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Super cereal suits coeliac sufferers

News story

Cereal-loving sufferers of coeliac disease and gluten intolerance rejoice.

One of Australia’s most loved breakfast cereals now comes in gluten-free form.

Sanitarium Health and Wellbeing, in collaboration with a team of Curtin University and University of Woolongong researchers, has developed a new version of the popular breakfast cereal Weet-BixTM, using an ancient, gluten-free grain known as sorghum.

Sorghum is high in antioxidants and can be grown in dry and hot climates. These qualities have naturally attracted researchers, nutritionists and agriculturalists, who are eager to cultivate the grain’s potential as a hardy and healthy product.

Red sorghum crop.

Red sorghum crop. Photograph courtesy of David Martin.

Curtin Senior Research Fellow Dr Stuart K. Johnson, who headed the Australian Research Council-funded study on sorghum, says the grain could greatly benefit many sectors of the community, as well as people who are gluten intolerant.

“Due to their high antioxidant and slowly digestible properties, new sorghum foods could contribute to reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease and obesity in our community,” says Dr Johnson.

“In turn, this would reduce the economic burden of these diseases, while stimulating agricultural production of the sustainable grain and creating new domestic and overseas markets for health foods.

“The potential payoff from sorghum is enormous.”

Sanitarium has welcomed the introduction of the gluten-free cereal to its line of products.

“This research has provided very useful data on the nutritional benefits of processed sorghum and given impetus to our use of sorghum as the ingredient for our new, ground-breaking Gluten Free Weet-BixTM product,” says Strategic Research Manager of Sanitarium Health and Wellbeing Professor John Ashton.

And if you’re wondering about the taste:

“Sorghum flakes taste very much like those from wheat, making the grain very appealing as a breakfast cereal,” says Dr Johnson.

Sorghum-based Weet-BixTM is available at Australian supermarkets.