Grandma's Gluten-Free Baking N Cooking

Gluten-Free Does Not Mean Flavor Free

I'm a little bit confused right now...

One of the catering staff members said that rice had gluten in it too, because it gave off starch when cooked...

Is that right? Can I still eat rice?! I thought it was naturally gluten free....

Most confused!

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Rice is gluten-free - they are confusing starch with gluten. In fact, a large portion of gluten-free products are made with rice. I bake and cook with rice all the time.

You are not confused - they are :)

Grains containing gluten: wheat (spelt), rye, barley (and sometimes oats from cross contamination). Take a look at these posts for additional information:

The Basics

Gluten-Free Flours

Let me know if you still have questions.
We eat a lot of rice; so rice is definitely gluten-free.
That's what I thought... Thanks!
Technically speaking, you are both correct.

Gluten is a composite of proteins, not a starch. The gluten is stored with starch in the endosperm of grass type grains, i.e. wheat, barley & rye. The gluten protein here is made up of something called gliadin and something called glutenin.

There are also stored proteins in the endosperm of rice and maize (corn), sometimes referred to as gluten, but the difference is that it lacks the gliadin.

It is the gliadin in the gluten, so to speak, that you react to. (Almost sounds like a song...can just see Gene Kelly dancing.)
Leslie, I think you are confusing gluten and glutenin.

Toni, gluten is comprised of gliadin and glutenin proteins. Rice does not have the gliadin protein and is therefore gluten-free and acceptable on this diet.

Please refer to this article on Wikipedia if you need/want further clarification: Gluten
What I said (or trying to say) is that gliadin is part of the protein that makes up the type of gluten in wheat, barley and rye. It is this type of gluten that Celiacs react to.

Chemists also sometimes call the protein in rice and corn gluten, but it is a different chemical makeup since it is missing the gliadin and is safe for Celiacs.

Just wanted to clarify because sometimes you read about rice or corn gluten and that gluten is not the type of gluten Celiacs need to be concerned about.

When something is labeled "gluten-free" or someone talks about "gluten" in general, they are usually talking about the gluten that contains gliadin.
Starch and gluten are two different things.  Gluten is what helps to provides the framework in the cell structure of food when you are cooking or baking.  It helps to make things expand in volume and hold it's shape.  It helps things hold together.  We have to use vegetable gums and things like Expandex to mimic that action.  Potatoes and corn have starch too, and they,  along with rice, are perfectly safe to eat unless you have an allergy to the food itself.  Rice should be safe to eat; if you are worried about it, then just buy a brand that says it is gluten free and packed in a gluten free facility.   I just usually buy off the shelf, and to date I have been lucky.  I buy a lot of my rice and rice flours in the Asian section of one of my grocery stores, and I have not had any problems with them.



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