Coeliacs can cheers to that

The CSIRO Food Futures National Research Flagship, Melbourne Health and the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute, supported by the GRDC, is developing a low-gluten beer that allows coeliacs and gluten intolerant people to enjoy a cold beer without the gastric problems triggered by regular beer.

The team has already developed a new barley which can be used to make coeliac friendly beer with an ultra-low gluten level, expected to be 20 times lower than the level recognised as safe for coeliacs.

The new barley is so low in gluten that a new and more sensitive detection method was developed specifically for this project so the ultra-low hordein levels (the type of gluten in barley) could be measured accurately.

The ultra-low gluten beer has passed the taste test and the team is now crossing low gluten barley varieties with elite malting varieties for more efficient commercial production.

The team is also working on producing a completely gluten free barley.

The CSIRO’s Dr Greg Tanner, who suffers from gluten intolerance himself, said he expects the first commercial product could be available by 2011.

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