Proteins derived from wheat offer many practical utilisations and commercial benefits both at domestic and industrial levels. Four major types of proteins present in wheat are: albumins, globulins, glutenins and gliadins. Each of these proteins has different solubility in different types of solvents, like albumin is water soluble, globulin salt soluble, gliadins alcohol soluble, while glutenin is soluble in diluted acid. Among these major components of wheat protein compositions, gliadins and glutenins play significant role in food processing industry for maintaining food quality.
Wheat gluten is a humble byproduct of the production of wheat starch that contains 75-80% proteins, mainly comprised of gliadins and glutenins. This is extremely useful for the preparation of low calorie high fibre nutritious breads. Wheat gluten is so much helpful in baking due to its special structure and amino acid composition, as well as high water retention quality.
Wheat protein isolate is a highly functional form that is rich in more than 90% proteins and extensively used in bakery industry. This is advantageous for preparing bread and other bakery products that are similar in texture and flavour to the conventional bakery items. The low carbohydrate and high-protein content of wheat protein isolates is a healthier option than the traditional wheat flours. This is soluble in water and possesses outstanding film-forming property, which is suitable for freeze-thaw process and increases the freshness and shelf-life of finished food products. This can also be used for making crispier and healthier pizza crusts, for its wonderful ability to act as moisture and fat barrier.
Wheat protein powder is very popular among athletes and body builders as a dietary supplement. This is ideal for promoting muscle growth for its high protein content and lower amount of carbohydrate and fat. Wheat protein supplement contains no lactose and hence is a great choice for the people with lactose intolerance. The low calorie content of this product aids in losing weight and protein helps in recovering after heavy work-out. Each serving of wheat protein powder contains around 20 grams of protein and 3 grams of carbohydrate, whilst providing 100 calories of energy. However, people with celiac disease should not consume this supplement for the possible gluten content of the product.
Wheat protein is generally difficult to digest for many people due to its disruptive effect on intestinal functions. This is where hydrolysed wheat protein comes in use. Hydrolysis is actually the chemical digestion procedure of any product at the industrial scale. Similarly, wheat proteins are hydrolysed to free amino acid ingredients and glutamic acid is obtained as final product. Hydrolysed forms of wheat proteins contain lots of free glutamates. The glutamates and glutamic acids are easier to metabolise than the gluten content of wheat. Hydrolysed wheat protein is also known as ‘glutamine peptides’ and can be used for tricking the protein sensors in human body.
Apart from its major use in food and bakery industries, wheat protein is also well-known for its strengthening property and pour-minimizing ability. This is why it is extensively used in manufacturing hair care and skin care products. In every way, wheat protein has been incorporated in modern life as an essential ingredient.