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What is Gluten? – Definition, Composition, Uses, Diagnoses, and More

Gluten Definition

Gluten is the general given to a protein present in various cereals types, from the most common wheat, barley, oats. And rye to spelled, triticale, malt, spelled farro, and Kamut.

Its functions are to act as a binder in pastry and bakery dough. Contributing to the rest of the ingredients and the water molecules they contain, and achieving a firm consistency.

Composition of Gluten


  1. This protein makeup of glutenin and gliadin and represents 80 percent of wheat proteins.
  2. Gliadin is the protein that presents a significant problem regarding gluten intolerance in general and celiac disease in particular.
  3. Antibodies in the immune system of people with these conditions react against gliadin. They are giving rise to the characteristic symptoms caused by gluten ingestion in people with these diseases.
  4. Also, gliadin can cause intestinal permeability to become higher.
  5. Regardless of whether a person is a celiac or not, there is a possibility of developing different autoimmune diseases and cancer, infections, or allergies.
  6. Likewise, gluten contains a small percentage of lipids and carbohydrates, although in a lower proportion.

What are the Uses of Gluten?

Gluten protein is present in most bakery and pastry products. Still, it also uses in many other foods, such as additives, in which it is responsible for giving viscosity or volume to the effects of the food industry from which it forms part.

It can amount to more than fifty percent and pose a risk to celiacs’ health and those who suffer from gluten sensitivity.

How is Developing of Gluten?


After the baking process, the gluten typically hardens, and structure obtains in the product. Many factors affect development. These include:

  • Temperature
  • Liquid
  • Fats
  • Sugar
  • Acid
  • Salt
  • Flour

1. Temperature

  • The water tibia raises development and reduces cold.

2. Liquids

  • The liquid contributes to developing it. When we incorporate a liquid ingredient into the dough, the amount will vary depending on the air’s humidity.
  • For this reason, in many recipes, “the amount of water necessary to form the bun” is indicated in general terms, and the amount to use not specify. We need to learn how to determine when the dough achieves optimal consistency.

3. Fats

  • The fats soften and prevent the development of gluten proteins in lubricating flour. These keep the components separate until the dough begins to form its structure during the baking process.

4. Flours

  • There are different types of flours and varieties. It is essential to detect what the needs are according to what you want to develop.
  • Flours with a high gluten content are ideal for making bread, pizzas, pasta, etc. Flours with less gluten in the flour are more suitable for preparing more delicate cakes and cookies.
  • “All-purpose flour” is a flour prepared so that it contains is medium. Generally, if a recipe does not provide flour, I advise you to use one of them.

5. Sugar

Sugar also prevents the development of it.

6. Acids

  • Acids also prevent the development of gluten. Juices and vinegar commonly use.

7. Salt

  • Salt also slows down the development of it. Without it, no product would rise or possess a firm structure.
  • The light or airy textures of bread and cakes would not be possible either. On the contrary, making gluten-free bread would result in a much denser and heavier product.

How is it Diagnosed?

Celiac disease or gluten intolerance suspect; a blood test will detect antibodies or serological markers. The diagnosis is completed with a biopsy of the small intestine mucosa to detect atrophy in the villi.

Once the celiac disease diagnoses, treatment consists of removing all foods that contain gluten from the diet.

1. Gluten-Related Disorders

  • This protein is not essential for the functioning of the human body, and it can be replaced without problems by other types of proteins present in different foods.
  • They are animals (mainly meat, fish, eggs, and dairy products) or vegetables (legumes, nuts, seeds, and other cereals that do not contain gluten).
  • Thus, if you have celiac disease or another it intolerance, you can follow a diet that eliminates these cereals’ foods and ingredients.
  • In this case, even if it is tiny, any amount can damage the small intestine, specifically in the small projections that cover it, called intestinal villi, which destroy.
  • When the villi function correctly, they are responsible for absorbing nutrients from food and transporting them to the bloodstream. However, when they disappear, the body will not absorb these nutrients well, and malnutrition may occur.

2. Celiac Disease

Celiac Disease

  • Celiac disease affects each person differently. The symptoms can occur in the same way in the digestive and other parts of the body or manifest in the mood.
  • Irritability is among the most common symptoms during childhood. Also, there may be someone who suffers from the disease and does not present any symptoms.
  • However, the most common symptoms are diarrhea, vomiting or anemia, and other more severe reactions. For this cause, it is crucial to follow the recommended diet according to the doctor’s instructions, and permanently, it should not suspend unless he indicates it.
  • Other diseases related to its intolerance are the so-called dermatitis herpetiformis, a manifestation of celiac disease’s skin, affecting one in four patients.

3. Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity

  • The ataxia, autoimmune disease-related antibodies in the blood, is characterized by damage in the cerebellum; or non-celiac gluten sensitivity.
  • It’s known as sensitivity, enteropathy, lymphocytic enteritis, and disorders related to this protein. The symptoms are very close to celiac disease. It differs from this in that the antibodies it presents are negative.

Which Foods that Contain Gluten?


It may find in a variety of whole and processed foods, including:

1. Grains

  • Grains as whole wheat, wheat bran, barley, rye, triticale, spelled, Kamut, couscous, farro, semolina, bulgur, farina, einkorn, durum, wheat germ, cracked wheat, matzo, mir (a cross between wheat and rye).

2. Processed Grain-Based Products

  • Grain-based as crackers, bread, breadcrumbs, pasta, seitan, wheat-containing soba noodles, veggie burgers, cookies, and pastries.

3. Other Foods and Beverages

  • Barley malt, malt vinegar, soy sauce, salad dressings, sauces thickened with flour, bouillon, and some broths, specific spice blends, flavored chips, beer, certain kinds of wine.
  • Because it often uses in food production as a thickener or stabilizer, it’s not always clear whether a particular contains its food.
  • Many commercial food operations share preparation apparatus with gluten-carry foods. Thus, even if a food is naturally gluten-free, it could contaminate with gluten during the process.
  • Suppose you follow a harsh gluten-free diet and are unconfident about a particular food’s status. Check the package for a gluten-free label or before purchase.

4. Oats

  • When you come to gluten-free diets, oats are a piece of a problem. One of the critical issues with oats is that they frequently transport and processed with wheat equipment.
  • It leads to widespread gluten contamination of oats, even if there isn’t mention of wheat or gluten on the product label. Still, it’s easy to find oats that certify and label gluten-free.
  • Gluten-free oats are just average oat that has a process using equipment, and facilities lose their contamination. Oats contain a protein are known as Avenin that is very similar to the proteins in it.
  • Uncontaminated oats often encourage for gluten-free diets due to their rich supply of fiber and essential nutrients. Ultimately, more research is needed to understand better.
  • Avenin affects digestion and immune function in many human beings with its intolerance. If you suspect that may be intolerant to oats, consult your healthcare provider.


Gluten-free diets are more popular, but it should often be and when it should eliminate. Gluten refers to various proteins naturally base in cereal grains, such as wheat, barley, and rye.

About people with certain medical conditions like celiac disease, non-celiac its sensitivity, or wheat allergy. It should avoid, as it may cause severe adverse reactions.

And also, gluten intolerance symptoms are large and may include digestive issues, inflamed skin, and neurological problems. If you suspect that you have a gluten intolerance, consult a qualified healthcare provider.

Also Read: Muscular Strength – Definition, Benefits, Exercises, and More

In addition, you can find more helpful resources at Tockhop.

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