates the issue of fructan-induced symptoms and avoids the unknown contribution of rye and barley proteins to the symptoms. Both NCGS, the currently accepted term, and NCWPS will be used subsequently in this paper.

Monococcum wheat (einkorn wheat): why it is so important

by luciano

Summary of the main characteristics of the monococcum wheat (einkorn) which give it great potential to be used for the preparation of bakery products but also sweet ones for people who:
1. are genetically predisposed for celiac disease (1) (2) (3) (4) (5),
2. must keep the glycemic index under control (6),
3. are non-celiac gluten sensitive, reintroduce gluten after its exclusion (7),
4. have difficulty digesting gluten (8).
5. are sensitive to ATI -amylase trypsina inhibitors-. (9)
6. Also worthy of note is the high nutritional qualities of monococcus wheat (einkorn) (10)
(1)- Immunogenicity of monococcum wheat in celiac patients
………..omissis. “Conclusions: Our data show that the monococcum lines Monlis and ID331 activate the CD T cell response and suggest that these lines are toxic for celiac patients. However, ID331 is likely to be less effective in inducing CD because of its inability to activate the innate immune pathways”. Immunogenicity of monococcum wheat in celiac patients. Carmen Gianfrani et altri. Am J Clin Nutr 2012;96:1339–45.

(2) ………omissis. “D’altra parte, tenuto conto che l’incidenza e la gravità della celiachia dipende dalla quantità e dalla nocività delle prolamine e che alcuni genotipi di grano monococco hanno una elevata qualità panificatoria accoppiata con assenza di citotossicità e ridotta immunogenicità, è atteso che l’uso delle farine di monococco nella dieta della popolazione generale, all’interno della quale si trova una elevata percentuale di individui predisposti geneticamente alla celiachia ma non ancora celiaci, possa contribuire a contenere la diffusione di questa forma di intolleranza alimentare. Ciò lascia pensare che il grano monococco, riportato recentemente in coltivazione in Italia dai ricercatori del Consiglio per la Ricerca e la sperimentazione in Agricoltura (CRA) di Roma e San Angelo Lodigiano, potrà svolgere un ruolo importante nella prevenzione della celiachia, sia direttamente sotto forma di pane e pasta sia indirettamente come specie modello per lo studio del ruolo dell’immunità innata nell’insorgenza della celiachia”. Le nuove frontiere delle tecnologie alimentari e la celiachia Norberto Pogna, Laura Gazza (2013).

(3)-Extensive in vitro gastrointestinal digestion markedly reduces the immune-toxicity of Triticum monococcum wheat: Implication for celiac disease
Carmen Gianfrani, Alessandra Camarca, Giuseppe Mazzarella, Luigia Di Stasio, Nicola Giardullo, Pasquale Ferranti, Gianluca Picariello, Vera Rotondi Aufiero, Stefania Picascia, Riccardo Troncone, Norberto Pogna, Salvatore Auricchio
and Gianfranco Mamone. Mol. Nutr. Food Res. 2015, 00, 1–11
Scope: The ancient diploid Triticum monococcum is of special interest as a candidate low-toxic wheat species for celiac disease patients. Here, we investigated how an in vitro gastro-intestinal digestion, affected the immune toxic properties of gliadin from diploid compared to hexaploid wheat.
Method and results: Gliadins from Triticum monococcum, and Triticum aestivum cultivars were digested using either a partial proteolysis with pepsin-chymotrypsin, or an extensive degradation that used gastrointestinal enzymes including the brush border membrane enzymes. The immune stimulatory properties of the digested samples were investigated on T-cell lines and jejunal biopsies from celiac disease patients. The T-cell response profile to the Triticum mono coccum gliadin was comparable to that obtained with Triticum aestivum gliadin after the partial pepsin-chymotrypsin digestion. In contrast, the extensive gastrointestinal hydrolysis drastically reduced the immune stimulatory properties of Triticum monococcum gliadin. MS-based analy- sis showed that several Triticum monococcum peptides, including known T-cell epitopes, were degraded during the gastrointestinal treatment, whereas many of Triticum aestivum gliadin survived the gastrointestinal digestion.
Conclusion: he pattern of Triticum monococcum gliadin proteins is sufficiently different from those of common hexaploid wheat to determine a lower toxicity in celiac disease patients following in vitro simulation of human digestion.

The Effect of Digestion and Digestibility on Allergenicity of Food(second part)

by luciano

From the chapter: “Digestion of Proteins: Gastric Acid is Critical for Adequate Protein Digestion and Prevention of Food Allergy
Digestion of proteins -and therefore most food allergens- is initiated in the stomach. A low pH is essential for the inactive enzyme pepsinogen to get activated into pepsin [92]. However, if acid-suppressing drugs are given, the pH increases considerably (e.g., up to 5 with proton pump inhibitors, PPI). As shown in many previous in vitro experiments, the proper digestion by pepsin is hindered when the pH is increased (Figure 1), and this is true for a number of food proteins, like hazelnut[93], codfish [94], milk [95], and casein (Figure 1).

(A) Digestion of proteins is hampered when pH increases. Proteins, as part of the daily diet, are digested at low pH and broken down into smaller fragments, whereas a higher pH blocks proper digestion. The resulting bigger fragments or proteins are more easily recognized by the immune system, leading to an increased risk for sensitization or allergic reactions. (B) Digestion of α-casein in vitro is hampered when pH increases. Casein was readily broken down by enzymatic digestion with pepsin at pH 2.0, but remained totally intact even after 2 h of incubation with enzyme at pH 5.0. M: molecular weight marker; -: empty lane; P: pepsin; 0: no incubation time, reaction stopped immediately; “: seconds; ‘: minutes; h: hour(s); Cas: casein.
It is clear that food intake per se changes the gastric pH, which can increase from a median fasting baseline value of pH 1 to pH 4.5 with ingestion of the meal [96]. The buffer capacity thereby depends on the food composition and meal constituents. However, this effect is transient, as ongoing acid production is responsible for a subsequent decrease of the pH, which returns to ca. pH 1 about 260 min after the start of the meal [96]. Applying acid-suppressing substances can disturb this process and induce a long-lasting elevation of the gastric pH up to 5.0 [97]. In a number of food animal models, the effect of this pH-elevation was shown in vivo, as feeding digestion-labile antigen under concomitant acid-suppression resulted in a clear Th2-response and allergy symptoms [98,99,100,101,102,103,104]. This acquired sensitization capacity was true for different proteins, like codfish, hazelnut or ovalbumin, and even oral drugs, in the mouse model [99] and also in humans [105]. Importantly, several types of acid-suppressing or -neutralizing medication, like base powder [106], sucralfate [102], H2-receptor blockers [107] and proton pump inhibitors [101] produced this effect. The outcome of the immune response may depend on timing of the anti-acid drug application in relation to food uptake, and on the dosage of the antigen [101,108]. Gastric acid suppression might further impact on intestinal pH levels and consequently on protein digestion in the intestine [109]. This assumption, however, requires further investigations in clinical settings.” “The Effect of Digestion and Digestibility on Allergenicity of Food Isabella Pali-Scholl, Eva Untersmayr, Martina Klems and Erika Jensen-Jarolim. Published: 21 August 2018 Nutrients.”

The effect of digestion and digestibily on allergenicity of food (First part)


The Effect of Digestion and Digestibility on Allergenicity of Food

The Effect of Digestion and Digestibility on Allergenicity of Food (first part)

by luciano

“Abstract: Food allergy prevalence numbers are still on the rise. Apart from environmental influences, dietary habits, food availability and life-style factors, medication could also play a role. For immune tolerance of food, several contributing factors ensure that dietary compounds are immunologically ignored and serve only as source for energy and nutrient supply. Functional digestion along the gastrointestinal tract is essential for the molecular breakdown and a prerequisite for appropriate uptake in the intestine. Digestion and digestibility of carbohydrates and proteins thus critically affect the risk of food allergy development. In this review, we highlight the influence of amylases, gastric acid- and trypsin-inhibitors, as well as of food processing in the context of food allergenicity.
Omissis…..Furthermore, digestion and digestibility could determine whether food proteins are tolerated or become sensitizing agents. This aspect has therefore even been taken up by the European Food Safety Agency in their scientific opinion about evaluation of allergenicity of food and feed proteins. Higher resistance to digestion or survival along the digestive tract seems to increase the sensitization capacity of a food component and renders it more immunogenic and/or allergenic. Based on this scientific background, the present review article highlights factors influencing protein digestion and digestibility.

From the study:

Digestion of Carbohydrates: Amylase Action Critical for Starch Digestion and Microbiome

……..Omissis. Starch is digested by specific enzymes, i.e., amylases, which cleave the α-1,4-glucosidic bond of its major compound amylose, as well as the α-1,6-glucosidic bond of the second major constituent, amylopectin [15].

….. Omissis. In humans, α-amylase is a product of the exocrine pancreas. Animal models suggest that microbial amylases could be supplied in pancreas insufficiency [18]. It is not known whether this will be linked to a risk for sensitization, but α-amylase per se when inhaled is a well-known occupational allergen. In baker’s asthma associated with the flour processing industry, allergenic amylase derives from contaminating fungi [19]. In mammals, amylase is also secreted into the saliva. Its role in starch digestion has been questioned due to its low amount relative to the overall amylase activity [20]. However, in vitro studies strongly propose that salivary amylolytic activity hydrolyzes up to 80% of bread starch in the first 30 min of gastric digestion, independent of acidification by the gastric juices [21]. This critically affects the quality of remnants reaching the intestine, which will affect the composition of the microflora (discussed below).

………Omissis. The amylase action on rapidly digestible starch (RDS) renders smaller products, like disaccharides and trisaccharides [25]. These are then further hydrolyzed to glucose by other enzymes, such as α-glucosidase in the small intestine [26]. However, both amylase and α-glucosidase may act synergistically. Some compounds represent slow-digestible starch (SDS), or resistant starch (RS) as larger leftovers, which persist the gastrointestinal transit to a large degree. Usually, resulting levels of malto-oligosaccharide indicate the degree of granular starch breakdown. The starch breakdown by amylases is largely influenced by the composition of the food processing and matrix composition. Cooking has been shown to enhance the amylase breakdown of starch [27], which also depended on the individual α-amylase activity. Flavonoids are important plant constituents, which interfere with amylase activity by hydrophobic interaction in the food matrix or by formation of covalent bonds during cooking or in gastric juice, and therefore impair starch digestion [28]. This opens up potential intervention strategies in diabetic patients to decrease the fermentation speed of starch and thereby inhibit an undesired fast release of glucose. Starch may also form complexes with lipids in the food matrix, e.g., complex formation with palm oil interfered with the digestion of rice starches [29]. Interestingly, some fresh food may neutralize amylases by proteolysis. Kiwi contains actinidin, a cysteine proteinase, which specifically attacks amylase and thereby may inhibit starch digestion [30]. This may affect the presentation of allergenic epitopes in the food matrix. Amylase in the duodenum also plays a key role in the breakdown of gluten and may therefore modulate its pathophysiologic role in celiac disease [31]. While starch forms complexes with gluten during baking of bread, amylase resolves them and makes gluten accessible for thorough protein digestion. Wheat on the other hand contains anti-enzymes, such as the ATIs (amylase-trypsin inhibitors) with a role in non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS) [32]. Nutritional ATIs additionally stimulate the innate immune reaction via TLR4 [32] and thereby exacerbate allergic inflammation not only in the intestine, but also in the airways in mouse models [33,34]. It is hypothesized that industrial food processing contributes to the increased numbers of non-celiac gluten/wheat sensitivity by stabilizing e.g., starch-gluten complexes, thereby bypassing the salivary and pancreatic enzymes, leaving the digestion to mucosal amylases [35]”. “The Effect of Digestion and Digestibility on Allergenicity of Food Isabella Pali-Scholl, Eva Untersmayr, Martina Klems and Erika Jensen-Jarolim. Published: 21 August 2018 Nutrients.”

FODMAPs: food composition, defining cutoff values and international application

by luciano

The low-FODMAP diet is a new dietary therapy for the management of irritable bowel syndrome that is gaining in popularity around the world. Developing the low-FODMAP diet required not only extensive food composition data but also the establishment of “cutoff values” to classify foods as low-FODMAP. These cutoff values relate to each particular FODMAP present in a food, including oligosaccharides (fructans and galacto- oligosaccharides), sugar polyols (mannitol and sorbitol), lactose, and fructose in excess of glucose. Cutoff values were derived by considering the FODMAP levels in typical serving sizes of foods that commonly trigger symptoms in individuals with irritable bowel syndrome, as well as foods that were generally well tolerated. The reliability of these FODMAP cutoff values has been tested in a number of dietary studies. The development of the techniques to quantify the FODMAP content of foods has greatly advanced our understanding of food composition. FODMAP composition is affected by food processing techniques and ingredient selection. In the USA, the use of high-fructose corn syrups may contribute to the higher FODMAP levels detected (via excess fructose) in some processed foods. Because food processing techniques and ingredients can vary between countries, more comprehensive food composition data are needed for this diet to be more easily implemented internationally.

Extrat from the study:
A – “ omissis The Monash University Department of Gastroenterology has performed extensive work for over 10 years to quantify the FODMAP composition of hundreds of foods. Foods tested for FODMAP content represent a range of categories, including fruit and vegetables; grains, cereals, pulses, nuts, and seeds; dairy products and dairy free alternatives; meat, fish, poultry, and eggs; fats and oils; beverages; and condiments and confectionary. Some of these data have been published previously (12 -14) and are summarized in Figs 1 and 2. With growing international interest in the low-FODMAP diet, our program of FODMAP food analysis is expanding to include more international foods. This paper will dis- cuss the criteria for classifying food as low in FODMAPs and the challenges encountered in analysing food for FODMAP content.

Bakary products and gluten-free

by luciano

The main problem of gluten-free products is to create a protein network within the flour proteins so that final products met the consumer’s expectations concerning texture and appearance of the fresh bread.
To achieve this purpose they are used:

1. hydrocolloids for building an internal network able to hold the structure of fermented products;
2. different crosslinking enzymes such as glucose oxidase (1), transglutaminase and laccase to create a protein network within the flour proteins.

