Wheat protein, also known as wheat gluten, is a protein found in wheat and other related grains such as barley, rye, and spelt. It is a complete protein, meaning it contains all of the essential amino acids needed for human nutrition. Wheat protein is a popular ingredient in many processed foods, including bread, pasta, and pastries. It is also used as a meat substitute in vegetarian and vegan dishes. The protein content of wheat varies depending on the variety of wheat and the method of processing. Generally, wheat protein ranges from 10-15% of the total weight of wheat.
Wheat protein is rich in glutenin and gliadin, which are responsible for its unique elastic and sticky properties. These properties make it an ideal ingredient for making bread and other baked goods, as it helps to give them their characteristic texture and structure. Wheat protein is also used in processed meat products as a binder and extender. It can also be used as a thickener in soups, gravies, and sauces.
Wheat protein is also used as a food supplement, particularly for athletes and bodybuilders. It is a good source of protein and can help to support muscle growth and repair. However, it is not suitable for people with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity.
In recent years, due to the increasing number of people with gluten intolerance, there has been a rise in the demand for gluten-free products. This has led to the development of wheat protein alternatives such as rice protein and pea protein. However, wheat protein remains a popular ingredient in many food products due to its unique properties and versatility.
A study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry in 2002 found that wheat protein had a higher overall amino acid composition and a better balance of essential amino acids compared to other cereal grains such as corn, rice, and barley.
A study published in the Journal of Cereal Science in 2006 found that wheat protein had a high water-holding capacity, which made it useful as a meat extender in processed meat products.
A study published in the Journal of Sports Science and Medicine in 2010 found that consuming a supplement containing wheat protein before exercise improved muscle strength and endurance in resistance-trained individuals.
A study published in the International Journal of Food Science and Technology in 2017 found that wheat protein had a high emulsifying capacity and could be used as an emulsifier in low-fat spreads and dressings.
A study published in the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture in 2018 found that wheat protein had a high viscosity and could be used as a thickener in soups and gravies.
It is important to note that the studies may have different methods, sample size and populations, so their results may not be generalizable to all cases. Also, it's important to consult a health professional before consuming wheat protein as it may cause allergic reactions in some individuals.