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ARS Home » Plains Area » Fargo, North Dakota » Edward T. Schafer Agricultural Research Center » Cereal Crops Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #364474

Research Project: Enhancement of Hard Spring Wheat, Durum, and Oat Quality

Location: Cereal Crops Research

Title: Celiac antigenicity of ancient wheat species

item MALAGODA, MANEKA - North Dakota State University
item Ohm, Jae-Bom
item SIMSEK, SENAY - North Dakota State University

Submitted to: Foods
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/5/2019
Publication Date: 12/12/2019
Citation: Malagoda, M., Ohm, J., Simsek, S. 2019. Celiac antigenicity of ancient wheat species. Foods. 8(12):675.

Interpretive Summary: Celiac disease (CD) develops in individuals who are genetically sensitive to certain proteins in cereals such as wheat, rye and barley. In recent years, there has been increased interest in ancient grains such as einkorn, emmer and kamut, especially due to perceived health benefits. However, controversial results have been reported on the influence of diet of ancient grains on CD development. This research was performed to help clarify the association of diet of ancient grains and CD development. CD is primarily caused by specific small components of proteins in grain. In this research, three wheat related ancient grains, including einkorn, emmer and kamut, as well as rye and pseudo cereals, including teff, millet, sorghum, amaranth and quinoa were analyzed for the small protein components that associate with CD development. The wheat related ancient grains einkorn, emmer and kamut were identified to contain the protein components. This result indicated that the diet of wheat related ancient grains can cause CD development. This study also showed that the protein components were present in rye. In contrast, no CD-causing protein component was found in teff, millet, sorghum, amaranth or quinoa in this research. These results will be a valuable reference to clarify the effect of ancient grain on CD and develop CD safe foods using ancient grains.

Technical Abstract: Celiac disease (CD) develops in genetically susceptible individuals. Gluten forming proteins and its homologous found in cereals such as wheat, rye and barley trigger the immune reaction which gives rise to CD. The CD antigenicity of ancient grains has long been debated, and thus far, studies show varied results. In this study, three wheat related ancient grains, such as einkorn (Triticum monococcum), emmer (Triticum dococcum) and kamut (Triticum turgidum subsp. Turanicum), rye (Secale cereale L.) and pseudo cereals, such as teff (Eragrostis tef Zuccagni), millet (Panicum miliaceum L), sorghum (Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench ssp. Bicolor), amaranth (Amaranthus L.) and quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa) were analyzed for celiac epitopes and gliadin protein composition. This study shows that celiac epitopes can be found in wheat related ancient grains, such as einkorn, emmer and kamut. The study also shows that such epitopes are present in rye, which is known to trigger the immune response associated with CD. The epitopes were not found in the protein extractions from pseudo cereals. The analysis of the gliadin protein profile of the different ancient grains shows that the abundance of the different gliadin types varies widely between species, which could be indicative of differences in celiac antigenicity.