Not so long ago, society came across such a concept as gluten. The loud statements of thinner stars sitting on gluten-free diets caused heated debate about the benefits and harms of gluten. What is this substance that is found in many products? Is gluten harmful in beer, why is it needed there? Should I be afraid of this component? Let's take a closer look.
What is gluten free?
The word "gluten" itself came from the Latin "glue". In essence, it is a complex-structured wheat protein that is often called gluten. It is part of most cereals (wheat, barley, rye and others). Gluten in the dry form of a gray shade, does not have a pronounced smell and taste. The main sources of gluten are wheat, rye, barley, oats, millet. It is thanks to the gluten that is in the flour that when mixed with the liquid, it is possible to obtain an adhesive mass, to knead an elastic tight dough. Thanks to this substance, the baking is airy, light, with a pleasant crust. Wheat in its composition has 80% gluten. If the flour contains a low percentage of gluten, kneading the dough becomes almost impossible.
Since gluten is found in barley, it is natural that the foamy drink contains this substance. Gluten in beer is an excellent natural preservative that gives a unique taste and preserves the characteristic properties of the drink.
An interesting fact: gluten is not able to dissolve in water, it only reacts and sticks together particles of water and flour.
The properties of this substance make it possible to enhance the taste and play the role of a preservative.
How is gluten removed?
Gluten is removed from grain in the simplest and cheapest way. Water is added to the flour, all this is held for a certain time, during which the starch becomes a solution. The undissolved substance is gluten. It is processed and used in a wide variety of industries, both in food and in industrial production. Is gluten good? The dry substance contains hydrogen, carbon, nitrogen, oxygen (plus sulfur molecules), amino acids (methionine, lysine, threonine), vitamins A, E, B, phosphorus. From this we can conclude that gluten in beer does not do any harm.
On the labels, this substance is indicated as follows:
- Modified food starch.
- Textured vegetable protein.
- Hydrolyzed protein of plant origin.
Gluten is often used in cosmetics. If it is indicated that vitamin E has been added, this means that the composition contains gluten, which is obtained from wheat. People who have contraindications to this substance should be careful. Not everyone knows that marking on a cosmetic product “with vitamin E” implies the presence of a large amount of gluten in the composition.
In which industries is it used?
Gluten is a natural preservative and flavor enhancer, so it is used in many industries:
- in the production of flour products;
- in sausages;
- dairy products, including in baby food, yoghurts;
- canned food;
- beer production (gluten in beer);
- some medications.
Gluten in beer: what is harmful?
Recently, information has appeared that cereal gluten (or gluten) adversely affects the human body. A lot of research is being done around the world, and not one of them has confirmed these claims. The only harm to gluten is a danger to those who experience protein intolerance. This disease exists, in essence it is genetic in nature.
Some beer lovers began to think about whether gluten brings negative consequences. Gluten in beer, the harm of which has not been proven, is used as a preservative. This component does no harm. There is an opinion that myths invented about the dangers of cereal gluten are more of a marketing move, thanks to which the demand for various brands of gluten-free beer has increased. People who trust advertising, billboards, posters, trying to maintain their health, increasingly prefer a gluten-free drink. The pricing policy for such beer is growing, and manufacturers are only gaining. In fact, the presence of gluten in beer is comparable to the presence of starch in potatoes.
Gluten Free Beer
If we consider all the opinions, then it is worth saying about those who consider gluten harmful.
Some convince us that the cereal gluten contained in barley and wheat is the reason for the appearance of the beer belly and weight gain. There is also a category of people who cannot tolerate protein. She is completely deprived of the joy of drinking foam drinks. If beer contains gluten, it is contraindicated for such persons. As a result of searches, some manufacturers began to produce gluten-free beer. This diet product has become popular with supporters of a low-protein diet and gluten-free foods.
Gluten-free beer is produced according to one of the common technologies:
- The first method is based on the rejection of the use of gluten-containing cereals, such as barley, rye, wheat. In this case, they are replaced by gluten-free cereals: corn, rice, sorghum or fruit.
- The second method allows the use of barley, but in this case, gluten is removed from the finished product.
How to determine by taste which beer does not contain gluten? Tastes are not much different, although, of course, new drinks lose in competition with old, traditional, centuries-old recipes.
In this area, modern brewers are constantly improving, figures eloquently testify to this. If in 2007 at the beer festival in America you could try only eight types of gluten-free beer, then after a few years this figure increased to twenty. All foreign restaurants and hotels in their menu must contain gluten-free drinks.
The first gluten-free beer on the Russian market was introduced by the Spanish brand Daura Damm (Daura Damm). Now, the best gluten-free grades include the following brands:
- Bards ("Bard") - a light taste, close to the traditional camp, based on sorghum.
