Sorghum, a Healthy and Gluten-free Food for Celiac Patients As Demonstrated by Genome, Biochemical, and Immunochemical Analyses

Istituto di Genetica Vegetale (IGV), CNR -Portici, c/o Dipartimento di Biologia, Sezione di Igiene, Napoli 80134, Italy.
Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry (Impact Factor: 2.91). 03/2013; 61(10). DOI: 10.1021/jf304882k
Source: PubMed


Wheat ( Triticum spp. L.), rye ( Secale cereal L.), and barley ( Hordeum vulgare L.) seeds contain peptides toxic to celiac patients. Maize ( Zea mays L.) and rice ( Oryza sativa L.) are distant relatives of wheat as well as sorghum ( Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench) and are known to be safe for celiacs. Both immunochemical studies and in vitro and in vivo challenge of wheat-free sorghum food products support this conclusion, although molecular evidence is missing. The goal of the present study was to provide biochemical and genetic evidence that sorghum is safe for celiac patients. In silico analysis of the recently published sorghum genome predicts that sorghum does not contain peptides that are toxic for celiac patients. Aqueous/alcohol-soluble prolamins (kafirins) from different sorghum varieties, including pure lines and hybrids, were evaluated by SDS-PAGE and HPLC analyses as well as an established enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) based on the R5 antibody. These analyses provide molecular evidence for the absence of toxic gliadin-like peptides in sorghum, confirming that sorghum can be definitively considered safe for consumption by people with celiac disease.

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    • "Sorghum is considered as a safe food for celiac patients suffering from symptoms associated with an immune reaction to gluten proteins found in all Triticum species and closely related cereals such as barley and rye (Kasarda, 2001; Ciacci et al., 2007). Recently, molecular evidence demonstrating the absence of toxic gliadin-like peptides in sorghum was reported, confirming that sorghum can be considered safe for consumption by people with celiac disease (Pontieri et al., 2013). In recent years, sorghum hybrids that produce white grain from a tan-color plant (often called " food-grade " sorghum) have been developed for production of WFF for persons with CD (Tuinstra, 2008). "
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