Canadian Celiac Association New Release
April 3, 2017 (Mississauga, ON.) The myth that frying wheat products makes them gluten-free is endangering people with Celiac disease.
People often liken the frying process to cooking an egg. In the case of an egg, frying it changes the colour and structure of the egg. While heating gluten in a fryer does change the structure of the gluten protein, it does not make it safe for someone with Celiac disease.
Heating wheat to 65°C (140°F) unwraps the three-dimensional structure of the protein, like it does for eggs, but that is not enough to prevent an immune system reaction for someone with Celiac disease.
The trigger for the gluten reaction in someone with Celiac disease is a very short peptide chain within the larger protein. Peptides are chains of amino acids that make up a protein. The only thing that will break the peptide chain apart and make gluten safe for people with Celiac disease is a complete breakdown of the chain into its component amino acids.
“These peptides are extremely difficult to break apart – they are designed to resist the harsh environment of the gastrointestinal tract,” explains Sue Newell of the CCA.
There is some question about the exact temperature for this complete breakdown, with a suggestion that heating the food to 315°C (600°F) for 30 minutes may be sufficient. At that point, however, the food is inedible.
The Canadian Celiac Association recommends that people with Celiac disease and gluten sensitivities avoid any food cooked in oil has also been used for wheat-based products.