Read the full story on Inquirer.com. Download a PDF of the print version.We were going to name her Emily. I didn’t know that the constant migraines, extreme stomach pain, and diarrhea that I developed after my first daughter Elizabeth was born would impact my second pregnancy. In my ninth month, I noticed the baby was no longer moving. I was told I was worrying needlessly. I wasn’t. I had a full-term stillbirth...
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By Jackson Buttery, Beyond Celiac Communications Assistant
At National Science Week in Melbourne, Australia, scientists from CSIRO, Australia’s national science agency, announced that they’ve found a way to detect the presence of rye in food. Gluten is a protein found in rye, along with wheat and barley. A strict gluten-free diet is currently the only treatment for people with celiac disease. Previously, scientists from CSIRO have discovered methods to detect wheat, barley and oats in 2015, 2016 and 2018, respectively.
Using varieties of rye from twelve countries milled into flour, the researchers extracted the gluten proteins and used special mass spectronomy to identify six proteins unique to rye, but not apparent in other grains. The researchers then tested food with rye as a listed ingredient and “gluten-free” food without rye listed. From a range of commercial “gluten-free” foods tested, one breakfast cereal and one spelt flour were found to contain trace amounts of rye.
While commercially available sensors have been able to detect if gluten is in a particular food, none are yet available that can detect the presence of a particular gluten-containing grain, such as rye. Scientists from CSIRO are optimistic that this new technology may soon become available in at-home testing kits to provide security for those with celiac disease, and certainty for manufacturers.
According to Professor Michelle Colgrave, protein analytics expert with CSIRO, “being able to detect any protein in diverse foods and beverages will help food companies ensure that what’s in the pack is what’s on the pack, and help consumers trust pack labelling around gluten-free claims.”
The ability to detect specific grains is especially important in Australia, which has stricter gluten-free labelling standards than the FDA’s standard of 20ppm. For a product to be labeled gluten-free, not only can it not have any detectable level of gluten (lower than 3-5ppm), it also can not contain any of the four gluten-containing grains (wheat, barley, rye, and oats).
These stricter standards provide greater scrutiny for companies—such as in one instance noted in the testing process, when a breakfast cereal labeled “gluten-free” contained trace amounts of rye—but also better security for patients with celiac disease.
|Read more about the gluten-free labeling standards here.|
“Understanding how people have been impacted by celiac disease is some of the most important information researchers and doctors need in order to accelerate celiac disease research,” said Alice Bast, CEO of Beyond Celiac. “Go Beyond Celiac provides us with the ability to tell them what life is like before, during and after our diagnosis.”In addition to driving research that leads to a better understanding of how celiac disease develops, the Go Beyond Celiac online tool provides opportunities to increase timely diagnosis and improve the diagnosis experience, inform research about the burden of living with celiac disease, accelerate the development of treatment alternatives to the gluten-free diet and ultimately help find a cure. “While awareness of celiac disease is higher than ever, people living with this genetic autoimmune condition struggle to be taken seriously. At Beyond Celiac, we are working to address this need. We are a bridge between the community and the researchers who are focused on finding answers to our challenges,” added Bast. The Go Beyond Celiac app is available for both iOS and Android devices.