What is gluten?
Gluten is a combination of two proteins found in grains: gliadin and glutenin. These two proteins work together to create a tough protein network, also known as a protein matrix. This is useful in making bread because this tough gluten matrix is able to trap any air bubbles created while the dough rises.
Glutenin is a long stringy protein, and connects over a great distance.
Gliadin, however, is a densely packed globular protein, and this is what is generally the issue with gluten-sensitive individuals.
Gliadin belongs to the prolamin class of proteins, a group of densely packed proteins with high levels of two non-essential amino acids: proline and glutamine. This class of proteins is difficult to dissolve in water, difficult to digest, and occurs in nearly every cereal grain, not just wheat. Take a look at our article: “What is Gliadin?” to learn more about how gluten-sensitivity, gluten-intolerance, and Celiac Disease are actually Gliadin intolerance.