A new variety of bird seed — bred specifically for human consumption — could provide a new gluten-free cereal that would be ideal for people with celiac disease, Canadian food scientists are reporting.
Lead researcher Joyce Irene Boye, with the Food Research and Development Centre of Canada, noted about three million people Americans have celiac disease and suffer gastrointestinal and other symptoms from eating wheat, barley, rye, and other grains that contain gluten-related proteins.
As a result, they must eat gluten-free products to remain symptom free. But food choices are limited and include such non-gluten-containing cereals as corn, rice, quinoa, millet, buckwheat, and sorghum.
Boye's team has been working to expand dietary options for celiac disease suffers. In a new report, published in American Chemical Society’s Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, Boye describes research on a new variety of "hairless" canary seed, which lacks the tiny hairs of the seed traditionally produced as food for caged birds. Those hairs make canary seed inedible for humans.
Boye’s research was able to verify that the new hairless canary seed is gluten-free. She also noted that canary seeds have more protein than other common cereals. They are also rich in other nutrients, which could make them ideal for making flour that can be used in bread, cookies, cakes, and other products that people with celiac disease will be able to tolerate.
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