June 26, 2013
WASHINGTONA new variety of canary seeds bred specifically for human consumption qualifies as a gluten-free cereal ideal for those with celiac disease (CD), according to a new study published in ACS' Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.
Joyce Irene Boye, from the Food Research and Development Centre, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, and her colleagues pointed out that at least 3 million people suffer from celiac disease in the United States alone. Those with the disease develop gastrointestinal and other symptoms from the consumption of wheat, barley, rye and other gluten-related proteins.
In the study, allergenic cross-reactivities between hairless, dehulled canary seeds and major allergenic proteins from gluten, soy, peanuts, tree nuts, sesame and mustard, were studied. Mass spectrometry and immunoblotting were assessed for the presence of gluten-specific protein fragments revealing the likely presence of proteins homologous with rice, oat, corn, carrot, tomato, radish, beet and chickpea. Immunoblotting studies yielded negative results, further confirming the absence of gluten in the canary seed samples tested. No presence of celiac-related gluten fragments from wheat, rye, barley or their derivatives was found.
Gluten-free products have been on the rise over the last few years due to a rise in health concerns and an increased awareness of gluten intolerance. Even places like Dunkin Donuts are trying their hand at gluten-free products.
Boye, along with her team, is looking to expand dietary options for those with CD, including non-gluten cereals like corn, rice, teff, quinoa, millet, buckwheat and sorghum.
The study verified that indeed the canary seeds are gluten-free, contain more protein than other cereals, are rich in other nutrients and are suitable for making flour which can be used for baking.
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