Gluten Allergies: A Search to Help People Cope

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Zohreen Adamjee catches up with Matthew Wimberly, culinary student and young scientist at Cosumnes Oaks High School as he shows us the latest in his experiments to help make life easier for people with gluten allergies.

Matthew Wimberly is on the Cosumnes Oaks High School culinary team where a team of six people intensely compete against other schools. He recently combined his culinary skills with his chemistry knowledge and is helping find a way to make life easier for his own chemistry teacher, Jeffrey Comer, who suffers from Celiac Disease.

Comer says if the pans and pots in his kitchen have gluten in them, they make him sick. Even if he kisses his wife after she eats lunch, he says gets sick.Wimberly says “We’re trying to identify where in the cooking process the protein gluten sticks which could cause problems for people who are intolerant or have Celiac disease.”
Essentially, he is researching how gluten sticks to various types of pots and pans during different cooking conditions.  He says he’s come up with many theories of how gluten can be a cross contaminant and how it can cause a problem with sanitation or even through the cooking method itself.
He says once he understands what makes the gluten stick, he can keep testing it to see what takes it off. And that solution could have a big impact on restaurants.He says, “We could change how restaurants across the map would train their employees in how they cook and how they clean.”

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