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Allergen: Wheat and cereals containing gluten

Wheat is one of the most consumed cereals in the world and is one of the five most common foods to trigger allergic reactions in children (1), being also associated with different types of pathologies. In any of these cases, after diagnosis, it is usual to eliminate wheat and other cereals from the diet, so it is important to know which foods may contain wheat and cereals with gluten and how to identify them on the label.

Wheat is associated with different pathologies:

a) Autoimmune: celiac disease, dermatitis herpetiformis, gluten-related ataxia;

b) Allergic: food allergy to wheat, food-dependent exercise-induced anaphylaxis, respiratory allergy, contact urticaria;

c) Intolerances: non-celiac gluten sensitivity, FOODMAP intolerance. (1)

Different parts of wheat may be associated with these reactions. The World Health Organization (WHO) identifies 28 allergenic substances in wheat, 18 of which can cause food allergy.(2)

In allergies to wheat proteins, cross-reaction with other cereals, namely barley and rye, may occur. This happens when the organism confuses the proteins of these cereals with those of wheat due to their similarities, reacting in the same way.(1)

Wheat-related pathologies can have a wide range of manifestations involving different organs, with varying severity, from mild reactions to anaphylactic reaction in the case of allergy, which can be life-threatening if not promptly treated. Reactions may occur by ingestion, contact or inhalation, with immediate onset (up to 2 hours after ingestion) or late. These facts can make its diagnosis difficult.(3,4)

In either case, after diagnosis, it is recommended to eliminate wheat from the diet, as well as other cereals that may cause a reaction. In pathologies related to gluten, all gluten-rich cereals should be avoided, such as rye, barley, oats, and oats may be tolerated in some cases.(3,4)

Cereals are present in various foods, more or less evidently, which is why a careful reading of labels is essential. Prominence on the labeling of wheat and cereals containing gluten (spelt, Khorasan wheat, rye, barley and oats) is mandatory in food products marketed in Europe (5). See which foods may contain wheat and how to identify wheat and cereals that contain gluten on the label.

Foods that have or may contain wheat: (3,4,6)

How to identify wheat and gluten-containing cereals on labeling: (4,6)

Fidu's products do not contain wheat or gluten-containing cereals. We also do not handle any ingredient in our facilities that may be contaminated with these cereals. In this way, we guarantee that there is no cross-contamination by traces and that our products are safe even for the most sensitive.

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Important Note: The content of this article is merely informative and should not replace medical indications. If you experience symptoms of discomfort when consuming wheat food products, consult your doctor. Don't do your self-diagnosis; in some cases, changing the diet itself can make a diagnosis unfeasible.


1 F. Ferreira and F. Inácio, 2018. Wheat-associated pathology: IgE and non-IgE mediated allergy, celiac disease, non-celiac hypersensitivity, FODMAP,” Rev. Port. Immunoallergology, vol. 26, no. 3, pp. 171–187.
2 Allergen Nomenclature WHO/International Union of Immunological Societies Allergen Nomenclature Sub-Committee Allergen Nomenclature. Available at:
3SPAIC Food Allergy Interest Group, 2017. Food Allergy: concepts, advice and precautions, 1st Edition. Lisbon: Portuguese Society of Allergology and Clinical Immunology with support from Thermo Fisher.
4 I. Pádua, R. Barros, P. Moreira, and A. Moreira, 2016. Food allergy in catering. Lisbon: National Program for the Promotion of Healthy Eating, Directorate-General for Health.
5 Regulation (EU) No. 1169/2011 of 25 October 2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council of the European Union.
6 APN, 2014. Diet in Celiac Disease, APN E-book Collection, vol. 34. Porto: Portuguese Association of Nutritionists.