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Cook Talk

Corn Gluten
There seems to be a great deal of misinformation as to whether CORN contains gluten. Wishing to put that topic to rest, I suggest a Google search for "MSDS sheets for Corn Gluten".
MSDS sheets are the safety data information sheets required by the US government to be published by manufacturers for their chemical products. MSDS sheets are not imaginary, as is the statement that; Corn is gluten free. Granted that corn contains a lot less gluten than wheat. But the gluten in corn and it's gluten like substances may be damaging to those with gluten allergy or sensitivity.
As noted, I don't think its profitable to include corn derived products in recipes for gluten free cooking just like wheat derived products are not used in gluten free cooking.
Isn't it time that Ellen's Kitchen updated their recipes to reflect this reality?
Patch, after working with true celiacs for over 40 years, I am very comfortable recommending corn products for gluten sensitive people.

Take note that the expression gluten here is inexact; there is no true gluten in corn, but simply corn proteins. A misuse of the term by the corn industry has become common in recent years. It has become fairly common to call corn storage proteins corn gluten.


When it comes to celiac disease, a similar corruption of the term has become very common. There are certain related proteins in wheat, rye, and barley that give rise to particular peptides during digestion that are capable of triggering the responses typical of celiac disease. Only in the case of wheat can these be strictly considered to be derived from the gluten proteins. But for lack of a suitable term, patients and their physicians began speaking of gluten-free or gluten-containing foods. People ask me, How much gluten is there in quinoa? I have to translate this into, Are there any harmful peptide sequences in the proteins of quinoa? There is nothing in quinoa that is like gluten prepared from a wheat flour dough, which has an unusual, perhaps unique, viscoelastic character.

In any case, as far as we know, corn does not seem to cause harm to celiac patients. Corn has not been studied in the extensive way that wheat has in relation to celiac disease, but for 40+ years patients and their physicians have seemed to agree that corn is OK. The sequences in the corn zein (prolamin) fraction are suspicious, but they do differ in an apparently crucial way from the protein sequences of the wheat gliadin (prolamin) fraction. There have been no modern biopsy-based studies of the effects of purified corn proteins on the celiac intestine as there have been for wheat, but the mass of evidence still seems to point in the direction of corn being safe for celiac patients. As always, welcomes your comments.

FYI, The expression "corn gluten" is colloquial jargon that describes corn proteins that are neither gliadin nor glutenin. Only wheat, barley, rye and oat contain true gluten which is formed by the interaction of gliadin and glutenin proteins.
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