Industry warned over nutritional content of gluten-free products

Shelley Case, dietitian and author of Gluten-Free Diet: A Comprehensive Resource Guide, has raised concerns about the nutritional content of gluten-free products, speaking at the International Baking Industry Expo in Las Vegas.

Case suggests that gluten-free products made with rice, corn and potato flour, with added xanthan or guar gum, have sub-optimal levels of essential nutrients. She argues that these alternatives to white flour and wholewheat flour lack protein, fibre, iron and calcium and other vitamins and minerals, and that there is not enough research into the nutritional status of people on a gluten-free diet.

Added to the coeliac population, there are many people who follow a gluten-free diet by choice, or who have self-diagnosed wheat and gluten intolerance, and the gluten-free food market is now worth $1.6bn, according to Packaged Facts.

Meanwhile, buckwheat flour, a gluten-free flour despite its name, has been found to add nutritional value to baked goods. A study has found that using 40% buckwheat flour could create a gluten-free bread with higher levels of proteins, minerals such as flavonoids, phenolic acids, B vitamins and carotenoids which is also rich in antioxidants. The research, published in the International Journal of Food Science and Technology used buckwheat to replace corn starch which is the main component of gluten-free bread.

Source: Bakery and

Published October 2010.

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