Gluten and coeliac disease

Gluten and coeliac disease

Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, unripe spelt grains, emmer, kamut, spelt, triticale, rye, as well as generated flours and derivatives, such as malt.

Being caused by gluten, the autoimmune coeliac disease is also colloquially known as gluten intolerance. The consumption of food containing even the slightest amount of gluten leads to an abnormal immune reaction in people genetically predisposed to the condition, which in turn leads to a chronic inflammation of the intestine and the intestinal villi, thus reducing the ability to absorb nutrients, resulting in symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhoea and  flatulence for people with coeliac disease.

During bread, pastry and pizza production, gluten forms an elastic net ensuring the retention of any carbon dioxide created during the fermentation process, thus allowing the dough to rise. When the gases generated by the sugars come into contact with the yeasts, they remain in the product and ensure an excellent pore formation, i.e. a sponge-like structure. This in turn lends the pastry a softness and savouriness and makes it fluffy and light, which is why gluten is also known as adhesive protein. When baking gluten free bread, for instance, this substance no longer has a positive effect on the gluten free dough. 

To compensate for this, thickening agents need to be used and preferably those of plant origin, such as flour from carob seeds. Starches may also be used to lend the dough a good texture. To give catering professionals an alternative to the good baking properties of flour containing gluten, Dr. Schär Foodservice has developed Food Service Mix, a gluten free flour that optimally replaces the positive properties of gluten.



Frequency of coeliac disease and other gluten-related illnesses

Coeliac disease is one of the most widespread intolerances in the world. Depending on the individual country, up to one percent of the population is affected by it,  as shown by figures from screening examinations.

Currently, a rigid gluten free diet is the only therapy and that entails doing without certain conventional foods, such as bread, pasta products, biscuits or pizza and being sure to eliminate even the slightest trace of flour from every meal.

Gluten/wheat sensitivity
The symptoms of this illness are very similar to those of coeliac disease, although coeliac disease and wheat allergy can be ruled out. A gluten free diet leads to improvements. It is probably a much more frequently occurring illness than coeliac disease.

Wheat allergy
This is a food allergy caused by various components of the wheat protein. The therapy consists of a wheat free diet.

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
The irritable bowel syndrome affects between 10 and 15% of the population. The correct diet plays an important role in combatting this disorder.  A study conducted by Charité Berlin shows that one third of irritable bowel patients benefit enormously from a gluten free diet and can even live without  symptoms. The latter probably have a gluten/wheat sensitivity.

Watch the video to discover just what products contain gluten and what symptoms it causes by coeliac disease sufferers or people with a gluten/wheat sensitivity. Find out how you can offer your guests delicious meals with a balanced menu based on the Schär  brand products, thus allowing them to enjoy food when eating out.