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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

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