In recent years, gluten-free (GF) goods have become popular, fuelling a growing market, as they not only cater to individuals with medical needs but also to consumers who seek a GF diet. In their development, it is pivotal to pay attention to nutritional quality. This review aims to provide some insights on the nutritional quality of GF products, focusing on major concerns and the strategies to overcome them. In order to mimic the viscoelastic properties of gluten, a large number of flours and starches and other ingredients have been used. Therefore the different mixtures of these ingredients bring a wide difference in the nutritional composition of GF foods with respect to gluten-containing counterparts. Several GF foodstuffs contain more fat, including saturated, and salt but fewer minerals and vitamins than their equivalents with gluten. The increased fibre content and improved technological processes have positively affected the glycaemic responses from these goods. However, in order to improve their nutritional quality, wholemeal GF cereals and pseudocereals with high nutritive value should replace the low-nutritional GF flours and consequently the technological processes would be optimized. The improvement of the nutritional quality of GF products, and in turn that of the GF diet, should also be aimed at lowering the risk of later chronic degenerative disorders, especially for infants and young children.
Keywords: children; gluten-free foods; nutritional quality; wholemeal cereals.
© 2015 Society of Chemical Industry.