Food Science And Gluten

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Current Concern in Food Science (Gluten)

Current Concern in Food Science (Gluten)


The world is fast changing and so is the scenario of science and technology. With the passage of time, new disciplines have emerged on the scene of science and technology. One of the disciplines that have been extensively developed is of food sciences. Food science is defined as the discipline of applied sciences that is dedicated to the study of food. It is a combination of different sciences including biological sciences, physical sciences and engineering. The prime objective of this science is to understand food processes resulting in improved food products for the consumers. Food science aims at studying different aspects of food. These include the nature of food, the causes that cause degradation of food and the principles on which food processing is based.

Activities performed by food sciences professionals include designing of food processes that are much safer than the previous ones, development of improved food products and the processes involved in packaging of food. Food sciences consider a number of concerns regarding food. One of such concerns in food sciences that are currently in vogue is gluten. It is a protein composite substance that is present in foods that are obtained by processing wheat and similar grains. It is commonly found in breads and related products. Gluten is considered as a source of protein globally and therefore is often added to food products that have low levels of protein. It is composed of two substances namely gliadin and glutenin (Shan, 2002, pp. 2275-2279).


Current Concerns

Although found commonly in a number of food products, there are some adverse effects of gluten as well. The concerns regarding these adverse effects are rising. Gluten can cause a number of medical disorders. These include coeliac disease and wheat allergy (Massari, 2011, pp. 389-394). Coeliac disease is a disorder in which abnormal immune reaction occurs to gliadin that is partially digested. Frequencies of disorders occurring due to intake of gluten are nearly equal throughout the world in regions that constitute of wheat eating populations. Another disease named as idiopathic gluten sensitivity is a disorder that is similar to gluten sensitivity except that it is non-allergic and non-autoimmune in nature (Bushara, 2001, pp. 540-543). Coeliac disease is sensitivity to gluten and is inherited genetically. When people who are affected by coeliac disease digest grains of gluten, the abnormal reaction of the body's immune system damages the mucosal lining of the intestinal tract. This damage is illustrated by chronic inflammation of the epithelium and lamina propria. Other symptoms include flattening or destruction of the small, finger-like projections in the small intestine known as the villi, and crypt hyperplasia (crypts are circular-like collections of cells at the base of the villi (Hadjivassiliou,, 2002, pp. 560-3).

Another disease that may be caused by consuming gluten is wheat allergy. It is an allergy that is very rare in its occurrence. It may be caused by consumption of wheat and/or just due to exposure ...
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