Gluten - everybody fears it, nobody understands it, but what exactly is it and what does it do? Lizzie explains that gluten “is a protein that traps the gas in the dough and makes it rise”. This video is from the BBC’s The Food Chain, part of a programme devoted to the issue of gluten.
Starting with a dough of flour, salt and water, it is then washed to leave a mass of mostly gluten. Parle then inserts a pump nozzle and the gluten blows up like a balloon.
A recent wave of people removing gluten from their diet has pushed the issue under the spotlight. Years ago, celiac disease was a very uncommon condition that affected a small proportion of the population and was considered an affliction. Today, in the United States alone, there are some 3.1 million people that follow a gluten-free diet. With the vast majority of them having no intolerance to gluten or having celiac disease.
There is a lot of misinformation surrounding gluten, and some studies suggest that a gluten-free diet can even increase the risk of cardiovascular disease in the long term.
The Food Chain programme by the BBC, looks to provide clear information on gluten and its effects.