This website is based ONLY on hard science: Factual information from academically accepted text books, along with published peer reviewed reports of valid medical research studies.

What is Gluten?

Gluten is a protein in Wheat, Barley or Rye seeds.
For some people it is toxic, and a potent carcinogen.

If you have chosen to eliminate these substances from your diet, you are facing a challenge of daunting proportions. Some people who are doing this experience life-threatening reactions if they make mistakes. The more fortunate suffer only unpleasant discomfort. You may be considering doing this for any of a variety of perfectly good reasons, even without experiencing a reaction that you can attribute to these foodstuffs. Your reasons are your own.

The job of avoiding gluten is made more difficult by the huge amount ignorance about many aspects of physics, chemistry and biology in people who ought to know better. One major area of trouble is food ingredient lists on labels. The worst offender seems to be "natural flavor" which is all too often made from browned gluten protein. The food makers are not required to tell you this ugly little fact.

The second major source of trouble is the terrible misconceptions about distillation. (Read Distillation.) Distilled vinegar made from wheat IS contaminated with wheat protein fragments too small to be filtered out, yet large enough to be recognizably wheat gluten protein. Too many people who are advising others hold the misconception that distilled vinegar is "pure".

And finally, there is strong disagreement over how much you have to get rid of to be able to claim you have something that is gluten-free. European standards ( Codex Alimentarius ) are much more liberal than many in the US would like. They would allow non-trivial amounts of gluten in something claimed to be gluten-free. There are MANY people who suffer serious reactions to foods with less than ten parts per million of gluten. The only truly safe amount seems to be ZERO. (But there seems to be strong pressure from the WTO for the USA to adopt it as an internal standard so that we can freely trade foods!)


Helping all who want to totally eliminate gluten from their diet learn how to do it. For those who have undertaken gluten-elimination, we hope to provide a significant amount of information about foods and the various sources of stealth gluten, usually encountered where it is least expected. For others, we hope to provide a balanced perspective on a complex topic, with links to credible educational resources, so that there might be a better understanding of the science and the issues.


No-Gluten is a small, not-for-profit, privately funded, service organization. The members and contributors have expertise in a variety of relevant fields, including microbiology, biochemistry, botany, immunology, food technology, and various other medical and engineering disciplines. All website content is produced by volunteers. We are not affiliated with any other institutions.


The No-Gluten Website is a work in progress, seeking volunteers to help with content and web design.

Last modified 6 March 2010.

Background
What is Gluten?
What is Food?
Avoiding Gluten
Gluten in Food
Digestion
Immune System
Biochemistry
Food Technology
Filtration
Fermentation
Distillation
Celiac Disease
Gluten Intolerance
About Us
References
Links - Celiac
Links - Science
Opinion