Elke K. Arendt, Department of Food Science, Food Technology and Nutrition, National University of Ireland, Cork, Ireland, Phone +353-21-4902064, fax +353-21-4270213, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org; Stefano Renzetti, Department of Food Science, Food Technology and Nutrition, National University of Ireland, Cork, Ireland
The Science of Gluten-Free Foods and Beverages
Celiac disease (CD) is an immune-mediated enteropathy triggered by the ingestion of gluten in genetically susceptible individuals (Catassi et al., 2007). Despite the advances that have been made in the understanding of CD pathogenesis and the potential development of novel therapies, at present the only safe and effective treatment for CD sufferers is the avoidance of gluten-containing foods such as wheat, rye, and barley (Ciclitira et al., 2005), as well as durum wheat, spelt wheat, kamut, einkorn, and triticale (Kasarda, 2001).
Yeast-leavened products, i.e., wheat breads, are the most important staple food in the Western world. Gluten is the essential component for its appealing quality and structure. Gluten is composed of two main protein fractions: gliadins, which contribute to the viscous properties and dough extensibility of wheat doughs (Pomeranz, 1988; Don et al., 2003), and glutenins, which have a prominent role in the elastic and strengthening properties of the dough (MacRitchie, 1987; Xu et al., 2007). Due to these unique viscoelastic properties, the development of gluten-free (GF) products with similar quality and structural properties of wheat bread is very difficult. Several GF breads are now available on the market, but finding good quality GF foods is still one of the major issues for CD sufferers to completely adhere to a GF diet (Case, 2005).
The number of studies published on GF bakery products is limited, which reflects both the difficulty of the technological challenge and a lack of awareness of the large incidence of CD. In recent years, several studies have been reported that investigated the suitability of flours from GF cereals and pseudocereals (Gujral et al., 2003a, b; Schober et al., 2004; Moore and Arendt, 2007), dairy products (Gallagher et al., 2003), proteins (Sanchez et al., 2002; Moore et al., 2004), or the use of gums and hydrocolloids (Toufeili et al., 1994; Guarda et al., 2004; Lazaridou et al., 2007) to improve volume, crumb texture, and the overall quality and acceptability of GF breads. Most recently, novel processing technology, such as enzymatic processing and high hydrostatic pressure (HHP) processing have been investigated (Renzetti et al., 2008a; Huttner and Arendt, 2007).
The aim of this chapter is to give an overview on the novel approaches in the development of GF products, with a particular focus on GF flours and ingredients and novel processing techniques.