viernes, 11 de mayo de 2012

Is Semolina Flour Gluten Free?

Is Semolina Flour Gluten Free?
Photo Credit Wheat image by Winks from
Wheat kernels contain three parts: the outer coating known as bran, the germ portion that contains the plant embryo and the endosperm that comprises up to 80 percent of the kernel. Wheat flour manufacturers mill the six classes of wheat to separate these components and recombine them in various ways to create an array of flour for eating or baking. Semolina flour is manufactured by coarsely grinding the endosperm of a type of hard spring wheat known as durum. Semolina flour is considered a high-gluten product.


Durum wheat is a tough golden grain and the semolina flour derived from this grain is hard and granular, with a consistency similar to that of sugar. Semolina flour is not a good choice for general bread baking, but is occasionally used in specialty breads. More commonly, semolina flour is used to produce couscous dishes or pasta products, including macaroni, spaghetti, vermicelli and lasagna noodles.

Expert Insight

All varieties of wheat produce a form of plant storage protein, or gluten, known as gliadin. Barley manufactures a storage protein called hordein and rye plants contain secalin gluten. These three forms of gluten trigger an autoimmune disorder known as celiac disease in susceptible individuals. The Celiac Sprue Association warns people with celiac disease to avoid semolina flour.


If you have celiac disease, your body identifies the gluten in semolina flour as a foreign body and launches an attack that damages the villi, or small projections inside the lining of your small intestine. Over time, the damaged villi become less effective at absorbing vital nutrients from the foods you eat. You may become malnourished and develop chronic diseases, such as osteoporosis, cancer, infertility, diabetes and other autoimmune disorders. A gluten-free diet is the only proven treatment for celiac disease.


The Celiac Sprue Association publishes an extensive list of gluten-free flours and grains that you can substitute for semolina flour. If you have celiac disease, you can safely eat products made with white, brown or sweet rice flour. You can also select potato, buckwheat, dasheen, acorn or amaranth flour. Read the label carefully to ensure these products have not been cross-contaminated with wheat or other gluten-containing grains during the manufacturing process. Keep gluten-free flours in a separate area of your kitchen or pantry, and clean food preparation surfaces and baking pans thoroughly to ensure they're gluten free.


Article reviewed by David Bill Last updated on: Jan 19, 2011

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