From Latin gluten (“tail”), is known as gluten a sticky substance that allows to unite one thing with another. It is also a glycoprotein which is, next to starch, in the seeds of various cereals.
This protein is composed of glutenin Y gliadin, representing 80% of wheat proteins. It can be obtained from wheat, oat, barley and rye flour, through a starch washing process. A dough is created with flour and water and washed with plenty of water. When it will not be used for food purposes, the process can be carried out using saline solutions.
When cooked, gluten achieves a firm consistency. The fermentation gases are retained inside the dough, allowing it to rise. Once cooking is complete, the gluten coagulation keeps the bun from going flat. Gluten, therefore, provides the elasticity of doughs and breads.
It is important to bear in mind that gluten is harmful for many people due to its relationship with different diseases. Celiacs are those who do not tolerate gluten, which forces them to carry on subsistence allowance free of this protein. In case of consuming gluten (for example, through bread), this substance damages the mucosa of the small intestine and prevents normal digestion. The dermatitis herpetiformis and the autism are other disorders that may necessitate gluten-free diets. In the case of autistics, gluten is believed to have an opiate effect.
Corn, sorghum, brown rice and quinoa are some of the gluten-free cereals; In other words, they do not contain this element in their composition.
It is important to note, however, that dietitians recommend that for the realization of diet foods whole grain flours are used, which lack starch but do contain the fiber necessary for a balanced diet.
How do you get gluten?
In recent years, gluten has become an indispensable element of the kitchen. It is used mainly in the vegetarian diets, in which it is used as one of the main substitutes for meat.
Being a pure protein, gluten does not contain carbohydrates, which makes it ideal for preparing diet foods.
To obtain it, foods that contain it are used, such as wheat flour, and through a cleaning process, this substance is separated from the rest. This procedure is extremely simple so it can be done industrially or at home. In this way, we can buy a bag of gluten (which has already been separated from the rest of the flour) at any herbalist or organic shop. And we can also obtain it at home, starting from wheat flour.
For this it is necessary to carry out a uniform dough of flour and water and leave it in water so that over the hours it loses the starch and fiber content. The remaining bun will be made up of gluten only and will be a sticky, even dough.
With this dough we can make meals for coeliacs or even fantastic recipes to replace the meat on our table.
One of the great advantages that scientific discoveries allow is helping us to provide us with an ethical life, without harming other individuals to be happy and healthy. Eating a vegetarian diet is surely a great option to get on your way to that ideal ethic. Therefore, getting tasty food with juicy textures is the goal of every passionate about good kitchen. And gluten allows us to make meals of different types, without having to resort to the exploitation of other animals for it.