The history of gluten
In Latin, ‘Glutinum’ means glue. Gluten is a mixture of proteins: prolamins and glutelins.
Gluten has always existed, however, in much smaller quantities. Back in the days, bread used to be made with freshly milled whole wheat flour and sourdough. During the sourdough fermentation process, proteins and carbohydrates present in the dough – including gluten – were degraded by the leaven. This process allowed obtaining bread with much smaller gluten content.
In addition, traditional bread used to be made with spring water. Nowadays, we use chlorinated water which destroys the leaven and its fermentation bacteria… Moreover, in order for bakeries to provide warm and freshly baked bread at any time, the unbaked dough is being refrigerated in order to bake them at the last moment, according to demand. The cold temperature however stops the fermentation process and prevents the dough from raising, and degrading the gluten proteins.