Does barley have gluten in?
You may be wondering, does barley have gluten in it? Well, buckle up buttercup because we are about to take a deep dive into the world of grains and find out exactly what’s going on.
What is Gluten?
Before we start talking about whether or not barley contains gluten, let’s first define what the heck gluten even is. Gluten is a protein composite found in wheat, rye, and barley that gives dough its elasticity. It’s essentially what holds bread together and makes it chewy instead of crumbly – which I guess can be seen as both a blessing and a curse depending on how you feel about carbs.
The Gluten-free Trend
In recent years there has been a rise in people avoiding gluten-containing foods for various health reasons (or perhaps just following trends). This means that many food companies now market products as “gluten-free” to cater to this new demand.
Is Barley Safe for Celiacs?
Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder where consuming even small amounts of gluten can cause serious damage to the intestines. So if you suffer from celiac disease or any form of non-celiac gluten sensitivity, eating anything containing barleys such as beer or soup made from pearl barley would definitely lead to adverse effects.
Barley does contain some amount of proteins- hordein but they differ structurally from gliadins (found in wheat) but similar enough to cause symptoms among 1%-2% percent with CD according European Society for Gastroenterology , Hepatology and Nurtition guidelines [(source)]. Thus as per expert opinion one with CD should completely avoid barleys at all costs! .
However most commercially available beers derived from adjunct brewing process wherein additional enzymes are added resulting complete digestion/degradation of horediens during fermentation process leading producing drinks devoid their antigenic potential .A pint every once in a while may not hurt (check its labelling)!
Barley’s Relation to Gluten
So, back to the question at hand. Does barley have gluten in it? The answer is yes, but…it’s slightly more complicated than that. While traditional forms of barley do contain gluten, there are now varieties being bred and grown specifically for people with celiac disease or non-celiac glueten sensitivity.
These new strains of barley – called “gluten-free” or “low-gluten” barley – have been modified through selective breeding to contain less of the protein composites that trigger adverse reactions within these groups [(source)].
In fact FunBarley from Australia produces such lo wHoredien variety which can be included by patients’ diets as per their taste and choice!
That being said if you’re looking at anything derived from traditional barely such as beer, malt vinegar , health supplements; chances are pretty high it’ll pack some gluten like an invisible ticking time bomb++
Identifying Gluten-containing Foods & Drinks
If you’re someone trying to avoid foods with gluten altogether then reading labels becomes essential. While avoiding wheat based products may seem obvious (bread/ pizza etc) , other grains containing gliadin hordein proteins like rye and quinoa ought not be overlooked either!
Here are few examples of some common sources:
- Beer: Contains large amounts of gluten.
- Malt Vinegar
On the contrary numerous options present themselves when baked goods made brown rice flour maize flour katjang idjoe flour potato starch listed in ingredients list (when mentioned “Gluten-free” label.)
Plus cooking low GI carb recipes made up millet buckwheat amaranth sorghum has additional benefites such controlling blood sugar levels along side reducing weight without switching on guilt mode ! You gotta try them out at least once.
So, can you eat barley if you’re avoiding gluten? It really depends on your own personal situation. If you have celiac disease or are highly sensitive to gluten then avoiding traditional forms of wheat ,rye ,and barley altogether is the befitting choice!
However moderate consumption of Modified varities like “Fun Barley” and “lo wHordein” may not spike gliadin responses positively affecting one’s diet while still compromising with taste buds! Just don’t forget to read labels carefully and never shy away from trying up nutrient dense alternatives containing healthy carbs – there’s more than enough options available in market for everyone nowadays.
Happy Eating folks!