12 January - 20 June 2016

Sorghum found to be safe for celiac patients

10 April 13

A study by Pontieri et al and published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry has provided biochemical and genetic evidence that sorghum is safe for celiac patients. Celiac disease is caused by a reaction to the ingestion of proline and glutamine-rich wheat gluten or related proteins from rye or barley flours.  Treatment for celiac disease is to avoid gluten proteins.  Sorghum is an ancient cereal grain that's a staple crop in India and throughout Africa.  It is used in Western countries as an animal feed.  Pontieri et al note that it is considered safe for celiac patients as it is more closely related to maize than to wheat, rye or barley.  Farmers in America have already cultivated a “food-grade” hybrid which produces a white grain which can be used for wheat free foods.   The researchers used in silico genomic approaches and biochemical experiments to characterise the proteins in different sorghum varieties and found that the sorghum lacked toxic gliadin-like peptides.  They confirmed these results by using immunochemical experiments, with the antibody R5, an antibody recommended by Codex Alimentarius.  This antibody reacts with gliadin fractions and prolamins.  Sorghum is an inexpensive grain and has a bland, neutral, taste.  Pontieri et al. note that the grain provides numerous health benefits, having high total lipid levels, in particular linoleic acid and oleic acids.  The scientists state that their results provide evidence that sorghum is safe for celiac patients although there have been concerns about its use as a food source due to condensed tannins that reduce the digestibility of dietary proteins.  However they state that “the modern food-grade sorghum cultivars used in this paper do not contain condensed tannins and were developed for use as ingredients in food products for human consumption.”

RSSL carries out allergen testing using immunological, DNA and distillation techniques, depending on the allergen to be detected. Detection limits are in the range 1- 100 mg allergen/kg of sample for almond, Brazil nut, macadamia nut, peanut, walnut, hazelnut, cashew nut, pistachio nut, pecan nut, pine nut and chestnut.  Celery, celeriac, black mustard, lupin and kiwi allergens can be detected by DNA methods, as can crustacean, fish and mollusc allergens.  The laboratory also uses a range of UKAS accredited immunological procedures for the detection of allergens including gluten, peanut, hazelnut, almonds, soya, egg, milk, sesame and histamine.  Distillation and titration methods are used for the determination of sulphur dioxide and sulphites.  For more information please contact Customer Services on Freephone 0800 243482 or email enquiries@rssl.com.

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