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Dégluténisées

Introduction

Ever since our founding, Brasseurs du Monde’s goal has been to offer a product lineup that fully satisfies the diverse tastes of our clientele. Over the past few years, we’ve noticed that the selection of products available on the market for gluten-sensitive people is extremely limited, despite the fact that this segment of the population continues to grow. We therefore set out to find an alternative to standard beer that would offer the same taste, flavours and drinking experience, without the discomfort caused by gluten. After several years of R&D and trials, we’re proud to introduce our new line of deglutenized products made without compromising the quality of our beer!

What Is Gluten?

Gluten is found in various cereals used in the brewing of beer, including barley and wheat. It’s a group of proteins whose biological role is to provide the amino acids and oligo-elements required for the future germination of young shoots. Gluten is primarily composed of prolamin and glutelin [1]. These two proteins are not soluble in water, which gives flour its elastic properties. The word is derived from the Latin “gluten,” meaning glue or resin. [2]

The History of Gluten Intolerance

Pediatrician Samuel Gee [3] of St. Bartholomew’s Hospital was the first to provide a modern, detailed description of celiac disease, in 1888. In 1950, Dutch physician Willem Karel Dicke [4] discovered that eliminating wheat from one’s diet resulted in a remarkable improvement in celiac disease. Based on this, he developed a gluten-free diet.

An estimated 2% to 3% of the population has a certain degree of gluten intolerance (non-celiac gluten sensitivity), while 1% is allergic to it (celiac disease) [5]. The causes of celiac disease have not yet been fully determined. Its appearance is often linked to a genetic predisposition combined with an immune system dysfunction. The disease’s main triggering factor is simply consuming products that contain gluten. Exposing the intestine to gluten leads to an immune process that damages the intestine’s mucus membrane and causes problems with absorbing nutrients. Celiac disease is therefore considered an auto-immune disease. According to the latest research, almost everyone who suffers from celiac disease has type DQ2 or DQ8 HLA genes, but other genes are also involved. [6]

Many people also suffer from what is known as “gluten hypersensitivity,” which manifests as digestive problems that occur when products containing gluten are consumed. However, there are no abnormal immunological reactions or intestinal lesions, which precludes a diagnosis of celiac disease. While these individuals do not suffer from celiac disease, following a gluten-free diet (or reducing their consumption of gluten) often has many benefits for them.

The Deglutenization Process

During our research, we found that the biggest criticism of beers brewed using naturally gluten-free ingredients (without barley, wheat, oats or rye) was that they have a distinctive taste that differs from standard beers. That’s why we decided to create an alternative that doesn’t change the taste and enables us to offer deglutenized products with all the flavour of our regular beers.

Our deglutenization process uses protease enzymes specially developed to break down gluten into its various components, which are amino acid chains of differing lengths. Once gluten has been broken into pieces, most people with gluten intolerance or allergies will be able to consume the product without experiencing any discomfort.

Think of gluten as a picture that you cut up into pieces to make a jigsaw puzzle. Once it has been taken apart, there’s no way to stick the pieces back together again. Some people are allergic only to the completed puzzle, while others are allergic to a specific piece. That’s the idea behind the deglutenization process.

Various Measurements and Analyses

Since it is produced using a fermentation process, measuring and quantifying the gluten content of beer is quite complex. The method used to do this is a competitive ELISA (enzyme-linked immuno sorbent assay). In this type of test, scientists use an antibody with the ability to bond specifically to gluten molecules (in this case, the prolamin portion). The prolamin portion typically represents 50% of the total gluten molecule. Multiplying the prolamin value by two makes it possible to quantify the gluten molecule content in the sample. [7]

In the case of a fermented beverage such as beer, gluten molecules are affected by various processes such as the germination of the seed before malting or fermentation. This makes it even more difficult for laboratories to accurately quantify the level of residual gluten, because the ELISA test is less precise for gluten that has, for instance, been hydrolyzed (broken down) while making the product. Our deglutenization process breaks gluten molecules down a second time into smaller pieces.

We work with an independent laboratory which certifies that the level of gluten found in our deglutenized beers is below the Canadian standard of 20 PPM (the standard for defining a product as “gluten-free”). Due to a decision made by Health Canada, even though the level of gluten in our deglutenized beers is below the standard of 20 PPM, we cannot use the term “gluten-free” in Canada because the deglutenization process is performed using products that contain gluten.

However, this process is legally accepted in some regions such as Europe, where “gluten-free” beers may be found that are made using the same techniques as our line of deglutenized products.

People and the Product

The efficacy of our deglutenization process has therefore been proven, and it is well established in a number of countries who use the phrase “gluten-free” to designate deglutenized products. In Canada, the use of this term is prohibited for products made from cereals that contain gluten. Even though the level of gluten in our deglutenized beers is below the Canadian standard of 20 PPM (the standard for defining a product as “gluten-free”), we cannot use this term because the deglutenization process is performed using products that contain gluten.

As mentioned above, the deglutenization process “breaks down” gluten into small pieces. Some people only react to whole gluten and can consume deglutenized products without any problems. Others may react to a specific part of the gluten chain and therefore will not be able to tolerate products even if they have undergone deglutenization.

Depending on the specific nature of their intolerance or disease, some people will be able to consume our deglutenized beers without any discomfort, while others may still experience a reaction.

Our Recommendations

First of all, we recommend that all our customers and partners consume alcoholic products in moderation. We suggest that gluten-sensitive people do the same in order to explore our line of deglutenized beers. Try a little to begin with and see whether you experience some slight discomfort. We’re confident that everyone will be able to enjoy our products without any problems, but we’d like everyone to sample them at their own pace to ensure there is no discomfort. Cheers!

Our Commitment

Chez Brasseurs du Monde, nous souhaitons offrir la meilleure qualité de produits à nos clients. Nous nous engageons donc à faire analyser chaque production de bières déglutiénisées par un laboratoire indépendant de haut niveau. Une copie d’analyse des résultats, incluant la teneur en gluten mesurable, sera disponible en tout temps sur notre site Web. De plus, si vous avez des questions sur le produit, vous pouvez nous contacter par courriel et il nous fera plaisir de vous répondre.

Conclusion

Following several years of research, we’re proud to offer a great-tasting alternative to standard beer for people who are sensitive to gluten. We’re convinced that our line of deglutenized products will satisfy your thirst for a good beer—without compromising the quality!

Infolettre

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