It is estimated that about 5 to 7 percent of the population suffers from non-celiac non-allergic wheat sensitivity (wheat sensitivity). We already reported on the benefits of a FODMAP-reduced diet in the context of wheat-associated intolerances and diseases last week. This time, the focus will be on the benefits of "old" cereals, so-called original cereals.
The number of genomes makes the difference
Many people associate ancient grains with naturalness and originality, but also with health benefits such as better digestibility. However, the term "ancient grain" is not protected and therefore not clearly defined. Basically, it means old cultivated plants that have only been a minor subject of breeding. The genetic make-up of the plants has therefore hardly been altered, except through naturally occurring crossbreeding. A look at genetics can help to distinguish between "old" and "new"; the number of chromosome sets in the cell nucleus plays a particularly important role here. Old wheat varieties usually have only the A genome (diploid varieties with the AA genome, such as einkorn) or the A and B genome (tetraploid varieties with the AABB genome, such as emmer and 2ab wheat). Modern bread wheat, on the other hand, is a hexaploid variety that also contains the DD genome.
Gluten-coding genes are found in all three genomes (A, B and D). However, these gluten genes differ in composition, especially in the so-called gliadin. In particular, the D-gluten produced by the D-genome seems to have an increased number of celiac disease epitopes in the gliadin - those epitopes that stimulate T-cells of the immune system and can thus have an irritating effect. Conventional original cereals without the D-genome or gluten are often better tolerated by those affected, but they are not good for baking. This gave rise to the idea of searching for an old cereal variety that is both better tolerated and good for baking. The result: the 2ab wheat.
Best of Both: Better tolerated AND good baking properties
2ab wheat (Triticum turgidum forma sanum) is an original variety that contains only the AABB genome and also has a lower FODMAP level. Two building blocks that contribute to better tolerance. In order to be able to guarantee the low FODMAP level even with different influencing factors (dough management, etc.), the flour is naturally fermented with the help of special yeast cultures. 2ab wheat thus has the lowest FODMAP level of all bread cereals and, according to Monash University in Australia, it is officially considered to be low in FODMAP. In addition, unlike many other ancient grains without D-gluten, 2ab wheat has good baking properties. Crispy crusts, airy crumbs, no D-gluten and low FODMAP therefore ensure enjoyment without regrets.
There are increasing reports and indications that D-genome free wheat types are better tolerated by people with wheat-associated intolerances, although there is still a need for well-founded research. Especially people with IBS and wheat sensitivity could benefit from 2ab wheat products - so it would be worth a try.
However, as 2ab wheat still contains certain amounts of gluten and other wheat proteins, it is not suitable for people with celiac disease or wheat allergy - for these groups, the therapy continues to be a strict wheat- or gluten-free diet.
The topic "Personalised Nutrition" concerns everyone! Take the chance to engage intensively with this multifaceted topic, get inspired and network at the third NEWTRITION X. Innovation Summit on Personalised Nutrition. On October 12, 2021 live in Cologne and as a livestream. Learn more at www.newtritionx.com.
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