For those who suffer from celiac disease, or who try to keep gluten out of their diet, living without wheat can be a drag. Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder which causes intestinal damage when gluten enters their body. Gluten is most notably found in wheat products, but is present in a in a whole suite of items, making life especially scary for those living with the autoimmune disorder. Even trace amounts of gluten can cause a severe reaction. For those living with celiac, something as simple as going out to dinner or eating food at a friends can be a stressful experience. While there are plenty of reasons to eat less gluten, and there are no shortage of delicious gluten free recipes, living gluten-free has never been an easy pill to swallow.
But help may well be on the way. According to Food Navigator, scientists at Wageningen University in the Netherlands are employing gene biotechnology to remove the toxic antigens in gluten which cause gastrointestinal harm in people suffering from celiac disease.
To accomplish this feat, researchers are using gene-editing technology, specifically the CRISPR-Cas9 gene-editing tool. This new and exciting device allows researchers to edit parts of the genome by adding, changing, or removing certain segments of the DNA sequence. The CRISPR-Cas9 is especially exciting, as it is cheaper, faster, and more accurate than previous editions of gene-altering technology.
The big question is, of course, will it taste the same? Good news on that front. The antigens, called ‘epitopes’ are, according to Food Navigator, removed without affecting the texture, shape, and chewiness that gluten gives dough, said.
According to Jan Schaart, a researcher at Wageningen Plant Research, “Not all of these genes have the toxic epitopes and [with this new CRISPR-Ca9 technique] it’s possible to remove part of them and leave the non-toxic ones.”
Welcome news for anyone with celiac disease, as well as the millions of people who are gluten-free for other reasons. This new gene therapy may not make bread healthier, but this gene-edited gluten could mean safer nights out for celiacs, and the chance to finally enjoy the bread products that have, until now, been off-limits.
Of course, you don’t need gene editing to make great gluten-free breads! Check out these recipes, courtesy of the Food Monster App!
Packed with protein and all the nutrients you could ask for, Selva Wohlgemuth‘s gluten free Power Bread combines sunflower seeds, flax, and sesame seeds to create the perfect, warm, delicious loaf in 15 minutes. Try it out in Bananas Foster Toast, and prepare to start your day right. Be sure to choose raw sunflower seeds – toasted seeds can be tossed in flour and could pose a risk to bakers with celiac or a severe gluten sensitivity.
Pear Pecan Bread
If you’re a big fan of sweet treats, Katrina Nixon‘s Pear Pecan Bread is the perfect gluten free bread recipe to dive into. This nutty, chewy bread is perfect on its own or toasted with a little vegan butter or jam. As an added bonus, it freezes well, so you can save your creation for later!
Naan/One Green Planet
Did you go gluten-free and fall into a pit of despair when you realized you couldn’t order naan anymore? Fear not – Joyce Gan‘s gluten-free and vegan Naan is here! Pair this recipe with any of these vegan-friendly, gluten-free versions of classic Indian dishes.
If you enjoy recipes like this, we highly recommend downloading the Food Monster App, it’s available for both Android and iPhone and has free and paid versions. The app is loaded with thousands of allergy-friendly & vegan recipes/cooking tips, has hundreds of search filters and features like bookmarking, meal plans and more! The app shows you how having diet/health/food preferences can be full of delicious abundance rather than restrictions!
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