Gluten is a combined protein found in wheat-like grains. Glutens from different grains have different properties, and they form the majority of protein in most grains. Proteins bind other things together, like, and are often used as binders and thickeners in food products. Gluten in wheat gives it most of its protein content, while providing characteristics such as chewiness to the dough.
When people use the term 'gluten' or 'gluten-free', they are always referring to the glutens found in the products made from grains like wheat, barley, rye, etc., which has an ability different from other grains, causing an auto-immune reaction in people with celiac disease or gluten intolerance. Such people cannot ingest gluten without suffering an autoimmune response, damaging their intestines, and other complications, including internal bleeding and cancer of the intestines.
Gluten content in grains creates an allergy. Now-a-days gluten allergies are relatively common. According to studies, one in 167 seemingly healthy children and in 111 adults, have some type of allergy to gluten. Celiac disease is found to be most severe, and it will attack one in 100 people. This kind of allergy may attack any person, and the diagnosis of this allergy can be much difficult.
Celiac disease affects millions of people worldwide, but many sufferers are not aware that they have the symptomatic condition for this disease, and they may have been misdiagnosed for other illnesses. A pioneering new test developed with EU-funding should soon be available in hospitals, offering an accurate, quick, cost-effective diagnosis and monitoring solution.
A gluten allergy involves an involuntary adverse reaction within the body to a component in wheat, rye and barley. Wheat is the most common food ingredient that people have allergic reactions with. According to The Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network, a gluten allergy is not the same thing as celiac disease, which is a digestive disorder. However if you are allergic to gluten, eating something that contains it will produce an immune system reaction. Symptoms include hives, swelling, wheezing, abdominal pain and difficulty breathing. It is important to determine if gluten is producing this type of reaction when you eat foods, as this will assist in avoiding gluten-containing foods in future.
Some people suffer for many years from gluten allergies before a diagnosis is made. Most doctors have to see severe gastro intestinal problems prior to consider ordering an intestinal biopsy to diagnose celiac disease. An intestinal biopsy, considered the "gold standard" for diagnosing celiac disease, is a procedure that involves placing a camera into the digestive tract and removing a sample of the small intestine for biopsy. Celiac disease is diagnosed based on biopsy result and it is determined by the presence of damage to the villi (finger-like hairs that absorb nutrients in the small intestines). However, not all people with gluten allergies, or even celiac disease, will present gastrointestinal symptoms.
Other tests to determine an allergy to gluten involves a series of blood tests to measure the levels of antibodies to gluten. These tests includes the anti-tissue transglutaminase antibody (tTG) test, the anti-gliadin antibodies (AGA) test, the anti-endomysial antibodies (EMA) test, and the anti-reticulin antibodies (ARA) test.
A gluten allergy can be diagnosed simply by eliminating all gluten from the diet for 30 days, and reintroducing it to the body, and documenting the reaction on it. These tests vary in their reliability and sensitivity in detecting gluten allergies and will often be accompanied by a full blood count to check for other possible symptoms, such as anemia, electrolytes, renal function and liver enzymes.
The EZ Gluten Test is an easy to use kit that will quickly detect the presence of gluten in foods and beverages. It is sensitive enough to detect levels of gluten as low as 10 ppm. This simple test is small and portable enough for use at restaurants or when traveling, and is sensitive and robust enough for use in industry and food manufacturing. It can be used to test individual ingredients in foods and beverages.
The EZ Gluten Assay has been validated and certified as a Performance Tested Method (#051101) by the AOAC Research Institute as an effective method for the detection of gluten in a wide variety of foods and environmental surfaces.