A – Extract from: “Gluten-Free Products for Celiac Susceptible People. Sweta Rai, Amarjeet Kaur and C. S. Chopra. “

The formulation of gluten-free bakery products is still a challenge to both for cereal-cum-baking technologists. Replacing gluten functionality has been a challenge for food technologists. The absence of gluten leads to weak cohesion and elastic doughs which results in a crumbling texture, poor color, and low specific volume in bread. Hence, during the last few years, numerous studies have been attempted for improving the physical properties of gluten-free foods, especially baked and fermented foods, by utilizing the interaction of the many ingredients and additives which could mimic the property of gluten (28). Approaches proposed for obtaining gluten-free baked foods include the utilization of different naturally gluten-free flours (rice, maize, sorghum, soy, buckwheat) and starches (maize, potato, cassava, rice), dairy ingredients (caseinate, skim milk powder, dry milk, whey), gums and hydrocolloids (guar and xanthan gums, alginate, carrageenan, hydroxypropyl methylcellulose, carboxymethyl cellulose), emulsifiers (DATEM, SSL, lecithins), non-gluten proteins from milk, eggs, legumes and pulses, enzymes (cyclodextrin glycosyl tranferases, transglutaminase, proteases, glucose oxidase, laccase), and non-starch polysaccharides (inulin, galactooligosaccharides) (Table 1). Strengthening additives or processing aids has been fundamental for miming gluten’s iscoelastic properties (93), where mainly hydrocolloids have been used for building an internal network able to hold the structure of fermented products. Simultaneously with the same intention, different crosslinking enzymes such as glucose oxidase, transglutaminase, and laccase have been used to create a protein network within the flour proteins (94). However, the success of gluten-free products relied on the type of effect of the enzymes as gluten-free processing aids, type of flour, enzyme source, and level. Generally, the combinations of ingredients and the optimization of the breadmaking process have resolved the technological problems, yielding gluten-free products that met the consumer’s expectations concerning texture and appearance of the fresh bread (95).

Sourdough lactic acid bacteria and products for Celiac Susceptible People

by luciano

The lactic acid bacteria present in the sourdough have been shown to have significant abilities to hydrolyze gluten proteins; some strains of lactic bacteria used with specific temperatures, times and concentrations can also hydrolyse the peptides most resistant to gastro-intestinal digestion. Baked products made with sourdough can therefore be considered an excellent opportunity and a valid choice for people genetically predisposed to celiac disease.

Extract from the study “ Gluten-Free Products for Celiac Susceptible People”:
A – “ omissis…… The 33-mer peptide from α2-gliadin (amino acid sequence positions 56–88, LQLQPFPQPQLPYPQPQLPYPQPQLPYPQPQPF) contains three overlapping T-cell epitopes (3 × PQPQLPYPQ, 2 × PYPQPQLPY and PFPQPQLPY) for CD sensitive individuals. The human gastrointestinal enzymes pepsin, trypsin, and chymotrypsin were unable to hydrolyze the 33-mer peptide due to their inability to cleave before or after proline or glutamine, leaving the epitopes intact. Comparatively, large CD immunogenic peptides (≥9 amino acid residues) reach the small intestine (11) after crossing through the epithelial barrier and initiate immunogenic cascade in the lamina propria.

B – “omissis …Wheat flours modified to eliminate or reduce the immune toxicity of gluten have been used to prepare pasta and baked products. The large peptides of gluten need to be modified/converted into peptides of <9 amino acid residues to minimize the CD-induced immunoreactivity. This has been achieved through numerous approaches, including exogenous enzyme treatment, use of sourdough/lactic acid bacteria, use of genetically modified wheat, etc.”

C – “ omissis…The sourdough was prepared by fermenting flour with naturally occurring lactic acid bacteria (LAB) and yeasts. In the mature sourdoughs, the lactic acid bacteria were higher in number (> 10cfu/g) than the number of yeasts. Type I sourdough has a final pH of 4.0 at room temperature (20–30C) and is manufactured by continuous daily refreshments with the aim to maintain the microorganisms in an active state. It takes 2–5 (>30C) days of fermentation for developing type II sourdough as an acidifier with a pH that is <3.5 after 24 h of fermentation (131). The microorganisms were used in the late stationary phase of growth and exhibited restricted metabolic activity. The type III sourdough, as an acidifier supplement and aroma carrier in bread making, is a dried powder used for fermentation by certain starter cultures. A few reports are available about the use of sourdough for the preparation of gluten-free bread (84, 85). In one study it was reported that food processing by selected sourdough lactobacilli and fungal proteases may be considered an efficient approach for eliminating gluten toxicity, reducing the gluten level below 12 ppm (119). Further, sourdough fermentation, usually with a mixture of lactic acid bacteria (LAB) and yeasts, is traditionally used to produce leavened bread, especially from rye flour. Lactobacillus sp. are predominant among lactic acid bacteria (LAB) and they produce numerous mixed proteolytic enzymes, including metalloendopeptidases, such as PepO and PepF; aminopeptidases, such as PepN and PepC; dipeptidases, such as PepD; and dipeptidyl and tripeptidylpeptidases, such as the proline-specific Xaa-Pro dipeptidyl-peptidase (PepX) (132). The combination of wheat germination and sourdough fermentation with Lactobacillus brevis L62 extensively hydrolyzed wheat prolamin down to <5% of the initial content (133). A cell-free extract of two LABs, L. plantarum and Pediococcus pentosaceus, had a higher gliadin-degrading capacity (83%) in doughs than the corresponding cell suspension (70%), and complete gliadin degradation without using live LAB may be optimized (134). High molecular weight polymers, namely exopolysaccharides, are produced by lactic acid bacteria in presence of sucrose that mimics physiochemical properties of commercial hydrocolloids or gums, such as the ability to form a network and bind water. It counteracts the negative effects of excessive sourdough acidification and enhances loaf volume, shelf-life, the staling rate, and textural properties of products (129).”

Gluten-Free Products for Celiac Susceptible People. Sweta Rai, Amarjeet Kaur and C. S. Chopra. Front. Nutriens 17 december 2018.

ATI (Amylase/trypsin-inhibitors) First part

by luciano

Amylase/trypsin-inhibitors (ATIs) are putative triggers of non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS), but contents of ATIs in different wheat species were not available. Therefore, the predominant ATIs 0.19+0.53, 0.28, CM2, CM3 and CM16 in eight cultivars each of common wheat, durum wheat, spelt, emmer and einkorn grown under the same environmental conditions were quantitated by targeted liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) and stable isotope dilution assays (SIDA) using specific marker peptides as internal standards. The results were compared to a label-free untargeted LC-MS/MS analysis, in which protein concentrations were determined by intensity based absolute quantitation (iBAQ). Both approaches yielded similar results. Spelt and emmer had higher ATI contents than common wheat, with durum wheat in between. Only three of eight einkorn cultivars contained ATIs in very low concentrations. The distribution of ATI types was characteristic for hexaploid, tetraploid and diploid wheat species and suitable as species-specific fingerprint. The results point to a better tolerability of einkorn for NCGS patients, because of very low total ATI contents. Targeted LC-MS/MS Reveals Similar Contents of α-Amylase/Trypsin-Inhibitors as Putative Triggers of Nonceliac Gluten Sensitivity in All Wheat Species except Einkorn.
Article in Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 66(46) · October 2018. Sabrina Geisslitz, Christina Ludwing, Katharina Scherf (Technische Universität München Munich, Bayern, Germany).

Reintrodution gluten after after some period on a gluten-free diet for NCGS (non celiac gluten sensivity)

by luciano

“Once the diagnosis of NCGS is reasonably reached, the management and follow-up of patients is completely obscure. A logical approach is to undertake a gluten-free dietary regimen for a limited period (e.g., six months), followed by the gradual reintroduction of gluten. During the gluten-free diet, the ingestion of prolamine peptide (gliadin)-derived from wheat, rye, barley, oats, bulgur, and hybrids of these cereal grains-should be avoided. Rice, corn, and potatoes have been the typical substitutes, but nowadays other different cereals and pseudocereals, such as amaranth, buckwheat, manioc, fonio, teff, millet, quinoa, and sorghum, can be used. After some period on a gluten-free diet, the reintroduction of gluten can start with cereals of low gluten content (e.g., oats). In addition, einkorn farro (Triticum monococcum) can be used, having no direct in vitro or ex vivo toxicity and low (7%) gluten content[41]”. (Non-celiac gluten sensitivity: Time for sifting the grain. Luca Elli, Leda Roncoroni, and Maria Teresa Bardella. Copyright ©The Author(s) 2015. Published by Baishideng Publishing Group Inc. All rights reserved).

Prevention of CD (celiac disease): diet with grain with reduced amount of major T-cell stimulatory epitopes.

by luciano

Scientific research has several times supported and encouraged the use of grains with low toxicity in the prevention of celiac disease; in the research we are now presenting, some grains have been studied highlighting their profile regarding both the presence of peptides resistant to gastro-intestinal digestion and, among these, those containing the “toxic” fraction (table 3)  “ ….omissis Even if none of them can be considered safe for CD patients, grain with reduced amount of major T-cell stimulatory epitopes may help in the prevention of CD, since previous studies demonstrated that the amount and duration to gluten exposure are strictly linked to the initiation of this pathology.” (A Comprehensive Peptidomic Approach to Characterize the Protein Profile of Selected Durum Wheat Genotypes: Implication for Coeliac Disease and Wheat Allergy.Rosa Pilolli , Agata Gadaleta, Luigia Di Stasio , Antonella Lamonaca, Elisabetta De Angelis , Domenica Nigro , Maria De Angelis , Gianfranco Mamone and Linda Monac. Published: 1 October 2019).

The wheat varietal selection undertaken by breeders in recent decades has tailored mainly to improve technological and productivity-related traits; however, the latter has resulted in a considerable impoverishment of the genetic diversity of wheat-based products available on the market. This pitfall has encouraged researchers to revalue the natural diversity of cultivated and non-cultivated wheat genotypes in light of their different toxic/immunogenic potential for celiac disease and wheat-allergic patients. In the present investigation, an advanced proteomic approach was designed for the global characterization of the protein profile of selected tetraploid wheat genotypes (Triticum turgidum). The approach combined proteins/peptides sequence information retrieved by specific enzymatic digestions (single and dual proteolytic enzymes) with protein digestibility information disclosed by means of in-vitro simulated human gastroduodenal digestion experiments. In both cases, the peptide pools were characterized by discovery analysis with liquid chromatography high-resolution tandem mass spectrometry, and specific amino acid sequences were identified via commercial software. The peptide list was screened for in silico toxicity/immunogenicity risk assessment, with the aid of various open-source bioinformatics tools for epitopes matching. Given the global information provided by the designed proteomic approach, the in silico risk assessment not only tackled toxicity implication for celiac disease patients, but also scouted for immunogenic sequences relevant for wheat allergic patients, achieving a comprehensive characterization of the protein profile of the selected genotypes. These latter were assessed to encrypt a variable number of toxic/immunogenic epitopes for celiac disease and wheat allergy, and as such they could represent convenient bases for breeding practices and for the development of new detoxification strategies.

Characterization of a collection of durum wheat landraces from Sicily, using single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) markers (provide a genetic fringeprint very usefull for avoiding commercial frauds).

by luciano

Abstract: During the XX Century, the widespread use of modern wheat cultivars drastically reduced the cultivation of ancient landraces, which nowadays are confined to niche cultivation areas. Several durum wheat landraces adapted to the extreme environments of the Mediterranean region, are still being cultivated in Sicily, Italy. Detailed knowledge of the genetic diversity of this germplasm could lay the basis for their efficient management in breeding programs, for a wide-range range of traits. The aim of the present study was to characterize a collection of durum wheat landraces from Sicily, using single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) markers, together with agro-morphological, phenological and quality-related traits. Two modern cv. Simeto, Claudio, and the hexaploid landrace, Cuccitta, were used as outgroups. Cluster analysis and Principal Coordinates Analysis (PCoA) allowed us to identify four main clusters across the analyzed germplasm, among which a cluster included only historical and modern varieties. Likewise, structure analysis was able to distinguish the ancient varieties from the others, grouping the entries in seven cryptic genetic clusters. Furthermore, a Principal Component Analysis (PCA) was able to separate the modern testers from the ancient germplasm. This approach was useful to classify and evaluate Sicilian ancient wheat germplasm, supporting their safeguard and providing a genetic fingerprint that is necessary for avoiding commercial frauds to sustaining the economic profits of farmers resorting to landraces cultivation. (High-Throughput Genotype, Morphology, and Quality Traits Evaluation for the Assessment of Genetic Diversity of Wheat Landraces from Sicily. Maria Carola Fiore , Francesco Mercati, Alfio Spina, Sebastiano Blangiforti, Gianfranco Venora, Matteo Dell’Acqua, Antonio Lupini, Giovanni Preiti , Michele Monti, Mario Enrico Pè and Francesco Sunseri. 30 aprile 2019.)

Table 1
List of grains examined

Table 2
Characteristics of the grains examined

Gluten: amino acids, digestion, toxic peptides

by luciano

Gliadin and Glutenin
They are the wheat proteins (gliadin, soluble in alcohol and glutenin, insoluble in alcohol) and are composed of amino acid chains (1). Gliadin is made up of the union of about 100-200 amino acids (the main cause of celiac disease), and glutenin, consisting of a combination of about 2,000-20,000 amino acids. The covalent bond that unites two amino acids also takes the name in biochemistry of “peptide bond”. A chain of multiple amino acids linked through peptide bonds takes the generic name of peptide or polypeptide or oligopeptide if the number of amino acids involved is limited; one or more polypeptides, sometimes accompanied by other auxiliary structures or ions called cofactors or prosthetic groups, constitute a protein. amino-acids (or amminoacids) are the primary structural unit of proteins. We can therefore imagine the amino acids as bricks that, united by a glue called peptide bond, form a long sequence that gives rise to a protein. Alcohol soluble cereal proteins are called: prolamines.

The wheat prolamine is gliadin, that of barley is hordein; that of rye is secaline, that of avena is avenin. The different types of prolamins contain different amino-acids and the higher the content of proline and glutamine (which are some of the amino-acids that compose it) the more the prolamine, and therefore the peptides of that cereal will be toxic (2) for the affected patient from celiac disease. The highest levels of proline and glutamine are in wheat, barley and rye. Also glutenins have some toxic sequences for celiacs but they appear to be much less active in soliciting the adverse response of the humanitarian system of man.

Scouting for Naturally Low-Toxicity Wheat Genotypes by a Multidisciplinary Approach

by luciano

It is the first study focused on the search for grains “naturally” with low toxicity to obtain gluten-free products without affecting the rheological properties of wheat. It is emphasized in the study as “In the last decade, the ingestion of wheat has been associated with clinical disorders, such as celiac disease (CD),wheat allergy (WA) and non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS), which are becoming epidemiologically more and more relevant with an estimated global prevalence of about 5%. The trigger factor eliciting CD and WA are largely investigated, while on the contrary the pathophysiology of NCGS is still poorly understood.” The sensitivity to non-celiac gluten, although not completely defined, is however also related to gluten and its toxic fractions (1) (2) (3).
Scientific research has, for some time, emphasized the importance of “decreasing the exposure of gluten to genetically predisposed people” and one way to do this is also to introduce products made with grains with low toxicity into the diet (research concerning ID331 einkorn wheat, considered among the most digestible and the most tolerable, has long underlined this aspect).

Scouting for Naturally Low-Toxicity Wheat Genotypes by a Multidisciplinary Approach. Rosa Pilolli , Agata Gadaleta, Gianfranco Mamone, Domenica Nigro, Elisabetta De Angelis, Nicola Montemurro & Linda Monaci. Scientific Reports Gennaio 2019).

