Hidden Food Additive may Trigger Celiac Disease

A commonly used food additive may be the culprit in triggering consumers with celiac disease to experience adverse reactions.  The food additive is ‘microbial transglutaminase‘ (mTG) but don’t look for it on the ingredients labels of processed foods in the U.S. because the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not require it to be labeled.

The process of how this food additive is involved in celiac disease is a bit complicated (see an overview here) and research on ‘microbial transglutaminase’ (mTG) as a major factor in triggering symptoms of celiac disease is still in the early stages.  Nonetheless, consumers who suffer with celiac and their healthcare providers should be mindful that preliminary findings suggest that celiac patients should avoid mTG.  Unfortunately, while some countries like Switzerland require that mTG must be labelled as unsuitable for persons with celiac disease, in the U.S. where the FDA favors big food corporations over consumers, no such warning exists.

Celiac patients and their healthcare providers should take special note that mTG is frequently used in the U.S. to make “gluten-free” foods.


Processed foods containing ‘microbial transglutaminase’ (MTG):


mtg in processed foods


Source: Microbial transglutaminase and applications in food industry




mtg in processed foods2

Source: Gluten Free Society


Journal Reference: Matthias Torsten, Lerner Aaron. Microbial Transglutaminase Is Immunogenic and Potentially Pathogenic in Pediatric Celiac Disease. Frontiers in Pediatrics, 2018; 6 DOI: 10.3389/fped.2018.00389