Hypoallergenic Red Fife

         Red Fife heritage wheat - hypoallergenic food      -    Loiselle Organic Family Farm


Contrary to popular belief, Red Fife heritage wheat does not have a lower total gluten content than other newer varieties of bread wheat; this was confirmed by lab testing we commissioned at SunWest Food Laboratories in Saskatoon in 2006.


However, and besides Red Fife’s exceptional taste and baking qualities; we have preliminarily determined (prior to expected laboratory testing) that the gliadin protein level is ~35% of this wheat's overall gluten protein content. Wheat gluten’s insoluble proteins are gliadin and glutenin. This compares to ~80% gliadin protein levels found in a popular modern bread wheat variety that we last grew in 2003. Elevated gliadin protein levels are primarily what cause people to have allergic reactions/intolerances to most wheat. (see references at page bottom and on next page…)

We used kinesiology/muscle testing to determine the gliadin protein levels; something we have practiced for many years in our family after learning the technique from naturopathic practitioners.  


We suspect that many decades of wheat plant breeding, to primarily achieve higher yielding and shorter straw varieties, has caused the protein composition to shift. This would be especially so in the post World War II era when synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides were introduced into agriculture. The result would be greater dietary intolerances and also loss of particular attributes such as taste!


Consider also that in the last decade some wheat has been the focus of invasive alteration by agro-chemical multinationals using transgenic (genetically engineered) processes to impart herbicide tolerance or other unnatural characteristics.

Red Fife wheat was never subjected to toxic chemical inputs, and we insist that all present day growers respect this by using only certified organic or biodynamic management for their farms and soil; and therefore necessarily excluding synthetic toxins and GMOs.


Our Prairie Red Fife's hypoallergenicity was confirmed, in February 2008, by a naturopath to whom we had given samples of our wheat kernels, flour and also heritage rye flour. She often recommends to clients that they should follow a ‘gluten-free’ diet which usually means no wheat; but for Red Fife wheat she says: "Your Red Fife & Rye are excellent.  People here are taking your number. I suspect your clientele will increase. Indeed we'll keep you on the newsletter list and publish your great grains!" Sr. Theresa Feist:  Flaman-Morris Centre-Lebret, SK

We also have other testimonials clearly showing that Red Fife is the only wheat some people can eat. However, further to that, our Blé Marquis de Loiselle Wheat is also now recognized as being hypoallergenic.

This wheat is the 1st generation progeny of Red Fife crossed with Hard Red Calcutta. It was first introduced to farmers in Canada in 1909 and soon eclipsed Red Fife as the most popular wheat in the Prairies mainly because of its shorter height, quicker maturity and increased yield. It too was set aside in favour of newer supposedly better varieties.

It is evident that this topic of hypoallergenicity is worthy of further scientific and medical research follow up, accompanied by food trials/comparisons, etc; however for us these are beyond our financial means.

Growing and consuming these and other heritage wheats needs to be more widespread, and the good news shared.


...from the website of one of our Prairie Red Fife heritage wheat distributors in British Columbia:

Gluten is the protein which remains behind when wheat flour is washed with water to remove starch. Wet gluten is like soft rubber which in bread-making binds the flour and water into tough dough. Glutenin and gliadin are the two major protein components of wheat gluten. When gluten was fractioned with solvents, it was shown that toxicity resided in the gliadin fraction. The gliadins of wheat are members of a class of cereal proteins called prolamins. The prolamins in rye, barley, oat and other cereals differ in their chemical and toxic properties. However, the exact nature of the toxic factor is still unknown. Thus it is only a portion of the gluten which is toxic to those with allergies. Many workers in the medical or nutritional aspects tend to use the term gluten as synonymous with the toxic proteins of all cereals, but actually gluten is not a suitable term for the protein of cereal grains other than wheat.”

…highlites from a Radio Canada news report July 6, 2009:

  • There has been a ~7% increase in ‘gluten intolerance’ in past 50 years; especially to wheat…
  • ~1% of people have such intolerances and only ~5% of these people know they suffer from it
  • gluten/protein intolerances are precursors for celiac disease, a chronic disorder


In his recently published (2011) book ‘Wheat Belly’ author Dr. William Davis of Milwaukee, Wisconsin states the gliadin protein has an appetite stimulating effect and that the increased gliadin protein levels in modern wheats is responsible for increasing appetite which leads to obesity; and that it’s also responsible for a quadrupling of celiac disease in the past 40 years.                                    Note: read the other side for more details about wheat gluten proteins research and allergic reactions… What triggers allergic reaction to modern wheat?

Modern wheats were bred for high yield, disease resistance and technological qualities (bread-making aptitude) with little emphasis on taste and nutrition.
The efforts of selection have mostly been concentrated around the technological quality. The value of W: (the main bread-making indicator in flours) has steadily increased over the past 20 years while the level of protein has stayed more or less the same.
Technological quality is closely linked to that of the proteins in the grain (representing between 8 and 20% of the weight of the mature, dry grain). The proteins are grouped into two main families:
a) The soluble proteins: albumin and globulin, representing 15 to 20% of the proteins. They are said to be biologically functional since they have enzymatic activity.
b) The insoluble proteins: gliadin and glutinin, reserve proteins, represent 80 to 85% of the total proteins. They contribute to the gluten.
The quality of gliadines influences the extensibility of the dough; the glutinines give it its elasticity and tenacity (parameters measured by Chopin’s alveograph). The glutenine/ gliadine relationship then has an effect on the transformational properties of the dough.
The gluten is considered to be the best criteria of technological quality; the table below shows the nutritional qualities of these two families.
It appears that there are more and more allergic reactions to cereals, especially wheat products. 1% of the population is affected. Research results suggest that the gliadine fraction of the wheat gluten may be responsible for the allergic reactions (Auricchio et al. 1982, 1985). Research at INRA in
Clermont-FerrandFrance, is beginning to look into this problem. The first studies will focus on determining the most allergenic varieties and then on finding the responsible constituents.
Ancient grains contain considerably more water-soluble proteins. Is it the quality of their proteins that give ancient wheats their hypoallergenic quality? More detail to follow thanks to clinical and laboratory studies underway on ancient grain Kamut products in the

Marc Loiselle,
Apr 29, 2013, 9:54 PM
Marc Loiselle,
Apr 29, 2013, 9:53 PM
Marc Loiselle,
Apr 29, 2013, 9:52 PM