(1) – Time for sifting the grain (2015). Luca Elli, Leda Roncoroni, and Maria Teresa Bardella. World J Gastroenterol. 2015 Jul 21; 21(27): 8221–8226. PMCID: PMC4507091 Published online 2015 Jul 21.

(2) – Differentiation between Celiac Disease,
 Nonceliac Gluten Sensitivity, and their overlapping with Crohn’s disease: A case series. Aristo Vojdani and David Perlmutter. Decemder 2012.

(3) – Gluten Immunogenic Peptides as Standard for the Evaluation of Potential Harmful Prolamin Content in Food and Human Specimen. Ángel Cebolla, María de Lourdes Moreno, Laura Coto, Carolina Sousa. Nutriens 5 December 2018.

AVIPROFO – Ancient Varieties for the Innovation of Baked Products

by luciano

It is an interesting project concerning the use of ancient grains being implemented by the Department of Agriculture of the University of Sassari in collaboration with Porto Conte Ricerche. Sardinia – Italy. Fourteen Sardinian companies are experimentally producing and marketing different types of bread and biscuits, pizzas, made with two ancient Sardinian grains (durum wheat “Trigu Murru”; soft wheat “Trigu Cossu”). The main aim of the AVIPROFO project is to create a supply chain between those who produce the raw material and those who transform it, including marketing.
Project presentation The project addresses the critical issues manifested by companies in the sector: a -difficulty of innovation of traditional bakery products b- technological problems deriving from the use of local raw materials c – poor availability of raw materials produced in Sardinia. The whey from sheep’s milk powder, the result of the recovery of a by-product of the dairy industry, will be used for the characteristics of the whey-proteins provided to give structure to the gluten network of the dough, while the sourdough got the job, in addition to making the dough rise far, it hydrolyzes the lactose contained in the whey powder, by the lactic acid bacteria contained within it. The degradation of lactose in the dough will prevent the intolerant subjects from consuming these products on the label. The general objective of the project is to improve the production of durum wheat and soft wheat flour from old Sardinian varieties for the production of bakery products according to modern production technologies, with the help of an improver (sheep’s milk whey in powder) and natural yeast technology.

Responsabile scientifico: Antonio Piga

Sardegna Ricerche: Graziana Frogheri

Related documents
Project card

Mutually stimulating interactions between lactic acid bacteria and Saccharomyces cerevisiae in sourdough fermentation

by luciano

“Interactions between microorganisms are key to their performance in food habitats. Improved understanding of these interactions supports rational improvement of food fermentations. This study aimed at identifying inter- actions between lactic acid bacteria and yeast during sourdough fermentation. Therefore, the lactic acid bacteria Lactobacillus plantarum and Lactobacillus sanfranciscensis were co-cultured with the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae in a newly developed medium, as well as in situ in a sourdough-like environment. L. sanfranciscensis was found to be stimulated by a secreted factor of S. cerevisiae in any tested in vitro situation, whereas L. plantarum and S. cerevisiae stimulated each other only in the presence of glucose, fructose and lactose as carbon source, but not with galactose, maltose, sucrose and starch. Moreover, it was demonstrated that L. sanfranciscensis is stimulated by CO2 and another yet to be identified factor produced by yeast in a sourdough-like environment. In conclusion, S. cerevisiae produces growth factors stimulatory to lactic bacteria. The nature and the efficacy of these growth factors depend on the target species and on the supplied carbon source. “Abstract della ricerca riportata negli Approfondimenti.


Mutually stimulating interactions between lactic acid bacteria and Saccharomyces cerevisiae in sourdough fermentation. Sander Sieuwerts, Peter A. Bron, Eddy J. Smid, Kluyver The Netherlands
 Wageningen University, Laboratory of Food Microbiology, P.O. Box 17, 6700 AA Wageningen, The Netherlands . LWT – Food Science and Technology 90 (2018) 201–206

Grain Starch damaged 

by luciano

Grain Starch is composed of two substances:

  • amylopectin: is a branched-chain polysaccharide, can be composed of about 1 to 6000 molecules of glucose. It tends to be placed in the central part of starch granules and is not soluble in water. Generally it represents 80% of the total.
  • Amylose is instead a linear chain polysaccharide. It can contain up to 600 glucose molecules. Tend to be around 20% of the total. It melts at high temperatures and in water. These two constituents determine the differences between the starches, depending on their ramifications and degree of polymerization.

Starch represents 67-68% of whole wheat and between 78-82% of the flour produced by grinding. The semicrystalline structure of the starch granules is damaged by mechanical operations, in particular by the grinding process that shatters it. The level of damaged starch directly influences the water absorption and the mixing properties of the dough and therefore has a great technological importance. The damaged starch absorbs 2 to 4 times more water than normal starch granules. The crushed starch granules are subject to the action of alpha and beta amylase (1); the former transform starch into maltose and dextrins (2) and the latter transform it into maltose.

An excessive value of damaged starch involves a high water absorption, sticky dough, longer leavening times and dark color of the crust. A better knowledge of the levels of damaged starch in flour is essential for their best use. The optimal value of damaged starch varies with the use of flour and is highly dependent on the protein content of the flour, alpha-amylase activity and the type of bread desired. Starch is a polymer of glucose and comes in two different forms: amylose and amylopectin.

Einkorn bread100% (suitable for people sensitive to gluten / wheat not celiac)

by luciano

Scientific research has long highlighted, in addition to the great digestibility and richness of mineral contents, also the high tolerability of some varieties of enkir wheat (https://glutenlight.eu/en/2019/03/11/tolerability-of-the-monococcum-wheat/) For this reason we dedicate particular attention to this grain.

In summary some of the possible difficulties are:
1. The least amount of gluten
2. The lower strength of gluten
3. Damaged starch (1)
4. Amylase too weak (falling number greater than 350). (2)

 Furthermore, the creation of products for people who are sensitive to gluten / wheat but not celiac requires long maturation times for the dough so that the enzymatic processes also operate the transformations (hydrolysis) of starches and gluten (https://glutenlight.eu/en/2019/03/12/maturation-and-fermentation-of-a-mixture-of-water-flour-and-yeasts-and-or-lactic-bacteria/).

Long times (over 24 hours) are not compatible with the stability of this type of dough at room temperature or above; a low temperature (4-6 degrees) a retarder prover (cold rooms for leavening control) must be used to slow the leavening and to help the maturation of the dough (or, for home preparations, the refrigerator). Once the maturation is over, it will then proceed rapidly to leavening/proofing. It must be used, because the product is designed for people sensitive to gluten / wheat but not celiac, the sourdough of the same grain we use or the most digestible and tolerable einkorn wheat. This sourdough will not give great contribution to leavening. Furthermore, the lack of gluten does not generate an abundant nor strong gluten network: we risk having a low and compact bread. You will have to introduce air into the dough during preparation.

 You will have to use a very limited percentage of fresh compressed Brewer’s yeast that has the function of starter and collaboration with the lactobacilli. The flour to be used should always be from organic cultivation: the use of nitrogen compounds increases both the percentage of gluten and strength and alters the glutenin gliadin ratio. (https://glutenlight.eu/en/2019/03/14/fertilizers-and-wheat/). These notes are part of a new industrial method for making dough for bread and dry products suitable with gluten-poor flours (limited percentage of gluten and limited “gluten strength”). They are the flours that, in current practice, are not used for the production of bread. A first step we do using a simplified version (direct method) of the a new industrial method  (1) that involves the construction of the pre-ferment followed by the final dough. Furthermore the method was adapted for a home preparation, so without the use – for example – a retarder prover with controlled temperature and humidity.

Times and temperatures have been defined for a semi-wholemeal einkorn flour, stone-ground. This clarification is necessary, because especially times and temperatures vary according to the flour (type and harvest) and its degree of refining (quantity of bran present). Further clarification: the method is for expert people.

Method – recipe

Genome of the ancestor of durum wheat

by luciano

Press release

“Svelato il genoma dell’antenato del frumento duro 07/07/2017

Un team internazionale di ricercatori ha ricostruito per la prima volta la sequenza del genoma del farro selvatico (Triticum turgidum ssp. dicoccoides). Il lavoro pubblicato sulla prestigiosa rivista Science, è stato guidato dall’Università di Tel Aviv ed ha coinvolto diverse decine di ricercatori provenienti da istituzioni di tutto il mondo. L’Italia ha contribuito a questo risultato attraverso la partecipazione di Crea (Centro di ricerca genomica e bioinformatica di Fiorenzuola d’Arda), del Cnr (Istituto di biologia e biotecnologia agraria e Progetto InterOmics) e dell’Università di Bologna (Dipartimento di scienze agrarie).

Il farro selvatico è il progenitore da cui sono stati selezionati quasi tutti i frumenti coltivati, tra cui il grano duro ed il grano tenero utilizzati per produrre, rispettivamente, pasta e pane. Il farro selvatico non è coltivato a causa della bassissima produzione e dei caratteri selvatici che lo caratterizzano. Ad esempio, i semi maturi del farro selvatico cadono spontaneamente a terra rendendo difficile la loro raccolta da parte dell’uomo, mentre nel farro coltivato i semi rimangono sulla spiga. La decodifica del genoma del farro selvatico rappresenta un contributo fondamentale per lo studio dei caratteri genetici utili per il miglioramento dei frumenti coltivati (in relazione alla resistenza agli stress biotici ed abiotici, in particolare la siccità) e per la ricostruzione della storia evolutiva del frumento nella fase antecedente la nascita dell’agricoltura. La disponibilità del genoma del farro selvatico ed il confronto con il patrimonio genetico dei frumenti coltivati ha infatti consentito di identificare i geni responsabili dell’addomesticamento. In particolare sono stati caratterizzati due geni la cui mutazione spontanea impedisce la dispersione dei semi dalle spighe mature, una modifica che, rendendo possibile lo sviluppo dell’agricoltura nel neolitico, è stata determinante nell’indirizzare la storia dell’umanità.

Il genoma del farro selvatico è circa il triplo del genoma umano, caratteristica che rende la sua ‘lettura’ particolarmente difficile. Il Centro di ricerca genomica e bioinformatica ha partecipato con le proprie competenze bioinformatiche all’annotazione funzionale del genoma, ovvero all’identificazione della funzione dei geni, occupandosi in particolare di una porzione del genoma tanto misteriosa quanto affascinante poiché coinvolta nell’attività di regolazione genica in quanto sede di produzione dei cosiddetti RNA non codificanti. Ed è proprio questa parte del genoma ad essere la più interessante per la genomica del futuro permettendo di svelare i meccanismi di accensione e spegnimento coordinati degli oltre 65.000 geni presenti nel genoma del farro selvatico.

Cnr e Università di Bologna hanno contribuito allo studio dell’addomesticamento e della diversità genetica presente nelle popolazioni di farro selvatico e domestico, fonti importanti di variabilità ed una riserva fondamentale di varianti genetiche naturali tuttora scarsamente esplorata ed utilizzata per il miglioramento del frumento moderno. Da questo lavoro sono attese ricadute importanti sulle attività di miglioramento genetico per incrementare la sostenibilità, la resistenza alla siccità, la tolleranza alle patologie e gli aspetti nutrizionali e salutistici dei frumenti del futuro.

“L’approccio di sequenziamento ed analisi bioinformatica utilizzato per il farro selvatico è senza precedenti e ha aperto la strada al sequenziamento del frumento duro, la forma addomesticata del farro selvatico. Ora possiamo capire meglio come l’uomo ha trasformato questa pianta selvatica in un grano duro moderno ad alto rendimento”, ha detto il Luigi Cattivelli, direttore del Centro di ricerca Crea di genomica e bioinformatica e coordinatore del Consorzio internazionale di sequenziamento del frumento duro.

“La disponibilità della sequenza del farro selvatico è un vero e proprio filo di Arianna che ci consentirà di individuare più facilmente i geni per selezionare frumenti di qualità migliore ed a minor impatto ambientale. Conoscere questi geni è la premessa indispensabile per utilizzare le nuove metodiche di selezione come l’editing dei geni, la cui applicazione potrà assicurare la competitività della granicoltura nazionale”, ha detto Roberto Tuberosa, responsabile del Laboratorio di genomica dei cereali presso il Dipartimento di scienze agrarie dell’Università di Bologna.

Aldo Ceriotti, direttore dell’Istituto di biologia e biotecnologia agraria del Cnr, sottolinea come “Il confronto fra la sequenza del farro selvatico e quella del frumento duro ci permetterà di evidenziare come la selezione fatta dall’uomo abbia favorito l’accumulo di specifiche modificazioni nella sequenza del genoma di una delle principali specie coltivate nell’area del Mediterraneo, e costituirà una solida base per lo studio della variabilità genetica e lo sviluppo di nuove varietà di frumento duro”.”

La scheda: Chi: Cnr (Istituto di biologia e biotecnologia agraria e Progetto InterOmics); Università di Tel Aviv; Crea; Università di Bologna.

Che cosa: Studio sul genoma del farro selvatico, pubblicato su Science

Per informazioni: Aldo Ceriotti, direttore Ibba-Cnr, tel. 02/23699444, e-mail: ceriotti@ibba.cnr.it

Capo ufficio stampa:
Marco Ferrazzoli


Gluten: digestibility

by luciano

Gluten which is a compound formed by gliadin and glutenin which is the basis of baked products (bread and other) is not, as such, assimilable by the intestine but must be reduced to the amino acids components or small series (peptides) of them. The reduction occurs by different enzymes such as trypsin in the stomach, pepsin in the small intestine and other enzymes [1]. In normal health the intestine expels the parts of gluten that are not digested because they are too large to be assimilated. The digestibility of gluten is not only, however, dependent on the “strength of the gluten”, that is on the strength of the different types of bonds that “connect” the proteins of gluten but also on the type of enzymes that hydrolyse “break” the gluten and from the environment in which these processes take place. For example, trypsin in the stomach is activated (ie works), only in an acid environment. Furthermore, all digestive enzymes have the possibility of working better if directly in contact with gluten: something that can only occur in laboratory experiments, since these enzymes will have to “work” on in the stomach and intestines a “complex” of foods and not on gluten [2]. Knowledge of the digestibility of gluten is therefore extremely complex being affected by multiple factors, not least the variability of the conditions of the environment where it occurs (stomach and intestine).