- Greens ("Greens") - a refreshing tart drink is especially popular among vegetarians.
- Dogfish Head Tweason ale ("Dogfish") - American ale with a peculiar strawberry flavor made from sorghum.
- New Planet ("New Planet") - beer, which is the silver medalist of the American beer festival.
- Lakenfront Brewery New Grist (New Treasure Brewery) is a gluten-free drink with the scent of fresh green apples.
- Redbridge ("Red Bridge") - Gluten-free light fragrant ale is the most popular among Americans.
- Omission ("Inaction") - this beer is made from barley and malt, but subsequently gluten is removed from it. This makes it possible to maintain a classic taste.
For adults, foods containing even a large amount of cereal gluten are not harmful to health. If beer contains gluten, then there is nothing dangerous in this - as many researchers believe. Scientists have proven that gluten contains many useful substances for the body - magnesium, iron, vitamins B and D. The immune system, which protects us from various viruses and bacteria, is stimulated by the amino acids present in the protein. Threonine and methionine - substances present in gluten, contribute to the normalization of the gastrointestinal tract, while enriching the cells with oxygen.
Gluten is a valuable vegetable protein that helps normalize metabolism, contains a whole range of nutrients. If you get rid of this protein, it is unlikely to lose weight. All gluten-free foods containing modified ingredients, on the contrary, contribute to weight gain.
In beer, gluten affects the taste of the drink in many ways. In gluten-free types of beer products, many manufacturers use flavor enhancers that have a negative effect on health.
A healthy person who does not have allergic reactions to foods can relate to gluten without concern. People with celiac disease, before drinking a foamy drink, should definitely ask if there is gluten in beer? The use of cereal gluten is completely contraindicated for them.
What is celiac disease? Belongs to a number of congenital, autoimmune - complete intolerance to gluten. The small intestine is affected. This disease occurs in only 1% of the world's population. The patient’s body does not absorb gluten and perceives it as a foreign element, a foreign substance, while the digestive system, brain cells, joints are damaged, and there is a risk of cancer.
The substance "gluten" consists of glutenin and gliadin, in this case gliadin is dangerous. Those suffering from celiac disease when gluten enters the body have damage to the small intestine, then they receive the following consequences: diarrhea, exhaustion, developmental disabilities, cancer, infertility.
Symptoms of Intolerance
We figured out why gluten is in beer, and that, in principle, it is harmless to the body. But some manufacturers exceed dosages and add extra gluten to flour, other products. Therefore, many people began to notice in themselves some signs of intolerance to this substance, similar to celiac disease. Gluten in beer - harm or benefit in this alliance? In normal doses, gluten is safe and even in some way useful for the body, but at higher doses, signs of intolerance may occur:
- Violation of the digestive tract (bloating, diarrhea, indigestion).
- Decreased immunity, performance.
- Deteriorated metabolic function.
Some are unaware of the causes of these signs, dumping everything on malnutrition. To exclude gluten intolerance, you need to remove gluten-containing products (pasta, bread, beer, etc.) from the diet for a while and monitor the body's reaction and evaluate your own well-being. If, after returning to your previous diet, these symptoms are detected, then you are gluten intolerant. It is necessary to balance nutrition and consult a doctor, do tests for celiac disease.
Gluten-free diet: does it make sense?
Many today, succumbing to the trend of fashion, go on a gluten-free diet in the hope of rapid weight loss. All products containing gluten are completely excluded from the diet. Nutritionists sound the alarm and urge not to do this. Man has been using cereals for many centuries, receiving from them a charge of energy and a lot of useful substances.
Correct gluten-free diets actually exist, but they are not low-calorie and have a healing function, they are prescribed as needed only by a specialist. With the complete exclusion of gluten from the diet, you can harm your own health, create a deficiency of many nutrients. The following natural products do not contain gluten :
- millet, rice, buckwheat, corn;
- homemade meat products.
The best solution is common sense. Fully in the supermarket gluten will not get around. You should not put all products in the “taboo” zone. Weigh the pros and cons. The ideal option is to cook your own food from products that you have grown yourself.
The benefits for gluten producers are huge. It is used in various industries - in the manufacture of canned food, bread, sauces, semi-finished products. It is also clear why gluten is added to beer - the product is preserved and suitable for consumption for a longer time, it has special taste qualities inherent in barley malt.
Gluten-free bread becomes more lush, airy, with a crisp. In production, the use of gluten reduces costs and kneading time. Unfortunately, many factories overestimate the amount of gluten, and this can already adversely affect the health of consumers. Normally, gluten is not harmful, but its overdose can provoke undesirable consequences.