The Gluten Friendly is an innovative method of detoxification of gluten proteins from grain cereals, it is covered by a granted Italian patented and with pending applications in more than 100 countries. The approach is revolutionary because it does not use enzymes and relies on the application of microwave energy for a few seconds on hydrated crops, before milling. The application of microwaves is carried out only for the purpose of reaching very high temperatures, in a short time, in order to trigger, in protein bodies in which gluten proteins are enclosed, a very specific chemical reaction. This chemical reaction causes changes in the gluten proteins drastically reducing immunogenicity, without compromising the technological properties needed to transform the flour into pasta, bread and other baked goods. It is an industrial process simple to apply and inexpensive.
The reduction of immunogenicity of gluten proteins in flour produced from grain treated with this method, is the result of structural changes of endosperm storage proteins of wheat. These changes are possible while the proteins are still segregated in protein bodies. This capability is lost in the gluten network which is fully developed in the dough. At the same time these changes do not affect the technological properties of gluten, this way the flour, after hydration and mixing, forms a dough that allows its transformation in pasta, bread and other bakery products.
Recipients of innovation are a) celiac and gluten sensitive patients. These people will have the possibility to use, in the near future, “gluten friendly” foods. These will be safe with production costs in line with those for not-treated cereals. These ‘gluten friendly” foods will have the same nutritional and organoleptic characteristics of foods eaten by the consumer prior to the development of the disease. Allowing the patients to have, a normal lifestyle; b) the general population at large, especially those with a genetic predisposition to celiac disease, in order to reduce the onset of the disease in the future, thanks to the consumption of products “gluten friendly” with reduced immunogenicity and immunotoxicity.
The impact of “Gluten Friendly” technology on the market could be “disruptive” because the method patented by the University of Foggia relates to the introduction of a new paradigm in the dietary treatment of celiac disease: going from a strictly gluten-free diet, highly restrictive, to a “Gluten Friendly” diet, that will ensure physical, psychological and economic benefits.
Producing and marketing healthy, safe food, informing consumers about the nutritional content, environmental impact and social implications of the product;