The sad reality of gluten-free bread is it's very much at a disadvantage. Without the elasticizing gluten present to give the dough a soft, springy texture, most gluten-free baked goods tend to lack that familiar bread-like feel. That is, until now. A group of Italian food scientists claim to have discovered a gluten substitute that comes closer than ever to the real thing.
Virna Cerne and Ombretta Polenghi—who hail from the land of pasta, pizza, and all of the deliciously gluten-filled things—were honored at this week's European Inventor Awards in Lisbon for a discovery that could reshape the way gluten-free goods are made. The scientists, who work for an Italian-based food company called Dr. Schär, say their goal was to find an alternative for the estimated one percent of people who suffer with Celiac disease and other gluten-related medical conditions.
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While grocery store shelves are well-stocked with gluten alternatives, as hoards of people who aren't necessarily Celiac sufferers take to the trend, the majority of products on the market don't hit the spot when it comes to the taste and texture of real bread. The reason for this, according to Cerne is that "today the gluten-free products include a lot of fiber but the fiber cannot be really elastic."