This month’s “Ask the Expert” features Sharon Weston, MS RD CSP LDN, Clinical Dietician, The Celiac Disease Program, Boston Children’s Hospital. Sharon answers questions about the differences in bread in Europe and in America.
Question – I heard that bread in Europe is gluten-free because of how they process wheat. Is this true?
Sharon Weston– Flour and grains in general can have very many different species. When we look at wheat that is produced in Europe compared to America, there are some differences in terms of hardness. That difference in hardness also means a difference in the content of protein. Keep in mind gluten is a protein.
When you look at wheat that is produced in Italy, in general, the hardness of it is much less compared to wheat that is produced in America. Because there is less hardness, there is less gluten. But, there is still gluten in it.
Bread that is produced in Europe still contains gluten. It may contain a little less gluten than in bread produced in America. But, the bread still contains gluten and it is not okay for a patient with celiac disease to eat on a gluten-free diet.