Why Is Gluten Popular?

Aside from the fact that it is a protein, making it nutritionally attractive.  Gluten is elastic and sticky, these two properties make it ideal for use as a base in bread making, allowing breads to rise to new heights.  It also makes a great thickening agent in all kinds of products from sauces to salad dressings, dips and even meats!!!  A lot of postage stamps and envelope glues use gluten as its binder.  At one time it was used to hang wall paper!!  It is used as a filler or binder in the production of many unrelated items, like imitation crab meat.  As a matter of fact because of its gummy nature, and its tenaciousness (it does not break down or disintegrate in water), it is the main ingredient in vegetarian meats.  Dough is created from flour and a liquid, like milk or water, and then “washed” under water while being kneaded.  The process rinses away the other components in wheat.  What you are left with pure gluten, a grayish translucent sticky mass.  By adding color and flavor, a very believable meat like product is created.   Taking gluten and adding particles of real ground up meat, gives the final product the flavor of the meat used.  This is the technique used in producing imitation crab, and many deli meats to expand the original meat product and give it a uniform look and texture.

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