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Deglutenized beer has been floating around here in the States for quite a few years now and it has been drawing quite the attention since it came on the market. Now, I can’t say that I am one of the people who disagree with it, because I don’t. I have full blown Celiac, and have for almost my entire life, and none of the “deglutenized” beers have EVER caused me one iota of an issue. However, I get asked about these beers ALL of the time, so I think it should be addressed.

The Science

I am all about science and how things work, so this was interesting to me when I first heard about it. Estrella Damm Daura was the first beer that I had ever heard of being deglutenized, and I was intrigued.

Deglutenization begins by breaking the gluten chain using hydrolyzation during the brewing process. How this works is that an enzyme has to be introduced to hydrolyze, or break, the peptide chain holding the amino acids together. When this happens, the enzyme destroys the protein. In this case it just happens to be gluten. Here is a visual of how their process works, from their website:

Deglutenization Process

When the peptide chain is broken, the amino acids are no longer bound together. When this happens, the protein breaks up and is not the same chemical structure as it was originally. The gluten protein is therefore, no longer a gluten protein and those of us with Celiac (or allergies and/or intolerances) can drink the beer now.

This is the same process used to hydrolyze soy protein, which is, quite frankly, kind of irritating. This is because the soy protein is no longer the same chemical composition as it was in its original state. And thereby, no longer carries the same level of “protein” that it did prior to hydrolyzation, but carries more glutamate instead.

Here is where we talk about the science of deglutenized beer and whether or not it is really gluten free.

Testing

Their products are vigorously tested, and have been since their inception in 2006, to make sure they fall under the recognized 20 ppm regulations for being considered “gluten free.” They continually fall into the 3 ppm category, so for all intents and purposes, Estrella Damm Daura is gluten free.

They are labeled “Gluten Free” everywhere in the world that they are distributed, with the exception of the United States. They were originally labeled that way here, but after people started getting all up in arms about how it couldn’t possibly be gluten free, the regulations here changed. Now any product that starts out with a gluten containing grain can’t legally call themselves gluten free. So here, they now have to say “Crafted to Remove Gluten.”

I hate to say it, but that is just absolutely ridiculous! Omission falls into the same category. When they first started making their gluten free beers here, they were labeled as gluten free. But now they can’t say that anymore, even though their beers fall into the 5 ppm category when tested. Two people involved in the brewing process got diagnosed with Celiac, which is what prompted them to begin adding gluten free beers to their line of other brews. They used themselves as guinea pigs and had NO issues.

Intestinal Issues?

I can tell you that I have tried every single gluten free beer and deglutenized beer that I have been able to get my hands on. Not a single one has ever created a negative reaction in me. As somebody who got diagnosed with Celiac as a child, that makes me even more sensitive.

I don’t have a reaction to any of these beers, but I have run across some people who have. The reaction to even minute degrees of gluten or cross contamination can be a bit more complicated for some. If your gut is fully healed and you don’t have any other health issues, like myself, then the chances of having any issues at all with cross contamination are nill.

But, if your gut is still healing, or you have any other health issue going on at the time of consumption, then even a minute amount of gluten can create a response. So please keep this in mind whenever you decide to try a new product that you haven’t tried before. What is the current state of your gut health and your overall health?

Some of the potential underlying factors could include:

  • something else eaten around the same time containing gluten
  • other food sensitivities (I know that I can’t handle raw onion or bell peppers)
  • egg
  • the grains themselves, because grains are hard to process
  • a bacteria
  • a virus
  • the list is endless.

Here are the top 3 reasons why Deglutenized Beer shouldn't scare you!

 

The Takeaway

I realize that some people are going to take this personally, but it’s really not personal. This is not my opinion. This IS science. As a person who hails from a scientific background, I believe wholeheartedly in science and how proteins operate. The science here doesn’t lie, even though people get emotional about it.

It is easier to shy away from that which you do not understand, so I get the fear factor. However, letting fear of the unknown dictate your actions is never the right response. Instead, try figuring out what it is that illicits the fear reaction. If, after that, you still don’t feel comfortable with it, then don’t do it. Getting outside of your box is always better than being stuck in it. Change happens, and this has certainly happened in the world of beer and brewing.

If you would like to schedule a FREE call with me to talk about what is going on with your gut health, or more specific health issues, then please click HERE!

The next time you run across one of these beers, try one. They are really, really delicious and I am so happy that these brewmasters figured out the science behind breaking up the gluten protein and removing it. They did it for us. So don’t bite the hand that brings you beer!

What has been your experience with deglutenized beers? Which ones have you tried and which ones are your favorites?