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Difference Between Gluten and Wheat

Gluten and Wheat

Who came first? The gluten or the wheat?

Gluten and wheat are in the category of food, eating, and nutrition. Both gluten and wheat are often used interchangeably when talking about food, ingredients, and other related fields. Also, both wheat and gluten are related to each other.

For starters, wheat is a kind of grain that humans eat. It has been one of the oldest foods in the history of mankind. On the other hand, gluten is a protein or the nutrient substance that is found in wheat and other food products such as oats, fake meats (like veggie burgers), barley, some yeast extracts, soy sauce, couscous, semolina, and other gluten products. Gluten is what the body absorbs when wheat and other gluten food products are ingested.
In short, wheat is a product of gluten, and gluten is a component of wheat. Wheat consists of albumin, globulin, gliadin, and gluten. On the other hand, gluten is an elastic protein that is found in the aforementioned foods. Gluten is formed by two main types of protein called gliadins and glutenins.

Since wheat is a grain, it can be seen and touched with the naked eye. On the other hand, since gluten is a protein, there is a need for a magnifying instrument (often a microscope) and other tools to see and observe gluten as it is.
As a grain in a plant, wheat can be harvested and turned into flour. In return, it can be processed into a diverse variety of food products. Proteins like gluten cannot be harvested by humans. They simply exist inside the plant and help in providing nutrition to the human body and relay its properties into the food. Wheat can be used as a flour to be used in various types of breads, biscuits, cookies, cakes, breakfast cereal, pasta, noodles, and couscous. Aside from being an ingredient, wheat is also used in fermentation to make beer, other alcoholic beverages, or biofuel.

Gluten’s main use is in yeast-based doughs where gluten acts as a binder in doughs of various bread products and baked goods. Yeast-based doughs derive their elasticity from gluten and help the dough to rise and to keep its shape. Gluten often gives the final product a chewy texture. Another property of gluten is its ability to absorb. Gluten is also used as an additive and a protein supplement for foods that have low-protein levels or no protein at all. An example of foods with none or that have less protein are foods in a vegetarian diet.

Gluten is very important in wheat since it is the responsible agent that gives the wheat flour its properties of elasticity and absorbability. This makes the flour easier to work with and allows for the rising of the dough.
People often had a misunderstanding and confusion regarding wheat and gluten. Since the two are often interchangable, people are concerned about the differences between the two because they are people who are afflicted and suffer with allergies related to gluten and wheat. Both wheat and gluten can cause allergies in people. A person who has an allergy to gluten cannot eat wheat while an allergic person to wheat can also not eat other forms of foods with gluten. However, a person who is only allergic to wheat can enjoy other gluten-based products.
Summary:

1. Wheat is a grain while gluten is a protein that is contained in wheat.

2. Wheat is the “food” being ingested by the body while gluten is the protein being absorbed by the body.

3. Wheat can be seen and touched. Gluten, on the other hand, needs instruments and tools in order to be seen.

4. Wheat can be processed into a lot of food products once it has been turned into flour. Gluten doesn’t need any processing or transformation to be able to turn it into food.


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