It still suprise’s me everyday how many people are confused about what gluten is.
This isnt me being rude towards people who dont know, and Im always happy to infom but still it’s suprising and concerning especially if that person is a food provider.
Things people have asked me…….
Sadly nowadays alot of people are not aware of where there food comes from. I read an artical once where they asked children where food came from. One child, when asked where his meat came from, said Asda he didnt know it was animal based. Some people have no idea where their foods life started and that can be dangerous.
This information is really important for those with food allergies, intolerances and autoimmune issues. As knowing what your food is made of can make the difference between good health and at times disaster.
So lets sort this mess out and update folks of what their food origin stories are and if they are good or bad for those with gluten issues.
What is gluten….
I know we have spoken about this before but everyone appreciates a refresher.
Gluten is a mixture of proteins present in cereal grains, especially wheat, barley and rye. It helps food hold together, provides elasticity and structure.
Wheat – Durum, wheatberries, emmer, semolina, spelt, farina, farro, graham, KAMUT khorasan wheat and einkorn.
Triticale – A cross between wheat and rye.
The good, the bad and the ugly….
The GF food producers are constanly making new food items (thank you!!) and alot of these items are grain based or contain some sort of grain.
But which ones can we eat as GF folks and which one should we avoid like the plague.
So lets start with the ugly…..
These grains should be avoided at all times. These are the grains that will cause a reaction if ingested.
Visually some of these grain look simular to grains that are suitable so make sure you always check your labels and don’t just relay on your eyes.
Next are the bad grains;
I’ve called these the bad as we need to take caution when spotting them on a label.
Wheat starch – Depending on what country you live in will depend if wheat starch is classified as GF. Wheat start is wheat that has had the gluten washed out of it. However, some countries don’t classified this as GF as they can not state wheather all the gluten has been eliminated. In the UK wheat starch is only GF if labeled GF.
Barley malt extract – Some barley malt extract can be classified as GF if the gluten is below 20ppm. Only purchase items containing barley malt extract if labeled GF.
Oats – Oats should be GF however they may not be classed as GF as there was a risk of crosscontamination during the farming or processing.
Glucose syrup – This should taken with causion if not labeled GF as some glucose syrup is made from wheat.
Baking powder – Although tecnically a grain baking powder is made from some grain materials including corn flour or rice flour. It can also be made from wheat flour. There are GF baking powders available and will be the most suitable choice.
Now the good….
These grains are good for go!
However, these can still be allergens for certain people so we still need to be aware of them.
But don’t forget….
If in doubt about any new ingredent, grain or not, consume with caution and look for the GF logo. This will mean by law they are below the 20ppm guideline to class as GF and have been certifed as safe.
Look out for Coeliac UK cross grain symbol as a helpful guide.