I blog gluten-free

Thursday, June 30, 2011

The GFCO- How Testing For Gluten Is Done

Spelt during preparation. Wheat has been eaten outside of Mediterranean countries for 10,000 years or more. Spelt is one of our "first" foods.
Numerous scares and rumors have developed.
The nastiest I've seen is as follows:
A recent rumor sadly stated that cow's milk contains gluten proteins. No. Milk contains caseins, among other proteins, including one widely considered hypoallergenic, casein hydrosalate, and sugars such as lactose. If you are celiac or gluten intolerant, provided you are not allergic to or intolerant to milk proteins or sugars, then enjoy your milk. Shame on the fear mongerers.

 In the interest of explaining the rumors, one of the big testing companies, GFCO-Gluten-Free Certification Organization sent out an article earlier: It explains the testing procedure, acceptable levels, and "hot spots".

Gluten is found in grains. Not only does it aid in stickiness and stretch in doughs, but is a storage protein. The Bad Guy with celiac, gluten intolerance and gluten allergy is called (by grain, these grains being wheat, rye, spelt and barley)

  1. Wheat: gliadin
  2. Barley: hordein 
  3. Rye: secalin
In the field. Image courtesy: yougrowgirl.com spelt-triticum-spelta/
For what spelt looks like during preparation, see top photo.

* Wheat is related to spelt, which contains less of the gliadin, (Although a celiac can't count on it being "gentler".)

I differentiated because ALL grains have gluten (storage protein), from rice and corn to wheat and barley. This is important. It is basically a big three that makes you ill if you have certain genetic markers or the disease. 

Now, I can try to give a laymen's term-laden restructuring of the GFCO article, but I think it is important that they speak for themselves.
Gluten Free Certification Organization- Understanding "Hot Spots"
This explains exactly how testing is done, margins of error (gulp!) and the categories. And what happens if there is a positive result, false positive or not.

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