Wheat gluten is the water-insoluble protein portion contained within the endosperm (tissue inside the seeds) of wheat. When gluten is separated from wheat, the resulting substance is mostly protein (75-80%) with small amounts of fat, moisture, and ash. Its primary nutritional usage is for protein supplementation.
Gluten protein is comprised of many different types of protein; most of these proteins are classified as gliadin (single-chained) or glutenin (multi-chained) protein fractions. These proteins give gluten its elastic properties (think about bread or pizza dough and how it stays together when you knead and roll it) - this has given gluten its nickname `wheat gum. While wheat gluten itself is limited in its content of the amino acid lysine (an essential amino acid that humans use as protein), it is an effective protein fortifier (it increases, or fortifies, protein levels in other foods). Gluten is a good source of selenium (a protein source) and is low in saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium. There are about 370 calories per 100 grams of gluten.
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