Is Spelt Gluten Free? Here’s the Scoop

Spelt GlutenHave you ever wondered whether or not spelt was free of gluten? Many people are under the mistaken belief that spelt is a gluten-free food, but it does have gluten content. Also known as hulled wheat or dinkel wheat, spelt wheat is a wheat species cultivated for centuries. In Europe, spelt was a significant staple in the medieval times and as early as the Bronze Age. At the moment it survives as a Central Europe relic crop. At times, spelt is considered a wheat subspecies. It has six sets of chromosomes and is thus classified as hexaploid wheat. Some folks are under the mistaken belief it is free of gluten due to the fact that people allergic to wheat are sometimes able to eat spelt with no reaction.

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Spelt Gluten in Recipes

Spelt gluten should not be consumed by any person with celiac disease or is gluten-sensitive without careful consideration. When spelt is cooked, the gluten does not behave like wheat gluten. For instance, it is not easy to use spelt for creating seitan or wheat gluten in recipes that calls for soaking wheat in hot water to remove the protein from the starch. When you do this with spelt, the hot water also dissolves the protein structure.  To create seitan from spelt, the grains need to be hand-washed carefully under cold, running water.

Since wheat gluten is less soluble than spelt gluten, it is a different process to create spelt yeast bread as compared to wheat yeast bread. In spelt, the individual molecules of gluten readily join together to form sheets and long chains trapping the yeast-produced gas.  For this reason, it is possible for spelt bread to be over-kneaded. Some bread-making machines work very well for wheat but cannot be used for spelt as these so vigorously knead that the gluten becomes over-developed.  There is a possibility that it is easier to digest spelt protein due to its great solubility when compared to wheat.  Also, in the event you are interested not just in spelt gluten but also in baking your own bread,  this course will let you in on everything you need to know about baking fresh artisan bread yourself.

Fewer Allergies

Without a doubt, more folks have been more exposed to wheat than to spelt, which results in fewer chances of developing a spelt allergy. No matter what the reason may be, there are less people suffering from allergies after consuming spelt compared to wheat.  Although people with intolerance to gluten and celiac disease should not consume spelt in most cases, some food-allergic individuals are able to eat it with little or no reaction. If you happen to be suffering from food allergies, consult your physician about taking a spelt allergy test before you go ahead and eat some spelt pizza.  If you or someone you know has mentioned celiac disease and you want to know more about it, here is a course about gluten and how it relates to celiac disease.  In the event you are making attempts to manage a lifestyle without gluten, here is another course you might be interested that tell you all about how to go gluten free.

Availability

Bread made with spelt has been sold in shops specializing in health food and increasingly, in bakeries. The loaf color of spelt bread is not unlike light rye but it tends to have a slightly nutty, slightly sweet flavor. There are also pretzels, crackers and biscuits produced but these are usually found in a health food specialty store or bakery rather than in a regular grocery or supermarket.  You might also find flour made from spelt sprouted grains in a health food store.

In Poland, spelt is distilled to create vodka while in Belgium and Bavaria; it is brewed to create beer. You may also find pasta made with spelt in health food stores. Compared to modern wheat, spelt is more expensive, as it is an uncommon product. Its price is also higher due to the fact that it needs an extra husk removal stage before getting milled. It makes a light, soft loaf with a great flavor and is great for flat bread in particular since this can become somewhat soft yet crisp.

Nutritional Content

Excluding the 9.2% fiber, spelt contains approximately 57. 9% carbohydrates, 3% fat and 17% protein. There are dietary vitamins and minerals as well. When it comes to protein, spelt has a more soluble matrix of protein compared to hard red winter wheat. It is characterized by a higher ratio of gliadin to glutenin. Contrary to popular belief, it also does contain gluten in moderate amounts. For some baking, spelt is suitable. However, due to the fact that it does have gluten content, it is not suited for individuals that have celiac disease.

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The Evolution of Spelt

Spelt is a species of wheat with genes that indicate that it is actually a domesticated tetraploid wheat hybrid, such as wild goat grass and emmer wheat.  This development may have occurred before bread wheat made an appearance about eight thousand years ago.  It has also been suggested that spelt wheat may also have resulted from emmer wheat and bread wheat hybridization. However, this may have occurred at some date that followed the wheat hybridization called Aegilops-tetraploid. It has never been actually resolved whether spelt has had 2 different origins in Europe and Asia or one in the Near East.

If this article helped you get clear on whether or not spelt does have gluten (it does), and you are trying to live a gluten-free lifestyle, here is an article you might like about the gluten content of beans.