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Chapter 13: Malting of Sorghum and Buckwheat for Brewing Purposes — A Gluten-Free Alternative to Barley?

B. Schehl, A. Mauch, and E. K. Arendt, Department of Food and Nutritional Sciences, University College Cork, Ireland; Biotransfer Unit, National University of Ireland, University College Cork, Ireland

The Science of Gluten-Free Foods and Beverages
Pages 119-123
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1094/9781891127670.013
ISBN: 978-1-891127-67-0


Malting is a process in which cereal grains undergo a controlled germination and drying process. Malt is mainly used for brewing purposes, but it also finds an application as a baking ingredient or basis (e.g., malt extract) for products which are used as adjuncts in a wide range of foods. Therefore, malt can be considered ubiquitous in human nutrition. Barley, the most important raw material for malting, is considered a gluten-containing cereal, and thus is not suitable for celiac sufferers. Even if processing and enzymatic breakdown can degrade large gluten proteins, existence of small toxic sequences can still occur. Thus, foods and beverages containing barley malt and malt-based adjuncts might retain some toxicity. On this account, the production of malt from gluten-free cereals and pseudocereals is of great interest, especially for people suffering celiac disease.

It is the aim of this chapter to give an overview on the production, including technological hurdles, of quality malt for brewing purposes from gluten-free cereals and pseudocereals. For this purpose, sorghum is the representative of gluten-free cereals, and buckwheat is the representative of pseudocereals. Barley, being the most known and developed raw material for malting, is employed as the basis of comparison.