Approximately one person in 100 has celiac disease, which means for them eating gluten is risking diarrhea, vomiting, malnutrition, and even brain damage and gut cancer. Add to this group those who are gluten sensitive and you get 7% of the population avoiding foods that contain gluten.
It is the class of gliadin proteins that triggers the autoimmune response that damages the gut lining, causing the dire consequences for gluten-intolerant people. If these proteins could be specifically removed, it would result in bread and other products consumable by people with celiac disease while leaving much of the characteristic taste and structure intact. This is in contrast with gluten-free breads made from rice or potato flour.
[S]cientists at the Institute for Sustainable Agriculture (IAS-CSIC) have tried to reduce gliadin in wheat in two ways. First by using a technique called RNA interference and later by gene editing with CRISPR/Cas9. These techniques have delivered results that show a decrease in the intensity of the immune response by 95% and 85% respectively.
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