CeRPTA develops new gluten-free bread

December 19, 2006

Researchers at the Food Technology Plant Special Research Centre (CeRPTA) have for the first time developed a completely gluten-free bread that is of a much higher quality than products currently available for coeliacs. The product was 100% successful in the tests carried out. The resulting product has an increased nutritional value, a longer useful life and a similar texture to traditional bread.

Coeliac disease is the permanent intolerance of gluten, forcing sufferers to follow a strictly gluten-free diet for their whole life. Gluten is a protein contained in certain cereals such as wheat, rye, barley, triticale (hybrid of wheat and rye) and possibly oats. Eating gluten produces atrophy to the villi in the intestine. Food is not absorbed, causing an inflammatory reaction. It affects genetically predisposed individuals, including children and adults.

It currently affects approximately 1% of the population. The number of coeliacs is growing rapidly, thus significantly increasing the number of consumers of gluten-free products.

The products are constantly improving, but coeliacs must continue adapting to a different taste that is not always pleasant. The work of the CeRPTA researchers aims to improve existing products, taking into account the growing needs of the direct and indirect coeliac population.

The aim was to develop a type of bread suitable for coeliacs with a similar taste and similar texture to bread made with wheat flour -- that is, a spongy centre and a "normal" volume -- as well as a unique taste that makes it stand out from existing products.

The researchers have focused on two areas: firstly, on producing a 100% gluten-free, high-quality product, and secondly, on the more demanding task of developing a 100% gluten-free product made entirely with plant products. The objective is to meet the needs of consumers with allergies to lactose and eggs.

This method allows modifications to be made and makes it possible, in the short-term future, to develop more similar products, providing coeliacs with the same choices of food as people without the disease.

The researchers have produced a 100% gluten-free product to meet these needs. The bread has a pleasant taste and texture and is of high-quality. It was produced with primary materials that are 100% gluten-free, is highly nutritional, and can be enjoyed both by coeliacs and by the general population.
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Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona

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