The method of preparation of the finished product should not be overlooked. Indeed the digestibility of gluten, and more specifically, of the finished product is greatly influenced by the preparation method and the ingredients used [3]. Among these a primary role is played by the type of flour and the use of sour dough and / or yeasts. Certainly the use of flours that have little and weak * gluten favor the digestive process but a fundamental role is played by the sourdough (better if associated with very limited quantities of brewer’s yeast). The sourdough with its lactobacilli carries out a strong action of hydrolysis (chopping) of the gluten proteins both directly and by activating the proteases of the flour. Many studies and researches have been devoted to this subject, one in particular:

Protein Digestibility of Cereal Products Iris Joye
Department of Food Science, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON N1G 2W1, Canada; ijoye@uoguelph.ca; Tel.: +1-519-824-4120 (ext. 52470). Published: 8 June 2019
Abstract: Protein digestibility is currently a hot research topic and is of big interest to the food industry. Different scoring methods have been developed to describe protein quality. Cereal protein scores are typically low due to a suboptimal amino acid profile and low protein digestibility. Protein digestibility is a result of both external and internal factors. Examples of external factors are physical inaccessibility due to entrapment in e.g., intact cell structures and the presence of antinutritional factors. The main internal factors are the amino acid sequence of the proteins and protein folding and crosslinking. Processing of food is generally designed to increase the overall digestibility through affecting these external and internal factors. However, with proteins, processing may eventually also lead to a decrease in digestibility. In this review, protein digestion and digestibility are discussed with emphasis on the proteins of (pseudo)cereals.”

Gluten HMM subunits importance (update 20-01-2020)

by luciano

Extract from the study: The structure and properties of gluten

“…..omissis. One group of gluten proteins, the HMM subunits of glutenin, is particularly important in conferring high levels of elasticity (i.e. dough strength). These proteins are present in HMM polymers that are stabilized by disulphide bonds and are considered to form the ‘elastic backbone’ of gluten. However, the glutamine-rich repetitive sequences that comprise the central parts of the HMM subunits also form extensive arrays of interchain hydrogen bonds that may contribute to the elastic properties via a ‘loop and train*’ mechanism. Genetic engineering can be used to manipulate the amount and composition of the HMM subunits, leading to either increased dough strength or to more drastic changes in gluten structure and properties.

….omissis. These properties are usually described as viscoelasticity, with the balance between the extensibility and elasticity determining the end use quality. For example, highly elastic (‘strong’) doughs are required for breadmaking but more extensible doughs are required for making cakes and biscuits. Omisdsis….The grain proteins determine the viscoelastic properties of dough, in particular, the storage proteins that form a network in the dough called gluten (Schofield 1994). Consequently, the gluten proteins have been widely stud ied over a period in excess of 250 year, in order to determine their structures and properties and to provide a basis for manipulating and improving end use quality.



…omissis. As a result of the formation of a protein matrix, individual cells of wheat flour contain networks of gluten proteins, which are brought together during dough mix ing. The precise changes that occur in the dough during mixing are still not completely understood, but an increase in dough stiffness occurs that is generally considered to result from ‘optimization’ of protein–protein interactions within the gluten network. In molecular terms, this ‘optimization’ may include some exchange of disulphide bonds as mixing in air, oxygen and nitrogen result in different effects on the sulphydryl and disulphide contents of dough (Tsen & Bushuk 1963; Mecham & Knapp 1966).

I pro e i contro del glutine debole (Oriana Porfiri)

by luciano

“I frumenti “alternativi” idonei per la pastificazione sono il farro dicocco, il grano khorasan o Triticum turanicum e popolazioni locali di grano duro come le saragolle, i grani antichi siciliani e vecchie varietà come il Senatore Cappelli. Questi frumenti sono stati “scelti” dagli agricoltori nel corso dei secoli per la loro adattabilità ambientale e la resa produttiva. La selezione in funzione della qualità di trasformazione (qualità tecnologica) è storia recente, degli ultimi 40-50 anni, nei quali la selezione operata dai costitutori vegetali è andata in direzione di aumentare il contenuto proteico e la quantità di glutine, accrescere la tenacità del glutine, ridurre il contenuto di amido, elevare la resa molitoria. Pertanto, nell’ambito dei grani “alternativi” è frequente individuare varietà con una quantità di glutine estratto più bassa rispetto a quelle moderne e, soprattutto, di scarsa tenacità (struttura del glutine più debole), di facile scomposizione, quindi più digeribile.

La pasta fatta con queste varietà di frumento

La pasta fatta con queste varietà di frumento hanno il pregio di essere adatte a coloro che soffrono di gluten sensitivity (sensibilità al glutine non celiaca) o vogliono mangiare “leggero”, ma per essere di qualità e avere tenuta alla cottura ha bisogno di un processo di pastificazione particolare. Tutto deve essere più lento: l’impasto, l’estrusione e l’essicazione. Inoltre, è impossibile stabilire una ricetta di lavorazione standardizzabile e buona per tutti: ogni prodotto, ogni raccolto, ogni località di provenienza della materia prima richiedono un aggiustamento dei parametri. Questi grani hanno molta variabilità e il pastificio deve costantemente correggere il tiro a misura delle caratteristiche qualitativo/tecnologiche, della quantità di proteine e di glutine dei grani di quell’anno. Sulla qualità della pasta influisce anche un terzo parametro, la quantità di amido presente, in particolare la frazione “resistente”, che è quella non digeribile e che ha un comportamento simile alle fibre, quindi contribuisce ad abbassare l’indice glicemico della pasta.”

a cura di Oriana Porfiri

agronoma ed esperta di cereli

Fonte: Notizie Pasta. Grani siciliani, pasta integrale, glutine debole e micotossine: 4 dilemmi affrontati con gli esperti 23 Ago. 2019, 01:00 | a cura di Gambero Rosso

Surdough fermentation (IV part)

by luciano

Rheology of the sourdough: Influence of LAB action


“Effects of LAB to dough structure

The structural effects of sourdough in wheat-based system may first be due to the direct influence of low pH on structure-forming dough components, such as gluten, starch, arabinoxylan etc. (Angioloni et. al., 2006). Dough is very sensitive to changes in ionic strength and pH and such changes could have direct impact on the constituents of dough (Clarke et al., 2002). The drop in pH value caused by the produced organic acids influences the viscoelastic behaviour of dough. A correct description of the changes in dough behaviour is necessary to maintain handling and machinability in industrialized production (Wehrle et. al., 1997). A number of earlier studies have examined influence of acids and different pH values on the dough properties. All of these confirmed that changes in the absolute pH value of sourdough significantly influence sourdough components.

The pH profile may affect the time frame during which the acid influences the constituent ingredients of the dough. The changing pH values during sourdough fermentation period may also afford passage through a range of pH values close to the optimum for various enzymes present in the dough system. It is so-called secondary (indirect) effect of sourdough acidification (Clarke et al., 2004). The activity of proteolytic and amylolytic enzyme present may be influenced to a greater degree by the pH profile of the biological acidification fermentation period in contrast to the rather instantaneous nature of the chemically acidified regime. Optimum activity of these enzymes, which play significant role in changes of dough constituents, achieve optimum activity at pH 4-5 for the proteolytic and pH 3.6 – 6.2 for the amylolytic enzymes (Belitz & Grosh, 1992). Other enzymes that might affect the structural components of the dough the activity of which is pH dependent include peroxidases, catalases, lipoxigenases and polyphenol oxydases (Belitz & Grosh, 1992; Clarke et. al., 2002). Results obtained by the the fundamental rheological tests, baking tests, and farinograms show that activity of some enzymes in the biologically acidified dough led to structural changes in the dough (Corsetti et. al., 2000; Clarke et. al., 2002; Clarke et. al., 2004). Corsetti et. al. (2000) also reported that even limited photolytic degradation of wheat proteins affects the physical properties of gluten, which in turn can have a major effect on bread firmness and staling.

Surdough fermentation (III part)

by luciano

Carbohydrate metabolism
“The ratio between lactic and acetic acid is an important factor that might affect the aroma profile and structure of final product. Acetic acid, produced by heterofermentative LAB, is responsible for a shorter and harder gluten, while lactic acid can gradually account for a more elastic gluten structure (Lorenz, 1983; Corsetti & Settani, 2007).
Influence of Acidification on Dough Rheological Properties Daliborka Koceva Komleni, Vedran Slaanac and Marko Jukić Faculty of Food Technology, Josip Juraj Strossmayer University of Osijek, Croatia 2012- www.intchopen. )”

Metabolism of proteins
“According to the results of studies performed by Gerez et. al. (2006) 13 nine lactobacilli and four pediococci were able to use gluten as a nitrogen source. Gerez et. al. (2006) also reported an increase in essential amino acids (treonine, valine, lysine and phenylalanine) in a gluten based medium fermented by LAB strains.
Subsantial hydrolysis of gliadinin and glutenin proteins occurs during sourdough fermentation. Proteolityc activity in sourdough originates not only from LAB enzymes, than derives also from the cereal materials present in sourdough (Thiele, 2002; Thiele, 2004). Except activity of own enzymes, LAB contribute to overall proteolysis during sourdough fermentation by creating optimum (acidic) conditions for activity of cereal proteinases (Vermeulen et al. 2006). The partial hydrolysis of glutenins during sourdough fermentation results in depolymerisation and solubilisation of the gluten macro peptide (GMP). After 24 hours of fermentation with defined lactobacill strains, all gluten proteins were SDS-soluble (Thiele et. al., 2003). Glutathione (GSH) is the most relevant reducing agent in wheat doughs (Grosh & Wieser, 1999). Heterofermentative lactobacilli express glutathione reductase during growth in dough and reduce extracellular oxidized glutathione (GSSG) (Jänsch et. al., 2007). The continuous transformation of GSSG to GSH by LAB metabolism maintains high SH levels in wheat doughs, and increase the amount of SH-groups in gluten proteins (Vermeulen et. al., 2006)
The level of individual amino acids in wheat dough depends on the pH level of dough, fermentation time and the consumption of amino acids by the fermentative microflora (Thiele et. al., 2002). In wheat sourdoughs, Lb. brevis linderi, Lb safransciensis, Lb. brevis and Lb. plantarum have been reported to increase the levels of aliphatic, dicarboxylic and hydroxyl amino acids (Gobbetti et. al., 1994a, Gobbetti et. al., 1994b). The yeasts, S. cerevisiae and S. exiguous decrease the total level of amino acids. Influence of Acidification on Dough Rheological Properties Daliborka Koceva Komleni, Vedran Slaanac and Marko Jukić Faculty of Food Technology, Josip Juraj Strossmayer University of Osijek, Croatia 2012- www.intchopen.)”

Quantitation of the immunodominant 33-mer peptide from α-gliadin in wheat flours

by luciano

In wheat there are multiple fractions able to activate the adverse response of the human immune system. Among these fractions the most active is that called 33-mer because it is the most resistant to human digestion and because it contains six copies of the three toxic epitopes and its intermolecular bonds are very strong. It is therefore important to know the quantity of this fraction in the grains. The study of which some parts are reported, examined 57 different types of wheat, ancient and modern, noting that the difference, in all soft wheat and spelt flour, of 33-mer is wide: from 90.9 to 602.6 μg / g made with flour. On the other hand, its presence in monococcum wheat and durum wheat was not detected. These results take on great importance because they allow grains to be chosen with limited or no presence of this important toxic fraction for products that are more suitable for non-celiac gluten sensitive people or those suffering from gluten disorders.

“All gluten protein fractions, namely the alcohol-soluble prolamins and the insoluble glutelins, contain CD-active epitopes3. The prolamin fraction is particularly rich in proline and glutamine and the numerous proline residues lead to a high resistance to complete proteolytic digestion by human gastric, pancreatic, and brushborder enzymes. Studies by Shan et al. (2002) showed that a large 33-mer peptide (LQLQPFPQPQLPYPQPQLPYPQPQLPYPQPQPF) from α2-gliadin (position in the amino acid sequence of α2-gliadin: 56–88) is resistant to cleavage by intestinal peptidases4,5. The 33-mer is widely called the most immunodominant gluten peptide4,6,7, because it contains three overlapping T-cell epitopes, namely PFPQPQLPY (DQ2.5-glia-α1a, one copy), PYPQPQLPY (DQ2.5-glia-α1b, two copies) and PQPQLPYPQ (DQ2.5-glia-α2, three copies)3, which result in the initiation of a strong immune response.

Potential Health Benefits of Einkorn-Based Breads

by luciano

The research we present can be considered the first integrated assessment of the potential benefits, linked to the excellent nutritional properties, of the use for bread and derivatives of Einkorn. The research emphasizes the use of whole wheat flour and sourdough is essential to obtain the best results in terms of exploiting the potential of this grain. The choice of this grain is well summarized in a passage of research: “Einkorn (Triticum monococcum L. ssp. monococcum) is an ancient crop. Compared to polyploid wheats it has a higher content of proteins, polyunsaturated fatty acids, fructans, and phytochemicals as tocols, carotenoids, alkylresorcinols, phytosterols, and a lower α-, β-amylase and lipoxygenase activities [15]. In addition, einkorn expresses very few T-cell stimulatory gluten peptides [16]. Einkorn could represent a valid alternative for producing functional baked products.

“Abstract: Nowadays the high nutritional value of whole grains is recognized, and there is an increasing interest in the ancient varieties for producing wholegrain food products with enhanced nutritional characteristics. Among ancient crops, einkorn could represent a valid alternative. In this work, einkorn flours were analyzed for their content in carotenoids and in free and bound phenolic acids, and compared to wheat flours. The most promising flours were used to produce conventional and sourdough fermented breads. Breads were in vitro digested, and characterized before and after digestion. The four breads having the best characteristics were selected, and the product of their digestion was used to evaluate their anti-inflammatory effect using Caco-2 cells. Our results confirm the higher carotenoid levels in einkorn than in modern wheats, and the effectiveness of sourdough fermentation in maintaining these levels, despite the longer exposure to atmospheric oxygen. Moreover, in cultured cells einkorn bread evidenced an anti-inflammatory effect, although masked by the effect of digestive fluid. This study represents the first integrated evaluation of the potential health benefit of einkorn-based bakery products compared to wheat-based ones, and contributes to our knowledge of ancient grains.

Mixture of grains (evolutive grain): no thanks!

by luciano

Ma di che si tratta esattamente? Una popolazione evolutiva non è altro che una mescolanza di tantissime varietà diverse della stessa specie. Un concetto tanto semplice, quanto concretamente utile: Questi miscugli servono a far fronte al cambiamento climatico grazie alla loro capacità di evolversi nel tempo. Proprio per questa loro capacità Ceccarelli preferisce chiamarle popolazioni evolutive, e non miscugli come si fa spesso. Vi faccio un esempio concreto: nel 2008 mentre lavoravo ad Aleppo ho mescolato un migliaio di tipi di semi di orzo e li ho portati ad alcuni agricoltori in cinque paesi diversi: Siria, Algeria, Eritrea, Giordania e Iran. Il risultato è stato subito un raccolto abbondante, che poi è stato distribuito ad altri agricoltori, e le sementi così selezionate sono state diffuse. L’anno successivo ho fatto lo stesso con frumento duro (mescolando 700 tipi diversi) e con il frumento tenero (mescolando 2000 tipi diversi). Con gli anni queste tre popolazioni si sono moltiplicate, hanno viaggiato per tutto il Medio Oriente e nel 2010 sono arrivate e hanno cominciato a diffondersi in Italia. Una diffusione avvenuta spontaneamente tra gli agricoltori con il semplice passaparola. I vantaggi. Si tratta di miglioramento genetico partecipativo-evolutivo, facilmente spiegabile attraverso la teoria dell’evoluzione, secondo cui coltivando una popolazione evolutiva, ci si mette al riparo da malattie ed erbe infestanti nuove o cambiamenti climatici perché tra gli individui di una popolazione ce ne sarà sempre una parte che riuscirà a cavarsela. Non solo, con le popolazioni evolutive si evita di sottostare al monopolio dei semi e all’impoverimento dei raccolti e della dieta quotidiana. “ Fonte: https://www.gamberorosso.it/notizie/articoli-food/grano-evolutivo-storia-e-vantaggi-del-miscuglio/ intervista al Dott. Salvatore Ceccarelli.

