The difference between wheat and gluten often confuse ordinary consumers as many commercially available food products use the term “gluten free” and “wheat free” interchangeably. Wheat and/or gluten can cause allergies for a number of peoples around the world. Thus, it is important to identify the difference between wheat and gluten and in this article, we are going to discuss how wheat differs from gluten. The key difference between gluten and wheat is that, what is a cereal grain and gluten is a protein that can be found in cereal grains.
What is wheat?
Wheat (Triticum spp.) is one of the major cereal grains in the world and it is the most cultivated and produced cereal in the American region. Thus, wheat grain is a principal source of food for many parts of the world and wheat flour is mainly used for making bread and other bakery products, biscuits, cookies, cakes, breakfast cereal, pasta, noodles, and processing of alcoholic beverages. Wheat is also used for non-food applications such as bio fuel production.difference between wheat and gluten.
What is Gluten?
Gluten is a protein that can be found in wheat, barley, rye, and many other cereal grains. Gluten plays a significant role in pastry and bread making industry because it contributes elasticity to bread dough, assisting it to rise and keep its shape and frequently provides the end-product a chewy texture. Gluten is the composite of gliadin and glutenin and it is a storage protein in the endosperm of various cereal grains.
wheat vs gluten
What is the difference between Wheat and Gluten?
Definition of Wheat and Gluten
Wheat: a cereal grain which is the most important kind grown in temperate countries, used to make flour for bread, pasta, pastry, etc.
Gluten: a protein present in cereal grains, especially wheat, which is responsible for the elastic texture of the dough.
Characteristics of Wheat and Gluten
Wheat: Wheat is a major cereal grain in the world.
Gluten: Gluten is not a cereal grain.
Wheat: Wheat contains carbohydrate, protein, fiber, fat, minerals and vitamins.
Gluten: Gluten only contains protein. It does not contain carbohydrate, fiber, fat, minerals and vitamins.
Wheat: Wheat cannot be considered as a nutritional component of gluten.
Gluten: Gluten is considered as a nutritional component of wheat.
Wheat: Wheat flour or starch is extracted only from wheat grains.
Gluten: Gluten is extracted from wheat, barley, rye, oat and many other cereal grains.
Function in the food matrix
Wheat: Wheat mainly contribute overall organoleptic properties (colour, texture, flavor and aroma) of bakery products. Wheat starch is mainly used as a thickening agent in some processed foods such as sauce, ketchup, etc.
Gluten: Gluten mainly contributes to the texture of bakery products. It is the key compound that provides elasticity to bread dough and makes bread chewy.
Wheat: After cultivation, wheat is harvested followed by dehusking and milling. Thereby, wheat flour is obtained, and further refining and treatment are required to obtain wheat starch.
Gluten: It is extracted from wheat, barley or rye flour by kneading the flour followed by agglomerating the gluten into an elastic network also known as dough, and finally washing out the starch.
Wheat: Some individuals can experience adverse effects after consumption of wheat because of wheat allergy. Wheat is comprised of albumin, globulin, gliadin, and gluten proteins. The majority of the allergic reactions are mainly caused by albumin and globulin protein. Similar to other allergic reactions, a wheat allergy is due to the body recognition of wheat proteins as a threatening foreign body and thereby triggers immune system responses. Symptoms and signs of a wheat allergy include skin irritations, rashes, hives, nasal congestion, and discomfort of digestive tract, etc. A wheat allergy is a very common allergy and is one of the eight most common food allergies that occur around the world. The treatment of wheat allergy is to avoid consumption of wheat or wheat containing food products. In other words, consume only “wheat free” food.Wheat allergy and celiac disease or gluten allergy are totally different disorders. If a person is allergic only to wheat he/she can still consume cereal grains that contain gluten such as barley, rye, malt, and oats.
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