When you think about gluten, you probably imagine something along the lines of wheat. While that is partially true, gluten is more complexly known as a group of amino acids that are largely made up of two proteins, gliadin, and glutenin. Both of these proteins are crucial to the production of bread making, gliadin which aids in the ability of the dough rising, and glutenin giving dough the elasticity that is unique to bread dough.
But where else might you find gluten other than wheat? A majority of grains contain gluten including barley, rye, spelt, kamut, farro, and durum. However, there are a couple of grains that are naturally gluten free, those being rice, oats, corn, millet, and buckwheat. Despite these grains being gluten free, it is common to find cross-contamination due to co-mingling during processing.
Nowadays, we are seeing gluten containing grains not only in their whole form or floured form but in a plethora of processed foods. Long past is the day when salad dressings, condiments, soups, sandwich meats and more didn’t contain gluten. Gluten-containing grains are often used in processed foods as a thickening agent.