The consumer demand is increasingly oriented to knowing what they put on the plate, or rather to have the possibility to know the whole product chain and its characteristics. The wine and oil supply chain, to cite just two important examples, testify to the importance of complete and possibly exhaustive information, which is also the key, together with the quality, of the success of the most famous products. With wheat do we want to walk this path backwards? Do we eat what the field produces as mother nature decides?

Integrated Evaluation of the Potential Health Benefits of Einkorn-Based Breads

by luciano

Integrated Evaluation of the Potential Health Benefits of Einkorn-Based Breads
Fabiana Antognoni, Roberto Mandrioli, Alessandra Bordoni, Mattia Di Nunzio, Blanca Viadel, Elisa Gallego, María Paz Villalba, Lidia Tomás-Cobos,
Danielle Laure Taneyo Saa and Andrea Gianotti. Published: 11 November 2017

Nowadays the high nutritional value of whole grains is recognized, and there is an increasing interest in the ancient varieties for producing wholegrain food products with enhanced nutritional characteristics. Among ancient crops, einkorn could represent a valid alternative. In this work, einkorn flours were analyzed for their content in carotenoids and in free and bound phenolic acids, and compared to wheat flours. The most promising flours were used to produce conventional and sourdough fermented breads. Breads were in vitro digested, and characterized before and after digestion. The four breads having the best characteristics were selected, and the product of their digestion was used to evaluate their anti-inflammatory effect using Caco-2 cells. Our results confirm the higher carotenoid levels in einkorn than in modern wheats, and the effectiveness of sourdough fermentation in maintaining these levels, despite the longer exposure to atmospheric oxygen. Moreover, in cultured cells einkorn bread evidenced an anti-inflammatory effect, although masked by the effect of digestive fluid. This study represents the first integrated evaluation of the potential health benefit of einkorn-based bakery products compared to wheat-based ones, and contributes to our knowledge of ancient grains. “
Integrated Evaluation of the Potential Health Benefits of Einkorn-Based Breads. Fabiana Antognoni et altri

Einkorn Characterization for Bread and Cookie Production in Relation to Protein Subunit Composition

by luciano

The research showed, through tests to make bread and biscuits, the best varieties of monococcum wheat among the 24 examined: among these the varieties ID140, ID280 and Id361 were the best for both uses. The research also shows how, due to the rheological properties of the flours, the presence or absence of a very limited number of storage protein subunits is important, highlighting the importance of LMW

Einkorn Characterization for Bread and Cookie Production in Relation to Protein Subunit Composition M. Corbellini, S. Empilli, P. Vaccino, A. Brandolini, B. Borghi, M. Heun, and F. Salamini. Cereal Chem. 76(5):727–733
“Twenty-four einkorns were evaluated for agronomic traits in Italy and in Germany in replicated plot trials. After dehulling and milling, the harvested kernels, flour protein content, sedimentation volume, falling number, carotenoid, and dry gluten content were determined. Farinograph profiles were obtained with a farinograph and baking and cookie quality were evaluated with standard microtests. Significant differences in yield potential were observed between the two locations, with a three-fold increase in Germany as compared with Italy. One of the einkorn lines (ID529) had farinograph stability and degree of softening indices better than those of the control bread wheat. All the samples analyzed for breadmaking aptitude showed some degree of stickiness, but it was possible to handle the dough during the different steps of breadmaking. On average, cookies produced with einkorn flour were larger in diameter and thinner than those produced with soft wheat flour. The composition in α, β and γ-gliadins and in high molecular weight glutenin subunits was similar in all the lines. In contrast, the pattern exhibited in low molecular weight glutenin subunits correlated strictly with baking quality. In particular, the lines with bands arbitrarily designated a and b showed a high breadmaking poten- tial, while the lines lacking these bands had an ample range of variability but, on average, a much lower baking potential. Our data point to a simple genetic control of the breadmaking aptitude and indicate einkorn not only as a promising source of specialty foods but also as an ideal species for genetic investigations on wheat quality”.

LMW-GS: Low Molecular Weight – Glutenin Subunit

(Table extracted from the research)

Electrophoretic characterization of reserve proteins: glutenins and gliadins. They represent, with the different respective bands, the genetic imprint that defines and identifies the variety. (Table extracted from the research)

Monococcum wheat (einkorn) and wheat allergy

by luciano

The research reported in the summary highlighted the absence of ω-5 gliadin in the monococcum wheat responsible for wheat allergy: another important characteristic of the monococcum wheat!

Study on the Immunoreactivity of Triticum monococcum (Einkorn) Wheat in Patients with Wheat-Dependent Exercise-Induced Anaphylaxis for the Production of Hypoallergenic Foods. Carla Lombardo, Michela Bolla Roberto Chignola Gianenrico Senna Giacomo Rossin Beatrice Caruso, Carlo Tomelleri Daniela Cecconi Andrea Brandolini Gianni Zoccatelli. Cite This:J. Agric. Food Chem.201563378299-8306. Publication Date:September 2, 2015. https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.jafc.5b02648 Copyright © 2015 American Chemical Society Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry
“Wheat [Triticum aestivum (T.a.)] ingestion can cause a specific allergic reaction, which is called wheat-dependent exercise-induced anaphylaxis (WDEIA). The major allergen involved is ω-5 gliadin, a gluten protein coded by genes located on the B genome. Our aim was to study the immunoreactivity of proteins in Triticum monococcum (einkorn, T.m.), a diploid ancestral wheat lacking B chromosomes, for possible use in the production of hypoallergenic foods. A total of 14 patients with a clear history of WDEIA and specific immunoglobulin E (IgE) to ω-5 gliadin were enrolled. Skin prick test (SPT) with a commercial wheat extract and an in-house T.a. gluten diagnostic solution tested positive for 43 and 100% of the cases, respectively. No reactivity in patients tested with solutions prepared from four T.m. accessions was observed. The immunoblotting of T.m. gluten proteins performed with the sera of patients showed different IgE-binding profiles with respect to T.a., confirming the absence of ω-5 gliadin. A general lower immunoreactivity of T.m. gluten proteins with scarce cross-reactivity to ω-5 gliadin epitopes was assessed by an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Given the absence of reactivity by SPT and the limited cross-reactivity with ω-5 gliadin, T.m. might represent a potential candidate in the production of hypoallergenic bakery products for patients sensitized to ω-5 gliadin. Further analyses need to be carried out regarding its safety”.

Simultaneously identify the gluten peptides that are most active in activating the human immune system

by luciano

The method aims to identify, through the use of specific antibodies, the most toxic peptides instead of, as with the usual methods used today, the total gluten content. Considering that the research is also focused on producing grains with smaller amounts of toxic peptides, as well as using specific pools of enzymes / bacteria / etc in the preparation of products with the same purpose, the possibility of identifying and “weighing” only the presence, in the final product, more active peptides become a very useful tool. The highlighted study traces the history of the methods used to quantify gluten in food and presents advantages and limitations of the new method. All the methods mentioned, including the new method, have been developed to be able to certify whether a food is safe for celiacs or not, but the new methods become even more interesting for non-celiac and / or pre-celiac gluten sensitive subjects. The toxic fraction harmful to celiacs is the same as in people who are sensitive to gluten NOT celiac (1) but has a very different and less harmful impact: the new method is, therefore, very useful also in this case with the advantage of being able to have a greater tolerance in the result.


“Techniques that allow for the simultaneous detection of multiple different peptides are avail able, and are making their way into the field of food allergen detection. Another interesting possibility in gluten detection with the use of a multiplex immunoassay is to narrow down the focus even further to the harmful gluten epitopes. If antibodies were raised against the most relevant gluten epitopes, the detection of these specific epitopes could prove more relevant than detecting the total gluten content. A multiplex immunoassay can be updated by adding antibodies against more epitopes, and therefore can keep up with our increasing knowledge on harmful gluten epitopes. Also, by combining antibodies against the most relevant epitopes in a single detection method, the possibility of a false negative result decreases. Van den Broeck et al have investigated the possibilities of breeding a wheat variety with reduced CD-epitopes, based on small varieties in amino acid sequences between different gluten peptides (van den Broeck et al., 2011). If such a wheat variety could be bred, quantifying the total gluten content of food products containing this variety would be less appropriate. However, a detection method that can detect the presence of the harmful epitopes in these products would be very welcome. If the obstacles for developing a multiplex immunoassay can be overcome, this detection method would help providing consumers with more accurate food labels. This would further improve both food safety and the variety of choice in food products for CD patients everywhere”.


Immunochemical Detection Methods for Gluten in Food Products: Where Do We Go from Here?


(1) – Gluten Immunogenic Peptides as Standard for the Evaluation of Potential Harmful Prolamin Content in Food and Human Specimen.

Ángel Cebolla , María de Lourdes Moreno , Laura Coto and Carolina Sousa

Published: 5 December 2018



Einkorn, emmer and durum wheat

by luciano

Einkorn, emmer and durum wheat: they do not have the “33mer” fraction considered the most active in activating the adverse response of the immune system in celiac subjects. Also for this reason they are the most suitable genotypes for the researches whose aim is to “detoxify” the flours or to intervene with particular enzymes to hydrolyse the “toxic peptides”, however present; they are also more suitable for non-celiac gluten sensitive subjects.

“Quantitation of the immunodominant 33-mer peptide from α-gliadin in wheat flours by liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry.

Kathrin Schalk , Christina Lang , Herbert Wieser , Peter Koehler  & Katharina Anne Scherf. Scientific Reports volume 7, Article number: 45092 (2017)


Coeliac disease (CD) is triggered by the ingestion of gluten proteins from wheat, rye, and barley. The 33-mer peptide from α2-gliadin has frequently been described as the most important CD-immunogenic sequence within gluten. However, from more than 890 published amino acid sequences of α-gliadins, only 19 sequences contain the 33-mer. In order to make a precise assessment of the importance of the 33-mer, it is necessary to elucidate which wheat species and cultivars contain the peptide and at which concentrations. This paper presents the development of a stable isotope dilution assay followed by liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry to quantitate the 33-mer in flours of 23 hexaploid modern and 15 old common (bread) wheat as well as two spelt cultivars. All flours contained the 33-mer peptide at levels ranging from 91–603 μg/g flour. In contrast, the 33-mer was absent (<limit of detection) from tetra- and diploid species (durum wheat, emmer, einkorn), most likely because of the absence of the D-genome, which encodes α2-gliadins. Due to the presence of the 33-mer in all common wheat and spelt flours analysed here, the special focus in the literature on this most immunodominant peptide seems to be justified……Omissis…..

Analysis of durum wheat, emmer and einkorn

The 33-mer peptide was also analysed in two durum wheat and two emmer cultivars (genome AABB) as well as two diploid einkorn cultivars (genome AA) (Table 1). In each of these wheat species, the 33-mer was not detected (<LOD). In comparison to hexaploid common wheat, durum wheat, emmer, and einkorn do not contain the D-genome, which originated from hybridisation of T. turgidum dicoccum (genome AABB) with Aegilops tauschii (genome DD)36. The absence of the 33-mer peptide can be explained by the fact that this peptide is encoded by genes located in the Gli-2 locus on chromosome 6D, which is missing in durum wheat, emmer, and einkorn. Studies by Molberg et al. showed clear variations in intestinal T-cell responses between common wheat and tetra- or diploid species due to different degrees of T-cell immunoreactivity between the gluten proteins encoded on the A-, B-, and D-genome. Einkorn cultivars were only recognized by DQ2.5-glia-α1a-specific T-cell clones, but not by DQ2.5-glia-α1b- and DQ2.5-glia-α2-specific T-cell clones. Emmer and durum wheat cultivars were all recognized by DQ2.5-glia-α1a-specific T-cell clones, but only two out of four emmer cultivars and three out of ten durum wheat cultivars activated DQ2.5-glia-α1b- and DQ2.5-glia-α2-specific T-cell clones37. Consistent with our results, Prandi et al.38 found that the 33-mer was not present in durum wheat. As a consequence, this peptide was used as a marker peptide to identify the presence of common wheat in durum wheat flours. One durum wheat cultivar was also analysed by van den Broeck et al.33 and the 33-mer peptide was not detected either”. https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/deed.it


Monococcum wheat (einkorn) and the market offer

by luciano

Scientific research has long highlighted the peculiar characteristics of the monococcum wheat reported in (https://glutenlight.eu/2019/03/11/il-grano-monococco/) and can be summarized as follows:

  1. High digestibility of gluten
  2. High tolerability in relation to gastro-intestinal disorders (celiac disease excluded)
  3. High mineral and vitamin content
  4. High availability of bioactive components
  5. A different ratio between the components of starch sugar with a prevalence of slow absorption.

Monococcum wheat has, for some time, been the focus of producers-transformers and consumers. The offer, especially of flour, as well as of products is constantly increasing. The products offered, however, do not have, except in rare cases, complete traceability starting from the field to the table. On the flour packages it is rare to find indications regarding the variety of wheat from which it derives; on the final products we find the mandatory ingredients by law but, rarely, the preparation method. The speech, however, applies to all grains both ancient and modern. The greater attention to the monococcum wheat (einkorn) is due to the evocative force of its ancestral origin and to its characteristics of high digestibility, tolerability and healthy contents.

The variety of wheat used and the indicators that inform us about the quantity and “strength” of gluten would be particularly valuable to be able to include more digestible products in our diet when needed. Gluten, as it is formed during water and flour are kneaded, cannot be digested by our intestines, it must first be “broken” by digestive enzymes into very small “fragments”. In this way other digestive enzymes in the intestine will complete the work in order to make the gluten components “amino acids” assimilable. The lower amount of gluten and less strength will sometimes make our task much easier. Products made with monococcoum wheat flour (einkorn) and generally those made with “ancient grains” are advertised as “very digestible” or “highly digestible”. Both terms are very generic since they can present strong differences in terms of gluten quantity and “gluten strength”. Recently I bought two different monococcum wheat flours of which I pointed out the amount of gluten: one has a percentage of dry gluten of 9.6% the other of 17.1%! Same thing with the strength of gluten whose index in one case was 33 in another 71!These indicators are a first valid help that we could have to better balance, with the support of the doctor, our diet. It should also be remembered that the final digestibility of the product made with flours, whatever they may be, is also greatly influenced by the way in which the products are prepared: just think of the considerable contribution to digestibility that we can obtain by using sourdough, but this information is also generally absent or present in an ambiguous way or without specification of which flour was used: “… made with sour dough”. https://glutenlight.eu/2019/05/08/la-fermentazione-della-pasta-acida-ii-parte/.

