The prevalence of celiac disease (CD), an autoimmune enteropathy, characterized by chronic inflammation of the intestinal mucosa, atrophy of intestinal villi and several clinical manifestations has increased in recent years. Subjects affected by CD cannot tolerate gluten protein, a mixture of storage proteins contained in several cereals (wheat, rye, barley and derivatives). Gluten free-diet remains the cornerstone treatment for celiac patients. Therefore the absence of gluten in natural and processed foods represents a key aspect of food safety of the gluten-free diet. A promising area is the use of minor or pseudo-cereals such as amaranth, buckwheat, quinoa, sorghum and teff. The paper is focused on the new definition of gluten-free products in food label, the nutritional properties of the gluten-free cereals and their use to prevent nutritional deficiencies of celiac subjects.
Keywords: avenin; celiac disease; gliadin; gluten-free diet; hordein; minor cereals; pseudo-cereals; secalin.