An Expert’s POV on Gluten-Free and Soy Allergens
At the American Egg Board/Egg Nutrition Center, we are often asked if eggs should be considered gluten-free. With the incidence of gluten allergies on the rise, this is an important question that can have great health implications for many Americans.
According to Dr. Steven Taylor from The Food Allergy Research and Resource Program (FARRP) at the University of Nebraska, eggs should be considered gluten-free. Dr. Taylor points out that many gluten-free products contain eggs and they do not test positive for gluten. Although it is likely that egg-laying chickens eat wheat grain containing gluten it is also likely that the birds digest the gluten and break it down to it's constituent amino acids, which in turn are used to build chicken and egg proteins. Little if any of the gluten appears to make it to the egg in an intact form.
This appears to be the case regarding soy allergenicity and eggs as well. Although one recent study indicated that small amounts of isoflavones from the soy in chicken feed apparently is transferred to the egg, protein fractions from soy are broken down during the digestive process and are not likely transferred to the egg or meat of the chicken. So folks with soy allergies can enjoy eggs without worrying about a potential allergic reaction.
Click to read the September 2011 editorial from Food Product Design titled “Going Gluten-Free”
To read more from American Egg Board about Gluten-Free, click here.