Biotechnology could one day enable coeliac disease patients to eat baked goods, new research has suggested.
Scientists in America say baked goods made from hydrolysed wheat flour are not toxic to coeliac sufferers.
Every one in 100 people in the UK has coeliac disease - an autoimmune condition caused by intolerance to gluten, primarily found in wheat.
The latest clinical trial, published in the official journal of the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) Institute, examined the safety of giving baked goods made from a hydrolysed form of wheat flour to patients.
Fermenting wheat flour with sourdough lactobacilli and fungal proteases decreases the concentration of gluten.
Lead professor, Luigi Greco, said: “This is the first time that a wheat flour-derived product is shown to not be toxic after being given to coeliac patients for 60 days.
“Our findings support further research that explores therapies that could reduce the toxicity of gluten for coeliac patients beyond the standard gluten-free diet.”
People in the UK are being encouraged to show their support for coeliac patients and raise awareness of the disease by eating a gluten-free diet between May 16 and 22 this year. This would include asking for gluten-free products in shops and restaurants.