Grain varieties with low toxic fraction content: an opportunity for products dedicated to children

by luciano

LC/MS ANALYSIS OF GLUTEN PEPTIDES DERIVED FROM SIMULATED GASTROINTESTINAL DIGESTION OF DIFFERENT WHEAT VARIETIES: QUALITY AND SAFETY IMPLICATIONS. Sforza, Stefano & Prandi, Barbara & Bencivenni, Mariangela & Tedeschi, Tullia & Dossena, Arnaldo & Marchelli, Rosangela & Galaverna, Gianni. (2011):


“Gluten content of wheat is highly variable, depending on the plant genetics and the growing conditions. Beside short peptides, gastrointestinal digestion of gluten also produces longer ones, since the high proline content of gliadins (16-26%) and glutenins (11-13%) makes them very resistant to the degradation by digestive proteases. In the present work, a method for the extraction of the prolamine fraction was applied to different wheat varieties, followed by a simulated gastrointestinal digestion of the gliadin extracted. The peptide mixtures generated were characterized by LC/MS, and most abundant peptides were identified by low- and high-resolution multiple stage MS techniques and through synthesis of authentic standards. These peptides were also semiquantified in the different samples against a suitable internal standard. The peptide mixtures were found to be highly variable, according to the different content and type of gliadins present in wheat varieties, with strong differences among the varieties tested, both qualitatively (the sequences of the peptides generated) and quantitatively (their amount). The greatest difference was found between common and durum wheat varieties. Peptides present only in the former varieties were identified, and used as molecular markers for identifying and quantifying the presence of common wheat when added to durum wheat samples. Most of the peptides identified were also already known to be pathogenic for people affected by celiac disease, an autoimmune enteropathy triggered by gluten proteins, which develops in some genetically susceptible subjects after gluten consumption. Some samples belonging to defined varieties showed a lower amount of celiac-related pathogenic peptides upon digestion, due to a lower gliadin content. Albeit not safe for celiac patients, the use of these varieties in the formulations of baby food could be of great help for lowering the spread of the disease, since the prevalence of celiac disease seems to be promoted by an early exposure to a large amount of gluten peptides”.

Ancient and modern grains, gluten intolerance and pesticides: Enzo Spisni answers readers’ questions

by luciano

Grani antichi e moderni, intolleranza al glutine e pesticidi: Enzo Spisni risponde alle domande dei lettori
(DA: Redazione Il Fatto Alimentare 11 Agosto 2017)

La questione dei grani antichi e della sensibilità al glutine fa molto discutere. Non sorprende quindi, che l’articolo “Pasta con grano antico o moderno: il problema dell’intolleranza al glutine è lo stesso? Spisni risponde a Bressanini” abbia scatenato un acceso dibattito. Ecco le risposte di Enzo Spisni, docente di Fisiologia della Nutrizione all’Università di Bologna, ai tanti commenti dei lettori del Fatto Alimentare.
Prima l’incipit. Ho sottolineato che tutti possono fare divulgazione scientifica, ma solo tre figure hanno le competenze e possono (per la legge italiana) modificare il modo di alimentarsi e la dieta delle persone. In un paese in cui troppi parlano di diete senza avere competenze e in cui famosi farmacisti vanno in televisione a suggerire diete e dichiarano di avere migliaia di “pazienti”, mi sembra quantomeno un appunto doveroso.
Veniamo alle definizioni. Si definiscono antichi o tradizionali le cultivar presenti prima della cosiddetta “Rivoluzione Verde”. Le differenze sostanziali tra i grani pre-rivoluzione e quelli post-rivoluzione possiamo riassumerle in quattro punti:
1. La forza del glutine. Si parte da grani che hanno un valore W di forza del glutine di 10-50 e si arriva ai moderni che hanno una forza intorno ai 300-400. È evidente che la struttura del glutine cambia per venire incontro alle necessità dell’industrializzazione degli alimenti.
2. La taglia. I grani pre-rivoluzione sono a taglia alta (diciamo oltre il metro e trenta), mentre i post sono a taglia bassa (molto al di sotto del metro).
3. La produttività per ettaro, che aumenta molto nei moderni a fronte però dell’aumento dell’input di azoto attraverso la concimazione. Lascio il discorso su quanto azoto per ettaro agli agronomi, ma chi in campo è passato dal coltivare moderni in convenzionale a grani antichi in biologico si è reso ben conto del risparmio in denaro generato dalla minore concimazione e dal minore uso di chimica.
4. La minore variabilità genetica, nel senso che le cultivar antiche erano un insieme di genotipi con una biodiversità complessivamente elevata, mentre post-rivoluzione si è andati verso la selezione di grani “in purezza”, fatta di piante tutte geneticamente identiche, con una perdità netta di biodiversità non trascurabile. In altre parole è cambiato il concetto di adttamento: mentre una variabilità genetica ampia è in grado di adattarsi ai mutamenti ambientali, una variabilità genetica ridotta richiede un maggior intervento dell’uomo nel tentativo di meglio adattare il campo al tipo di grano coltivato. E l’intervento dell’uomo molto spesso si traduce in utilizzo di prodotti chimici.

Surdough fermentation (II part)

by luciano

Surdough and phytates
“Increasing fiber content in flour may result in a lower assimilation of minerals complexed by phytates. An optimisation of the fermentation step with surdough allowed to improve both the bioavailability of minerals as well as the sensory attributes of the resulted bread. (16mo. IFOAM Organic World Congress, Modena, Italy, June 16-20, 2008 Archived at ttp://orgprints.org/view/projects/conference.html)”.

Note: Phytic acid is traditionally considered an anti-nutritional factor, ie a substance that can limit the absorption or use of nutrients. In the specific case, by binding to them to form insoluble salts (phytates and phytin), phytic acid hinders the absorption of some minerals (calcium, iron, magnesium and zinc).

Sourdough fermentation and basic baking properties
“Unfortunately, there is often a trade- off between degradation of reactive gluten and retention of gluten for basic baking properties. Large amounts of time and heat may be needed for microbial enzymes to break down problematic pep- tides. To fully degrade the 33-mer α-gliadin peptide in wheat required 24 h at 30 °C (Gallo and others 2005), while durum required 72 h of fermentation at 37 °C to meet gluten-free la- beling standards (De Angelis and others, 2010). HMW glutenins, which are important for baking and pasta integrity, are degraded prior to and more extensively than reactive prolamins during sour- dough fermentation (Ga ̈nzle and others 2008; Wieser and others 2008). Extensively fermented dough has a high ratio of gliadins to glutenins, which is very undesirable for bakers. The disulfide bonds holding together the gluten macropolymer (GMP), an in- tegral component of baking quality, begin to degrade long before glutens. Only 5 h of fermentation with Lactobacilli or acidic chem- icals degraded GMP by up to 46% (Wieser and others 2008). Pentosans, an important component for baking rye bread, were also hydrolyzed in germinated sourdough (Loponen and others 2009). Consequently, the long and hot sourdough fermentation to hydrolyze prolamins compromises functional baking properties of the dough. (A Grounded Guide to Gluten: How Modern Genotypes and Processing Impact Wheat Sensitivity – Chapter Fermentation and microbial enzymes – Lisa Kissing Kucek, Lynn D. Veenstra, Plaimein Amnuaycheewa, and Mark E. Sorrells. Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety Vol. 14, 2015.)”.

Microbiology of sourdough
“It is well known that the type of bacterial flora developed in each fermented food depends on water activity, pH (acidity), minerals concentration, gas concentration, incubation temperature and composition of food matrix (Font de Valdez et. al. 2010). The microflora of raw cereals is composed of bacteria, yeast and fungi (104 – 107 CFU/g), while flour usually contains 2 x 104 – 6 x 106 CFU/g (Stolz, 1999). In sourdough fermentation major role play heterofermentative species of LAB (Salovaara, 1998; Corsetti & Settani, 2007), especially when sourdoughs are prepared in a traditional manner (Corsetti et. al., 2003). Lactobacillus sanfranciscensis, Lactobacillus brevis and Lactobacillus plantarum are the most frequently lactobacilli isolated from sourdough (Gobbetti, 1998; Corsetti et. al. 2001; Valmorri et. al., 2006; Corsetti & Settanni, 2007). The following yeasts have been detected in cereals (9 x 104 CFU/g) and flour (2 x 103 CFU/g): Candida, Cryptococcus, Pichia, Rodothorula, Torulaspora, Trychoporon, Saccharomyces and Sporobolomyces. Saccharomyces cerevisiae is not found in the raw materials. Its occurance in sourdough has been explained by the application of baker’s yeast in most daily bakery practice (Corsetti et. al., 2001). The importance of antagonistic and synergistic interactions between lactobacilli and yeasts are based on the metabolism of carbon hydrates and amino acids and the production of carbon dioxide (Gobetti & Corsetti 1997). Lactic and acetic acid are predominant products of sourdough fermentation). Influence of Acidification on Dough Rheological Properties Daliborka Koceva Komleni, Vedran Slaanac and Marko Jukić Faculty of Food Technology, Josip Juraj Strossmayer University of Osijek, Croatia 2012- www.intchopen)”.


Gluten and intestine

by luciano

Digestion of Gluten Peptides in the Large Intestine

It has been shown that removing gluten from the diet affects the composition of the bacterial community in the large bowel, where the undigested food in the small intestine and could be hydrolyzed by microbial metabolism, generating beneficial compounds for the host.

“Alimentary protein digestion followed by amino acid and peptide absorption in the small intestinal epithelium is considered an efficient process. Nevertheless, unabsorbed dietary proteins enter the human large intestine as a complex mixture of protein and peptides.53,63 The incomplete assimilation of some dietary proteins in the small intestine has been previously demonstrated, even with proteins that are known to be easily digested (e.g., egg protein).64,65 The high proline content of wheat gluten and related proteins renders these proteins resistant to complete digestion in the small intestine. As a result, many high molecular weight gluten oligopeptides arrive in the lower gastrointestinal tract.66 While gluten peptides pass through the large intestine, proteolytic bacteria could participate in the hydrolysis of these peptides. A recent study from our group has shown that some of the gluten ingested in the diet is not completely digested while passing through the gastrointestinal tract, and is consequently eliminated in feces.

Moreover, it has been shown that the amount of gluten peptides present in feces is proportional to the amount of gluten consumed in the diet. Therefore, several gluten peptides are resistant to both human and bacterial proteases in the gastrointestinal tract.66,67

The large intestine is the natural habitat for a large and dynamic bacterial community. Although the small intestine contains a significant density of living bacteria, the density in the large intestine is much higher. The large intestine has as many as 1011–1012 cells per gram of luminal content that belong to thousands of bacterial taxa. Furthermore, the large intestinal microbiota is extremely complex and performs specific tasks that are beneficial to the host.68–71 Among the important functions that the intestinal microbiota performs for the host are several metabolic functions.72 In contrast to the rapid passage of dietetic components through the small intestine, the transit of the luminal material through the large intestine is considerably slower. The longer transit time in the large intestine has been associated with important bacterial metabolic activity.53 Therefore, undigested food in the upper gut could be hydrolyzed by microbial metabolism in the large intestine, generating beneficial compounds for the host.

The resistance of gluten peptides to pancreatic and brush border enzymes allows large amounts of high molecular weight peptides to enter the lower gastrointestinal tract. Therefore, gluten peptides are available for microbial metabolism in the large intestine and could be important to the composition of the intestinal microbiota. It has been shown that removing gluten from the diet affects the composition of the bacterial community in the large bowel.78,79 De Palma et al.78 observed that healthy subjects who followed a gluten-free diet for 1 month had reduced fecal populations of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium, but the population of Enterobacteriae such as E. coli appeared to increase. Similar results were obtained in studies with CD patients. Treated CD patients also showed a reduction in the diversity of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium species.80,81Gluten Metabolism in Humans. Alberto Caminero, … Javier Casqueiro, in Wheat and Rice in Disease Prevention and Health, 2014”


An opportunity to be seized: digestible and tolerable gluten. Why?

by luciano

An opportunity to be seized: digestible and tolerable gluten. Why?

Gluten (it is a protein compound that is formed when glutenin and gliadin, present in flour, are strongly mixed with water) is responsible for celiac disease in genetically predisposed subjects. Not all gluten is at the origin of this pathology: the research has, in fact, isolated some sequences of amino acids (they are the “bricks” that constitute gluten) that are responsible for the adverse reaction of the innate and adaptive human immune system. These sequences are present (even several times) in the molecular chains (peptides) that constitute gluten, and, above all in gliadins. There are many studies that aim to create grains or flours without these sequences, mixtures where the action of particular bacteria present in the acid paste destroy the toxic fractions. Particular enzymes (proteases produced by Aspergillus) have been identified that can activate a complete enzymatic digestion of gliadin, reducing or eliminating the reactive response of gluten-sensitive T cells. (Toft-Hansen H et al Clin Immunol. 2014 Aug; 153 (2): 323-31. Doi: 10.1016 / j.clim.2014.05.009. Epub 2014 Jun 3).

Gluten is indigestible as such, only if divided into constituent amino acids it can be digested and, after being passed into the blood, be assimilated. The action of “chopping up the gluten is carried out by the enzyme pepsin (it is the most important of the digestive enzymes and, activated by hydrochloric acid, attacks proteins and breaks them down into fragments called polypeptides which will then be broken down into individual amino acids by trypsin ), present in the stomach and the enzyme trypsin produced by the pancreas present in the intestine. These two enzymes are not always able to “break up” the gluten and the residues are eliminated by “normal” people. These residues, on the other hand, if they contain toxic sequences activate the response of the immune system that fights them as “enemies”. The more gluten is strong (ie the stronger the bonds of the molecules that make up gluten) the more difficult and the action of enzymes will be longer. You can be born celiac but you can also become genetically predisposed. At greater risk, of course, are the relatives and relatives of celiacs. Scientific research has shown that the use in the diet of foods produced with grains as light as possible and tolerable (with the least possible amount of “toxic epitopes”) reduces the possibility of becoming celiac and is indicated for non-celiac gluten sensitive people. An example regarding the monococcus wheat we find in the study:

“…..Conclusions: Our study shows that Tm (Grano Monococco) is toxic for CD patients as judged on histological and serological criteria, but it was well tolerated by the majority of patients, suggesting that Tm is not a safe cereal for celiacs, but that it may be of value for patients with gluten sensitivity or for prevention of CD.Copyright of European Journal of Nutrition is the property of Springer Science & Business Media B.V. and its content may not be copied or emailed to multiple sites or posted to a listserv without the copyright holder’s express written permission. However, users may print, download, or email articles for individual use. This abstract may be abridged. No warranty is given about the accuracy of the copy. Users should refer to the original published version of the material for the full abstract.”

