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Wheat and gluten in South African food products

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Individuals with allergies and intolerances to grain products rely on accurate food labelling to prevent potentially life-threatening reactions. The aim of this study was to evaluate a number of South African food products for gluten and wheat to ascertain whether these products may pose a risk to celiac and/or wheat allergic individuals. Twenty-five products were analysed, including spelt products, flours of buckwheat, barley, rye, rice, millet, maize, semolina, triticale, oats, porridges, rice- and maize-based cereals, and rye bread. The rye and barley flours and two oat products were shown to be contaminated with wheat. Ten out of 17 naturally gluten-free products contained gluten, although in 13 of these the levels were below 20 mg/kg. The labels of four products were found to be misleading in terms of the gluten and/or wheat claims made.
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Keywords: allergenicity; allergens; allergy; celiac disease; food allergy; gliadin; gluten; immunoreactive; wheat

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Food Science, University of Stellenbosch, Matieland, South Africa 2: Food & Allergy Consulting & Testing Services (FACTS), Milnerton, South Africa

Publication date: June 1, 2010

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