What is Gluten?

Wheat flour is a key ingredient for bread, biscuits and cakes. Gluten is a protein found naturally in many grains such as wheat, barley and rye.

Gluten plays an important role in baking. When gluten protein is heated, it will form an elastic network. This structure can retain and stretch gas, so that foods such as bread and pasta can retain moisture and become soft. Gluten protein also has a binding effect, allowing the dough to maintain its shape, texture and elasticity. Therefore, gluten is often used as an additive to improve the texture and moistness of various processed foods. The use of flour with different gluten content can make full use of the unique physical properties of gluten. High-gluten flour can increase the smoky taste of noodles, and low-gluten flour is suitable for making soft foods, such as cakes and mooncake crusts.

Gluten-free diets are becoming increasingly popular, especially due to the growing awareness of celiac diseases, gluten allergies and sensitivity. According to the Centre of Food Safety in Hong Kong, gluten is one of the 8 substances that have been defined as causing 90% of food allergies. Estimated prevalence of non-coeliac gluten sensitivity (NCGS) could be high as 13% of the population. Meanwhile, from the research of HK BioTek, gluten had been ranked as Top 3 of the common food sensitivity cases. For people with celiac disease cannot tolerate gluten, as gluten consumption may pose adverse reactions.

Fortunately, there are varieties of gluten-free products which can act as alternatives for gluten-containing products. There are more high-quality gluten-free foods and restaurants that can bring benefits to those on a gluten-free diet. Gluten-free diets become accessible and applicable. 

(Written by Ms Stephanie Koo, HK BioTek Nutritionist)






無麩質飲食正變得越來越流行,由於人們對乳糜瀉、麩質過敏和敏感性的認識不斷提高。根據食品安全中心的數據,麩質是已界定為可造成90%食物過敏反應的8種物質之一。數據指出,全球患有麩質敏感的人口可高達13%。同時,根據HK BioTek的研究,麩質被列為食物敏感中排名前三位。對於患有乳糜瀉的人不能忍受麩質,因為食用麩質可能會引起不良反應。


(文章由HK BioTek營養師古宣恆撰寫)



HKBIoTek. (n.d.). Retrieved February 26, 2021, from http://www.hkbiotek.com/Resource_Centre

Centre for food safety. (2017, May 23). Retrieved February 26, 2021, from https://www.cfs.gov.hk/english/food_leg/food_leg_lgfa.html

What is gluten? Definition, foods, and side effects. (n.d.). Retrieved February 26, 2021, from https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/what-is-gluten

Gluten-Free food: Is gluten free good for you? (n.d.). Retrieved February 26, 2021, from https://www.foodunfolded.com/article/gluten-free-foods-are-they-actually-healthy?gclid=CjwKCAiAyc2BBhAaEiwA44-wW8MkgrKtydFFzE4UkyxTrkHd_RDDGaUKzYSL7GfsZexxfIj7V9I_tRoC3gIQAvD_BwE

Aziz I, Hadjivassiliou M, Sanders DS. The spectrum of noncoeliac gluten sensitivity. Nat Rev Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2015 Epub ahead of print