For some time now, scientific research has highlighted another gluten-related disease: non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS). Today it is possible to diagnose it only through a long and complex series of analyzes which, for this reason, cannot be widely applied. The research (well summarized in the attached research) is still on the high seas, in fact, in the realization of biomarkers suitable to diagnose this pathology in a certain and simple way. Finally it should be noted that although there are very many studies, researches and tests on patients, these have proved too partial to be able to define “with certainty” how the NCGS is activated. Gliadins, however, play an important role as anti-gliadin antigen has been found in patients diagnosed with this disease. Finally, the research showed that a light and tolerable gluten is less invasive for those with irritable bowel disease.

Surdough fermentation (I part)

by luciano

The study highlights the action of sourdough both in hydrolyzing (breaking) the proteins rich in proline (gliadin) involved in activating the human immune system both in the hydrolyser gluten (favoring digestibility) and ,above all, the high glutenins molecular weight.

Sourdough and its potential for degradation of gluten

Sourdough is produced using a culture of lactobacillus, frequently in combination with yeast. Sourdough is the oldest method for leavening bread and is still used for some applications. For example, in making bread from rye, perhaps because the dough made from rye flour needs a low pH to be appropriate for baking (Arendt et al., 2007). In comparison with yeast-treated doughs for wheat- or rye-based breads, sourdough produces a distinctively tangy or sour taste, mainly as a result of lactic acid produced by the lactobacilli. Moreover, during sourdough fermentation, proteolysis provides compounds that are precursors for the aroma volatiles and amino acids which are converted by microbes to compounds which are precursors of flavours (Gänzle et al., 2008). Traditionally sourdough is added as an ingredient to unmodified flour of wheat or rye for breadmaking. However, some authors (Rizzello et al., 2007) have proposed sourdough as the major ingredient and the only source of proteins for making gluten-free bread.

Ancient wheat species and human health: Biochemical and clinical implications

by luciano

An important study that highlights the interesting characteristics of ancient varieties of wheat in relation, above all, to some widespread gastrointestinal diseases (“This manuscript reviews the nutritional value and health benefits of ancient wheats varieties, providing a summary of all in vitro, ex vivo, animal and human studies that have thus far been published.”)

Ancient wheat species “Although there is no precise definition, it is generally accepted that ancient wheat has remained unchanged over the last hundred years. In contrast, modern species have been extensively modified and subject to cross-breeding in what is commonly referred to as the “Green Revolution”. This term was developed to refer to a set of research and technological transfer initiatives that occurred between the 1930s and the late 1960s. The Green Revolution was initiated by Strampelli, who was among the first, in Europe and in the World, to systematically apply Mendel’s laws to traits such as rust resistance, early flowering and maturity and short straw. As a consequence, Italian wheat production doubled, an achievement that during the fascist regime was referred to as the “Wheat Battle” (1925–1940) [10]. After the Second Word War, some of Strampelli’s wheat varieties were used as parents in breeding programmes in many countries in a phase of the Green Revolution, defined as Norman Borlaug’s Green Revolution. This phase was instrumental in the development of the high-yielding varieties [10]. Thereafter, during the 1960s, research was concentrated on improving the storage protein quality, thereby increasing the technological properties. Agronomists bred cultivars of maize, wheat, and rice that were generally referred to as “high-yielding varieties” based on a higher capacity for nitrogen-absorption than other varieties. High levels of nitrogen in the soils causes the lodging of wheat before harvest. Therefore, semi-dwarfing genes were bred to improve to reduce both lodging and the maturation cycle. The principle results of this revolution were the development of modern varieties characterized by higher yield, a reduced susceptibility to diseases and insects, an increased tolerance to environ- mental stresses, a homogeneous maturation (to optimize harvest) and a higher gluten content (to improve bread and pasta quality). Whilst these intensive breeding programs helped to increase production and techno- logical quality, a concomitant decrease in genetic variability as well as a gradual impoverishment of the nutritional and nutraceutical properties of the wheat occurred, mainly determined by the complete replacement of ancient local breeds with modern varieties.”

Some passages of the study help to focus the most significant evidences that, although referring to a limited number of researches, open interesting perspectives for a greater use of ancient grains in order to reduce the disorders deriving from the ingestion of gluten:
About monococcum wheat: “Compared with soft wheat, einkorn showed a lower content of both total and resistant starch (mean value: 655 vs 685 g/kg dry matter (DM) and 25.6 vs 30–88 g/kg DM respectively) [7]. However, the amount of amylose molecules, that are digested more slowly, was higher than the amount of amylopectin molecules, thereby lowering both glucose and insulin levels in the blood after meals [14] and maintaining satiety for longer periods [15]. By evaluating the average protein content, einkorn protein values were 59% higher than those of modern wheat [16], but the bread-manufacturing quality of storage proteins were poor, making it better suited to the preparation of cookies or pasta [17]. The comparative analysis of lipids and fatty acid composition in einkorn and soft wheat germ revealed a higher content of lipids (+50%) in einkorn, with a greater proportion of monounsat- urated fatty acids (+53%), and lower polyunsaturated (−8%) and saturated fatty acids (−21%) [16]. With respect to phytochemicals, einkorn showed the highest concentration of phytosterols and tocols (1054 and 57 μg/g DM respectively), but this difference was mostly marked in the HEALTHGRAIN dataset [12]. In addition, einkorn, khorasan wheat and emmer wheat cultivars showed the highest content of total carotenoids (2.26, 6.65 and 8.23 μg/g DM respectively) and lutein (7.28, 4.9 and 2.7 μg/g DM), the major carotenoid with respect to all the other species [18,19]. Of interest, several lines of einkorn showed lutein values from three to eight-fold higher than soft wheat and two-fold greater than those for durum wheat. Some authors suggested that the higher carotenoid content in einkorn-made products could be a result of lower processing losses, linked to lower lipoxygenase activity [7]. “

Although there is insufficient evidence to suggest that ancient wheat varieties prevent gluten-related disorders, several studies have shown that a diet based on less-immunoreactive wheat products, with fewer amounts and types of reactive prolamins and fructans, may help in the improvement of gastrointestinal and/or systemic symptoms of some auto-immune or chronic diseases (eg, irritable bowel syndrome, etc.) [34]. These less-immunoreactive varieties, like einkorn, may be good targets for slowing the development of disease in populations genetically predis- posed to celiac disease and other wheat sensitivities [42].

On the other hand, a subsequent paper investigating how in vitro gastro-intestinal digestion affects the immune toxic properties of gliadin from einkorn (compared to modern wheat), demonstrated that gliadin proteins of einkorn are sufficiently different from those of modern wheat, thereby determin- ing a lower immune toxicity following in vitro simulation of human digestion [40].

Although concrete functional benefits are difficult to ascertain from random individual human trials, since they are subject to differences and/or limitations in experimental design, participant number and participant characteristics in the case of parallel arm studies, results unanimously suggest that the consump- tion of products made with ancient wheat varieties ameliorate not only pro-inflammatory/anti-oxidant parameters (where investigated) but also glycaemic and lipid status. Ancient wheat species and human health: Biochemical and clinical implications. Stefano Benedettelli et altri. September 2017. (Available online at www.sciencedirect.com)

Lodging is the bending over of the stems near ground level of grain crops, which makes them very difficult to harvest, and can dramatically reduce yield.


Ancient wheat species and human health

Gluten and “toxic” fractions (part I)

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– the structure of the gliadin and the toxicity of some fraction –
Gluten which is a protein compound formed by the prolamine, known as gliadin in wheat and responsible for the main phenomena of adverse reactions, and glutenin present mainly in the endosperm of cereal caryopsis such as wheat, spelled, rye and barley. Gluten is formed when water, flour and yeast are mixed: gliadin and glutenin combine to form a mixture characterized by viscosity, elasticity and cohesion. Therefore the quantity and integrity of the proteins that make up the gluten present in a flour are an important index to evaluate the quality and aptitude for baking.
Gliadin and glutenin, therefore, have been the subject of numerous research both in relation to the properties concerning the rheological characteristics of the doughs and to the adverse reactions that activate the immune system. Studies have been carried out on celiac disease that have discovered who and how this pathology is caused: they are some peptides (a set of amino acids) present, especially in the gliadin that contain sequences that are toxic, ie they activate the adverse reaction in genetically predisposed subjects of the immune system. The gliadin, in turn, is composed of several sub-units and these contain the “toxic” fractions in different quantities and qualities. Not only has William Hekkins’ research highlighted how the shape and location of gliadin molecules also influence not only chemical and physical properties but also toxicity.
“The gliadin proteins are heterogenous in different regions of the molecule and consequently differ in phisical and chemical properties. About 35% of the gliadin molecule is the alfa helix form, whereas 35% are beta turns(5). The latter are concentrated in the N terminal and C terminal more apolar parts of the gliadin. The remaining part has a random structure. These form have conseguences for the immunogenecity of the different regions in the molecule. Especially beta-turns are immunogenic.” The Toxicity of wheat prolamins William TH. J. M. Hekkens Annales Nestlé 1995 n. 51.
The study also analyzed the mechanism underlying the toxicity by detecting how “the passage of undigested gliadin fragments (fragments longer than 8 amino acids) or a lower tolerance to gliadin causes the immune system to react”. It is not enough, therefore, to know how much gliadin is present in a grain, but it is necessary to have the complete screening of its sub-units (quality, quantity, and, according to the study mentioned also form and position). The study on the “structure of gliadin” could partly explain why some ancient grains (for example, the monococcus), despite having a quantity of gliadin (and in particular alpha gliadin) not inferior to modern grains, have almost zero toxic levels.
The Toxicity of wheat prolamins

Fodmaps (Fermentable, Oligo-, Di-, Mono-saccharides And Polyols)

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Over the years, numerous evidences have emerged that the ingestion of certain short-chain carbohydrates, including lactose, fructose and sorbitol, fructans and galacol oligosaccharides, induces the typical symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome.One method of decreasing the amount of FODMAPs and possibly the bioactivity of ATIs in bread (and thus theoretically improving its tolerability), is the utilization of prolonged fermentation processes in breadmaking. Sourdough fermentation activates some proteolytic and fructosidase enzymes in dough, and can thus decrease the amount of proteins and fructans in the end products [14,15,16,17]. The FODMAP content of sourdough bread can be reduced by up to 90% by utilizing a specific sourdough system, as demonstrated in our previous study [16]. Taken together, sourdough baking could theoretically result in wheat products with improved gastrointestinal tolerability. (Pilot Study: Comparison of Sourdough Wheat Bread and Yeast-Fermented Wheat Bread in Individuals with Wheat Sensitivity and Irritable Bowel Syndrome Reijo Laatikainen et altri. Published: 4 November 2017.) Note: The references in the text refer to the bibliography of the aforementioned study.
Yeast, on the other hand, produces inulinase and invertase enzymes which work together to effectively hydrolyze fructans (Nilsson and others 1987). Fermentation with S. cerevisiae for 1.7 h reduced fructan content of whole wheat and white flour by 33% and 48%, respectively (Knez and others 2014). (A Grounded Guide to Gluten: How Modern Genotypes and Processing Impact Wheat Sensitivity – Chapter Fermentation and microbial enzymes – Lisa Kissing Kucek, Lynn D. Veenstra, Plaimein Amnuaycheewa, and Mark E. Sorrells. Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety Vol. 14, 2015)

The rediscovery of the cultivation of the oldest grain: the monococcum wheat (also called einkorn).

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We find a very detailed description on the cultivation of the monococcus, Monlis, Hammurabi and ID331 varieties, in an interesting degree thesis. Lorenzo Moi in 2013 under the supervision of CREA followed in Orosei Sardegna, all the stages of sowing, cultivation, harvesting and processing of these varieties that were also subjected to many analyzes concerning the various processing phases. (UNIVERSITY OF PADOVA DEPARTMENT OF AGRONOMY, ANIMALS, FOOD, NATURAL RESOURCES AND ENVIRONMENT Master’s degree in Agricultural Sciences and Technologies. THE MONOCOCCO WHEAT (Triticum monococcum L. ssp. Monococcum) IN SARDINIA: AGRONOMIC, RHEOLOGICAL, TECHNOLOGICAL AND DEVELOPMENT POSSIBILITIES Supervisor Prof. Marco Lucchin Correlatori Dr. Norberto Pogna Dr. Laura Gazza. Laureando Lorenzo Moi). Lorenzo Moi, Padovano, has dedicated himself to the rediscovery of ancient grains with rare passion, determination and expertise that have led him year after year to obtain unique products for organoleptic and healthy characteristics while preserving the biodiversity of the environment.
“Quando nel 2016 sono rientrato in Sardegna ho deciso che quella della coltivazione e trasformazione del grano diventasse la mia attività principale – racconta Lorenzo Moi –. Abbiamo iniziato a piccoli passi e ora abbiamo un’estensione di circa 15 ettari, che contiamo di triplicare nei prossimi anni. Per ora vendiamo solo ai privati, ma ci stiamo organizzando per aprire uno spaccio nel nostro mulino di Orosei. Vendiamo farina, pane carasau e vari tipi di pasta fresca, dalla fregula ai malloreddus». Il marchio che sta cominciando a cavalcare anche l’onda lunga del commercio elettronico si chiama “I grani di Atlantide” e richiama il mito ma anche il concetto di terra fertile. Un grano che punta sul suo alto contenuto proteico e che previene la celiachia: come testimoniano le relazioni degli Istituti di Gastroenterologia dell’università di Brescia e Federico II di Napoli.”

Spelt and emmer flours

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Premise: the research highlighted the importance of sourdough made with selected LABs and with autochthonous ones of emmer and spelt flour to fully exploit the potential of these “ancient grains”. The optimum will be, therefore, starting from a sourdough with a selection of lactobacilli (LAB) and refreshing it with the flours in question, thus making the contribution of the Lab present in the same flours.

