Compositional and immunogenic evaluation of fractionated wheat beers using mass spectrometry

Wanying Cao, Joseph L. Baumert, Melanie L. Downs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The safety and regulatory status of fermented products derived from gluten-containing grains for patients with celiac disease remains controversial. Bottom-up mass spectrometry (MS) has complemented immunoassays for the compositional and immunogenic analyses of wheat beers. However, uncharacterized proteolysis during brewing followed by the secondary digestion for MS has made the analysis and data interpretation complicated. In this study, the composition and immunogenic potential of seven commercially available wheat beers were evaluated using bottom-up MS with the aid of fractionation and a multi-step peptide search strategy to identify peptides generated by various types of proteolysis. Gluten-derived peptides accounted for approximately 50% and 20% of the total number of wheat-derived and barley-derived peptides, respectively, in the investigated beers. Although relatively large polypeptides cannot be thoroughly characterized using traditional bottom-up proteomics, up to 50% of peptides identified contained celiac-immunogenic motifs, and consumption of wheat beers would pose risks for celiac patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number127379
JournalFood Chemistry
StatePublished - Dec 15 2020


  • Celiac disease
  • Fermentation
  • Gluten
  • Mass spectrometry
  • Proteomics
  • Wheat beers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Food Science


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