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The changing diet scenarios and rise in chronic noncommunicable diseases (such as celiac disease, gluten allergy, nonceliac gluten insensitivity, and dermatitis) have led to people consuming diets free of potential aggravators such as gluten and lactose. (1)
Gluten is a major allergen in many people, and gluten-free products have become a huge commodity readily available in grocery stores and shops.
Some of the most popular gluten-free products are pasta and noodles, which are always traditionally made of wheat flour.
Generally, in the absence of gluten, most gluten-free noodles (or pastas) will contain eggs as a binding agent unless specified.
Are All Noodles the Same?
Most noodles traditionally use wheat flour, but there is more than one type of noodle used in Asian cuisine.
- Soba noodles, for instance, are made of buckwheat flour and water. Buckwheat flour is naturally gluten-free, and the final product may be weak and can easily break apart. To combat this, some producers of soba noodles add eggs to increase the strength of the noodle strand. (2)
- Egg noodles, as the name suggests, are made from egg and wheat flour. To achieve their unique chewy and smooth texture, eggs are added, even when using gluten-free flour. (3)
- Rice noodles are made from rice flour, which is naturally gluten-free, and water. It is often a thin and delicate noodle used for soups and broths. (4)
Other types of noodles such as udon and somen noodles are primarily made from wheat flour and water. However, gluten-free varieties may contain other flours such as buckwheat or rice and may be free of eggs. Reading the package instruction will help you identify the ingredients.
What Is Gluten?
Gluten is a protein found mainly in wheat and is activated by the addition of water and kneading the dough. Rye, oats, and barley also contain similar proteins and come under the category of “gluten-rich foods.” (5)
Gluten molecules have the ability to hold water, keep the product together, and stretch, giving bread, pasta, and noodles their texture. (5)
In people with gluten sensitivity or gluten allergy, consuming foods containing gluten can cause: (6)
- Celiac disease
- Nonceliac gluten sensitivity
- Gas, bloating, and acidity
It is also important to note that some people have wheat allergy and can consume gluten from sources such as barley, rye, or oats. (6)
Can People With Gluten Allergy Consume Eggs?
Eggs are safe for people suffering from gluten allergy. Unless you are specifically allergic to eggs or practice a vegetarian way of eating, consuming gluten-free noodles with eggs is perfectly safe.
What Noodles Can I Consume as a Vegan?
People who practice a vegan way of eating do not consume products derived from animals such as meat, milk, or eggs, but that doesn’t mean they need to give up on eating their favorite egg dishes.
Udon noodles, rice noodles, somen noodles, and traditionally made soba noodles are often free from eggs and also gluten-free. Read the package to identify specific ingredients.
- Gluten is a type of protein formed mainly in wheat when water is added and the dough is kneaded to make bread, pasta, and noodles.
- Since gluten-free noodles are made from sources other than wheat such as buckwheat or rice, they may contain eggs, which improve their structure.
- People with gluten sensitivity can safely consume eggs.