MANHATTAN, KAS. — U.S. Department of Agriculture chemists in Manhattan removed a certain amount of fat from a corn protein called zein to create gluten-free bread. Zein is a byproduct from corn wet milling and fuel-ethanol production.

Chemists Scott Bean and Tilman Schober of the Agricultural Research Service Grain Quality and Structure Research Unit led the research. At first, they used zein to make dough that was more similar to wheat dough, but it lacked strength and the rolls produced from it were too flat. Removing more of the fat from the zein protein’s surface allowed the proteins to stick to each other much like wheat proteins do, which gave the zein-based dough the same elastic properties as wheat dough.

The researchers tried using other grains, but the rolls spread out too much.