(Vital) Wheat Gluten
What is it?
Wheat gluten is a plant-based ingredient made from wheat. It belongs to the Protein family.
Wheat contains on average 11-12% proteins, and generally, the proteins that form wheat gluten constitute about 80% of this total protein in wheat. Approximately 10 million tonnes of wheat gluten are consumed in the EU per year mainly through flour consumption, of which approximately 600,000 tonnes originate from the starch industry.
Dry wheat gluten is beige to light brown powder with a dough-like taste and sweet grain smell.
Wheat gluten is obtained by physical extraction when mixing wheat flour with water. The starch is washed out of the dough andthe gluten remains. Once separated and dried, wheat gluten is an insoluble concentrated protein powder, which regains its original characteristics after rehydration and mixing.
Where and Why is it used?
Wheat gluten is used principally in the milling & flour industry and in bakery products.
The viscoelastic properties of wheat gluten significantly improve dough strength, softness and shelf-life. It also improves the elasticity and rise of the raw dough in a variety of breads and the crumb and chewiness in the baked loaves. For example, if the flour in bread does not contain enough gluten, the bread collapses, has little volume and its crumb is irregular
In addition, it reduces breakage and stickiness in pasta, toughens and provides textural adjustment in pasta and noodles, especially under high temperature, and finally, provides structure and enhancement in cereals and snacks.
It is also a major vegetable source of proteins, and is used inmeat preparations (including fish, poultry and surimi-based products), pasta and certain cold cuts, as well as serving as a binding agent, for instance in helping products like mushroom or chickpea burgers hold their shape. It is also the main ingredient of seitan, a meat substitute.
As a plant-based protein, wheat gluten can provide high nutritional values supplementing or partially replacing animal proteins in human nutrition.
Consumers suffering from Coeliac disease, or any other form of gluten intolerance, should avoid consuming products containing gluten. For this reason, any product containing wheat gluten must be clearly labelled.
Ingredients List: Wheat Gluten
Nutritional Table: Proteins