“Lactobacillus brevis 20S, Weissella confusa 24S and Lact. plantarum 31S were used as pool 1 to start spelt flour. Lactobacillus plantarum 6E, Lact. plantarum 10E and W. confusa 12E were used as pool 2 to start emmer flour. ‘Ancient grains’ could serve as an abundant source of protein and soluble fibre, oleic acid and macro- and micro-elements (Bonafaccia et al. 2000; Ruibal-Mendieta et al. 2005). In spite of this increasing interest, few results are available on the microbiota of spelt and emmer and on their suitability for bread making. Selection of starters within endogenous strains was considered the most important pre-requisite. Some recent studies (Di Cagno et al. 2008a,b,c) on fermented vegetable foods, which also included strains of Lact. plantarum, have clearly shown that endogenous strains are preferred to those of the same species isolated from different matrices to promote a rapid and intense process of acidification with a positive influence on nutritional and technological properties. To use, mixed starters was considered functional to completely exploit the potential of spelt and emmer flours. Mixture of strains with dif- ferent carbohydrate metabolism is frequently used because it may guarantee optimal acidification and sensory properties (Gobbetti 1998). Mixed obligate and facultative heterofermentative lactic acid bacteria starters, as selected in pool 1 and 2, ensured rapid growth and acidification, the capacity to liberate FAA and exploited the rheology, sensory and nutritional properties of the raw flours. This was according to a two-step fermentation process. The use of sourdough comprising selected and autochthonous strains of lactic acid bacteria was considered the most suitable biotechnology to exploit the potential of spelt and emmer flour in bread making. Fermentation of spelt, emmer or wheat flours by pool 1 and 2 was allowed according to a two-step fermentation process (Fig. 1). As the general rule, it was possible to keep it lower than 4Æ0 in spelt and emmer sourdoughs, which implied a considerable synthesis of acetic acid (Gobbetti et al. 2005). Acidity of spelt and emmer breads was perceived through sensory analysis and positively influenced the volume and crumb grain of breads. Flavour of bread is known to be influenced by the combination of raw materials, fermentation and baking process (Gobbetti et al. 2005). Spelt and emmer sourdough breads received the highest score for acid taste, and a clear preference for the global taste was assigned to spelt sourdough bread. First, this study showed the suitability of spelt and emmer flours to be used for bread making according to a two-step fermentation process. Sourdough biotechnology based on selected starters was indispensable to completely exploit the potential of these ‘ancient grains’. Spelt and emmer flours were purchased from a local market. The characteristics of emmer flour were water content, 15,0%; protein (N · 5,70), 15,1% of dry matter (d.m.); fat, 2,5% of d.m.; ash, 1,9% of d.m.; and total soluble carbohydrates, 2,6% of d.m. The characteristics of spelt flour were water content, 15,0%; protein (N · 5,70), 19,1% of d.m.; fat, 2,2% of d.m.; ash, 2,0% of d.m.; and total soluble carbohydrates, 2,7% of d.m. Spelt and emmer flours: characterization of the lactic acid bacteria microbiota and selection of mixed starters for bread making. (
R. Coda, L. Nionelli, C.G. Rizzello, M. De Angelis, P. Tossut and M. Gobbetti. 1 Department of Plant Protection and Applied Microbiology, University of Bari, Bari, Italy 2 Puratos N. V., Industrialaan, 25 B-1702z, Groot-Bijgaarden, Belgium. 2009).”

Genetic Diversity of wheat

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A-B-D Genomes

Wheat occurs in a range of diploid, tetraploid and hexaploid forms (summarised in Table 1). The earliest cultivated forms were the A genome diploid einkorn (T. monococcum var monococcum) and tetraploid emmer (T. turgidum var. dicoccum) with the A and B genomes. These are closely related to wild forms: diploid T. monococcum var. monococcum and T. ururtu and tetraploid T. turgidum var. dicoccoides, respectively. Modern tetraploid durum (pasta) wheat (T. turgidum var. durum) probably arose from mutations in cultivated emmer.
Hexaploid wheat (Triticum aestivum) (genomes ABD)
Hexaploid wheat (Triticum aestivum) (genomes ABD) has never existed as a wild species and no wild hexaploid wheats are known. It probably arose by hybridization of cultivated emmer with the related wild grass T. tauschii (goat grass, also called Aegilops tauschii and Ae. squarossa). This hybridization probably occurred in south-eastern Turkey about 9000 years ago (Feldman, 1995, Dubcovsky and Dvorak, 2007) and contributed the D genome. All cultivated hexaploid wheats, including spelt, are forms of T. aestivum.
A major difference between “ancient” cultivated wheats (einkorn, emmer, spelt) and their wild relatives and modern durum and bread wheats is whether the grain are hulled or free threshing. In hulled wheats the glumes and palea adhere to the grain and the threshed material consists of intact spikelets.
As the most coeliac-active T-cell epitopes are present on the α-gliadins, emphasis has been placed on exploring differences in the amounts and sequences of proteins of this class. Kasarda
et al. (1976)
33mer fragment of α-gliadin
The studies of van Herpen et al. (2006) showed that T-cell stimulatory epitopes were more abundant in α-gliadins encoded by the D genome, and Molberg et al. (2005) who demonstrated that the immunodominant 33mer fragment of α-gliadin was encoded by chromosome 6D (and hence absent from diploid einkorn and tetraploid wheats).
The absence of the D genome from durum wheat
The absence of the D genome from durum wheat could result in lower coeliac activity due to the absence of the T-cell stimulatory epitopes at the Gli-D2 locus. van den Broeck et al. (2010a) therefore screened 103 accessions of tetraploid wheat by immunoblotting of gluten protein extracts with monoclonal antibodies against the Glia-α9 and Glia-α20 epitopes. This identified three accessions with significantly reduced levels of both epitopes. Further analysis of 61 durum wheat accessions by high throughput transcript sequencing similarly identified some accessions with lower abundances of transcripts containing coeliac disease epitopes (Salentjin et al., 2013).
Other gluten proteins
Although impressive progress has been made with identifying variation in the abundances of coeliac disease epitopes in α-gliadins, it must be borne in mind that other groups of gluten protein also contain coeliac active sequences. This was demonstrated in the survey of gluten protein sequences in the Uniprot protein sequence database by Spaenij-Dekking et al. (2005) which is referred to above. They showed that T-cell stimulatory epitopes were present in all γ-gliadin sequences (17/17), in 95.5% (21/22) of HMW subunit sequences and in 5% of LMW subunit sequences (3/57), in addition to 66% (19/29) of α-gliadin sequences. (Improving wheat to remove coeliac epitopes but retain functionality. Peter R. Shewry and Arthur S. Tatham 2016).

The role of additives in flour

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Autore: Simona Lauri (www.quitidiemagazine.it)

Qualche mese fa, una nota azienda alimentare commercializzò una farina riportante sulla confezione la dicitura “senza additivi”. Questo fatto suscitò immediatamente molte polemiche (false o presunte, non entro nel merito) ed indignazione da parte degli Operatori del Settore.

E’ chiaro che il più indignato in assoluto è stato l’inerme consumatore, che si è visto crollare addosso l’ultimo baluardo di sana alimentazione: la farina può non essere solo tale e contenere additivi volontari.
L’incipit “senza additivi” ha svelato finalmente a tutti che le farine non sono tutte uguali (non mi riferisco naturalmente alla sola classificazione botanica, merceologica e reologica), ma soprattutto non è purtroppo vero che tutte le farine in commercio siano prive di additivi volontari.
Quando parlo di “farine”, faccio riferimento agli sfarinati la cui denominazione di vendita è riportata nel Decreto del Presidente della Repubblica n°187/2001 e non all’immenso mondo dei mix, semilavorati, preparati, miglioratori, miscele già pronte all’uso per pane bianco, ai cinque cereali, nero, pizza soffice, croccante, dolci, ecc. che molte aziende commercializzano e che nulla hanno a che vedere con la parola “farina”.

Additivi ammessi nelle farine
Parlando di “farina”, vi è il DPR n°187/2001 che disciplina sia i TIPI, sia la denominazione di vendita, sia la modalità (art. 4); purtroppo è anche vero che nelle farine è consentito aggiungere glutine secco (all’uopo vedasi il DM n°351/1994) oltre alla L-cisteina (E920), l’acido ascorbico (E300) nella quantità quantum satis, senza cioè uno specifico limite secondo Reg. (UE) n°1129/2011, oltre all’acido fosforico, di-, tri- e poli-fosfati (E338 – E452) e l’additivo biossido di silicio e silicati (E551-E559) consentito in tutte le categorie di alimenti, farine comprese, in dose massima di 10.000 mg/kg o mg/l a seconda degli alimenti.
Oltre a ciò, si aggiunga che sono ammessi anche gli enzimi Reg. (CE) n°1332/2008 e Reg. (CE) n°1829/2003. In virtù di una trasparenza d’informazione, in teoria e anche in pratica, tutti gli additivi volontari dovrebbero essere dichiarati in etichetta, ma purtroppo questo, da parte di molte aziende non succede pur restando nella legalità.

Phytic acid

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Phytic acid makes up about 1% of wheat and rye flours, and reduces the bioavailability of calcium, magnesium, and iron by forming complexes with the divalent cations. Phytic acid also inhibits enzymes in the digestive system needed to breakdown starch and protein.1 This explains why some people experience discomfort from eating whole grain wheat products. The sour dough neutralizes the phytic acid and “pre-digestes” the wheat proteins during the fermentation process transforming them into micronutrients that are easy to digest.2


[1] Vaintraub, I. A. & Bulmaga, V. P. (1991). Effect of phytate on the in vitro activity of digestive proteinases. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 39 (5), 859-861 DOI: 10.1021/jf00005a008

[2] Gänzle, M. G. (2014). Enzymatic and bacterial conversions during sourdough fermentation. Food Microbiology, 37(0), 2-10. doi:http://dx.doi.org.libproxy.clemson.edu/10.1016/j.fm.2013.04.007


Phytate Degradation during Breadmaking

Moderate decrease of pH by sourdough fermentation is sufficient to reduce phytate content of whole wheat flour through endogenous phytase activity.

Fertilizers and wheat

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The agrotecnica in the last 50 years has undergone a strong evolution that has resulted.

  1. New methods for distributing nitrogen fertilizer (N)
  2. Introduction of fungicidal defense
  3. Introduction of growth regulators
  4. Introduction of soil surface treatments

Particular attention was paid to the use of nitrogen fertilizers due to the effects both on the quantity of grain produced and on the quality of the grain. In fact, by increasing the nitrogen supply an increase in protein and gluten is obtained. The minimum nitrogen fertilization up to the 60s has been increasing until reaching even 220 Kg. per hectare as well as being distributed over the plant’s growth span.

With the increase and delay of nitrogen distribution (N)

  1. a) Increase the protein content of grain and flour
  2. b) Albumin and Globulin are reduced while Gliadins and Glutenines increase (Godfrey, 2011; Pechanek, 1997)
  3. c) The GLU HMW / LMW report is increasing (Pechanek, 1997)
  4. d) The GLI / GLU ratio is growing (Du Pont et al., 2006; Gupta et al, 1992)
  5. e) The content in GLI α, β, γ increases while stable ω (Du Pont et al., 2006; Wieser & Seilmeier, 1998) f) Free AAs increase: Ala, Aso, Ile, Val (Godfrey, 2011) From: The evolution of agronomic techniques and the opportunity of minor cereals. Amedeo Reyneri, Debora Giordano University of Turin DISAFA. 2014.

Many other researches have highlighted the effects of nitrogen and sulfur on wheat, which substantially alter the proportions of the protein content. Changes that affect both digestibility and tolerability. The effects are very different depending on the variety, the quantity of fertilizers and the vegetative period during which they are used. Herbert Wieser Werner Seilmeier First published: 26 March 1999. https://doi.org/10.1002/ (SICI) 1097-0010 (199801) 76: 1 < 49 :: AID-JSFA950> 3.0.CO; 2-2.  Grain subproteome responses to nitrogen and sulfur supply in diploid wheat Triticum monococcum ssp. Monococcum. Titouan Bonnot et others. 2017. The Plant Journal (2017) 91, 894–910. Effects of nitrogen nutrition on the synthesis and deposition of the β-gliadins of wheat. Yongfang Wan, Cristina Sanchis Gritsch, Malcolm J. Hawkesford and Peter R. Shewry. Department of Plant Biology and Crop Science, Rothamsted Research, Harpenden, Hertfordshire AL5 2JQ, UK. It is therefore very important that the use of fertilizers is controlled and appropriate in order to alter the grain as little as possible, to respect the vegetative cycle without “forcing” to respect the soil. The “ancient” grains do not need fertilizers, herbicides and fungicides, they are naturally suited to organic farming.


Split Nitrogen Application Improves Wheat Baking Quality by Influencing Protein Composition Rather Than Concentration


Maturation and fermentation of a mixture of water, flour and yeasts and / or lactic bacteria

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Maturation and fermentation are just two of the many processes that take place within a dough: they are not the same thing and they must not be confused with each other. The general concept of “fermentation” is known and is quite well known and is understood as the complex of biological reactions involving the transformation of sugars as the lactic fermentation and the alcohol. During such metabolisms part of the sugars present in the dough are transformed by the yeast and by bacteria into acids, carbon dioxide, water, ethyl alcohol, energy etc.. and macroscopically result in a lowering of the pH value, in the production of aromatic substances and / or volatile, in gas production and in the increase of the dough mass. The term “maturation” on the other hand, refer to the complex of countless biochemical reactions that is the basis of cleavage or enzymatic breakdown of complex molecules into simpler molecules; macromolecules from complex to simple amino acids in the case of proteins, in the case of polysaccharides to monosaccharides. These reactions take long time, while the fermentation is much faster; the fermentation, however, can be slowed down very much if the dough is placed at rest in a low temperature (from 1 ° C to 4 ° C max). In this way we give the opportunity to the dough to mature; only to maturation occurred will choose to operate the gradual raising of the temperature in order to increase, to balance and optimize the fermentation process. Prolonghed fermentation and maturation also have an influence, not secondary, both on the shelf life both on the organoleptic characteristics of the finished product conferring, between the other, perfumes and flavors emphasized.


The fundamental importance of maturation

Monococcum Wheat (einkorn)

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Monococcus wheat protein content, on average 15-18%, is higher than that of other cultivated cereals and has a nutritional value higher than that of common wheat and durum wheat. The studies carried out at the Research Unit for the Qualitative Valorisation of Cereals of the Council for Research and Experimentation in Agriculture (CRA-QCE) in the last ten years have allowed to identify many peculiar and nutritionally interesting aspects of the monococcus wheat. Among the characteristics that make it unique in the field of straw cereals we have (i) the high content of carotenoids, precursors of vitamin A and natural antioxidants, which is about 5 times that of soft wheat; (ii) the excellent availability of tocoli (vitamin E), which is about 50% greater than durum wheat and soft wheat; (iii) the high content in lipids (about 50% more than common wheat), with a clear prevalence of unsaturated fatty acids; (iv) the high percentage in ash and the high content in minerals (particularly interesting are zinc, iron and phosphorus) and (v) a content in fruits about 50-70% greater than soft wheat (Hidalgo and Brandolini, 2008) ). The monococcus wheat flour, almost impalpable, has a characteristic yellow color and is excellent for the production of biscuits, snakes, flakes and other bakery products (Brandolini et al., 2008; Pollini et al., 2013); there are also genotypes with an excellent attitude to bread-making (Saponaro et al., 1995; Borghi et al., 1996). Also the pastification quality is very high, both in terms of workability of the raw material and of the quality of the finished product: the spaghetti and the monococco wheat macaroni have a good resistance to cooking and a reduced loss of starch compared to those based on commercial groats. of durum wheat (Brandolini et al., 2008). Moreover T. monococcum possesses small-sized (so-called B-type) starch granules in proportion to the cultivated wheats.

1. Tolerability of the monococcum wheat
2. More digestible starch in the monococcum wheat