He takes all the blame. But the problems people face with wheat derivatives may not have to do with gluten. Now German scientists have identified another suspect.
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Whether due to intolerance or fad, consumption of lactose-free and, to a greater extent, gluten-free products is on the rise.
Gluten is a protein present in wheat and products made with it, such as bread and beer.
The fact is, our body can't break it.
For this reason, gluten molecules can reach the bloodstream, causing inflammation.
There are those who feel huge discomfort with this process, which is called celiac disease.
But even without the natural intolerance to the ingredient, many people feel better about eliminating gluten from the menu.
For all these people, the challenge is to find substitutes for wheat and its products.
According to the industry itself, in the last 15 years there has been a further 400% increase in Brazil's gluten-free market.
However, even after finding relief from gluten-free labels, many still suffer from the same symptoms.
According to a study by Johannes Gutenberg University (Germany), it could be a totally different protein to blame.
The focus is on a family of proteins found in wheat and other grains called "amylase trypsin inhibitors -" or ATI.
ATIs are no more than 4% of wheat proteins, for example.
Its function is to participate in the natural defense mechanisms of the plant.
But they can also cause cases of non-celiac gluten sensitivity.
Under these conditions the patient is negative for gluten sensitivity, but continues with gastrointestinal discomfort, fatigue and other similar symptoms.
Faced with alarmism, scientists point out that a gluten-free diet tends to solve the problem.
That's because gluten and ATIs are always together, and when one is removed, the other is too.
But they find that their discovery implies shifting the label warning to a more accurate alert.