21 April 2016
News Category: 

A new era in gluten free foods is around the corner thanks to world first research that started at The Royal Melbourne Hospital and the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute.

Scientists from the CSIRO, with co-funding from the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC), have bred the Kebari grain, a new barley variety with ultra-low levels of hordeins, the type of gluten found in barley.

Using conventional breeding, they were able to reduce the gluten levels to 10,000 times less than regular barley, which more than meets the World Health Organisation’s recommendation for calling a grain gluten free.

This is great news for people with coeliac disease and heralds the start of a new line of foods and beverages thanks to the work of Australian scientists.

Coeliac disease affects approximately one in 70 Australians and even small amounts of gluten can cause harm to someone with the disease. The only treatment is to avoid all gluten-containing foods. This allows the bowel lining to recover.

The first commercially-produced product made with Kebari grain is Radeberger’s Pioneer gluten-free beer, now available in Germany, however that is just the start of a new generation of gluten free products. Kerabi™ is a trade mark of CSIRO. More details can be found on the CSIRO website.

Here’s a great video from the CSIRO that explains the effect foods with gluten can have on people who have coeliac disease or who are gluten intolerant.

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For more information about this story, contact Communications on (03) 9342 7000 or email mh-communications@mh.org.au