NAPLES, Italy, Jan. 21 (UPI) -- Patients with celiac disease, who cannot tolerate gluten found primarily in wheat, may tolerate hydrolyzed wheat in baked goods, researchers in Italy say.
Researchers at the University of Naples fed patients with celiac disease baked goods made from wheat flour fermented with sourdough lactobacilli and fungal proteases to decrease the concentration of gluten.
The study published in Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology finds this wheat flour-derived product was not toxic to celiac patients who ate it for 60 days.
"Our findings support further research that explores therapies that could reduce the toxicity of gluten for celiac patients beyond the standard gluten-free diet," lead author Dr. Luigi Greco says in a statement.
"Prolonged trials have to be planned to underscore the safety of baked goods made by applying the rediscovered and adapted biotechnology of hydrolysis. In the future, cereals made through such biotechnology could also improve the nutritional and sensory properties of baked goods containing hydrolyzed gluten compared to products made of naturally gluten-free ingredients."
Greco and colleagues studied 16 patients with celiac disease ages 12-23 who had been in good health on a gluten-free diet for at least five years.