Old and modern wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) cultivars and their potential to elicit celiac disease

Food Chem. 2021 Mar 1;339:127952. doi: 10.1016/j.foodchem.2020.127952. Epub 2020 Sep 12.


One potential explanation for the increasing prevalence of celiac disease (CD) over the past decades is that breeding may have inadvertently changed the immunoreactive potential of wheat. To test this hypothesis, we quantitated four CD-active peptides, namely the 33-mer and peptides containing the DQ2.5-glia-α1a/DQ2.5-glia-α2 (P1), DQ2.5-glia-α3 (P2) and DQ2.5-glia-γ1 (P3) epitopes, in a set of 60 German hexaploid winter wheat cultivars from 1891 to 2010 and grown in three consecutive years. The contents of CD-active peptides were affected more by the harvest year than by the cultivar. The 33-mer and P1 peptides showed no tendency regarding their absolute contents in the flour, but they tended to increase slightly over time when calculated relative to the α-gliadins. No trends in relative or absolute values were observed for the P2 and P3 peptides derived from α- and γ-gliadins. Therefore, the immunoreactive potential of old and modern wheat cultivars appears to be similar.

Keywords: 33-mer; Breeding; Celiac disease; ELISA; Gliadin; Gluten; Mass spectrometry; Wheat.

MeSH terms

  • Celiac Disease / immunology*
  • Flour
  • Gliadin / immunology
  • Humans
  • Triticum / immunology*


  • Gliadin