Functionality of gliadin proteins in wheat flour tortillas. Academic Article uri icon


  • Gliadins are monomeric proteins that are encoded by the genes at the loci Gli 1 and Gli 2 present on the short arm of homologous wheat chromosomes 1 and 6, respectively. Studies have suggested that gliadins may play an important role in determining the functional properties of wheat flour. The main objective of this study was to understand the functionality of gliadins with respect to tortilla quality. The important tortilla quality attributes are diameter, opacity, and shelf stability, designated here as rollability or the ability to roll or fold the tortilla without cracking. In this study gliadin functionality in tortilla quality was studied using near-isogenic wheat lines that have deletions in either Gli A1, Gli D1, Gli A2, or Gli D2 gliadin loci. The deletion lines are designated by the same abbreviations. Dough and tortillas were prepared from the parent line used to derive these deletion lines, each individual deletion line, and a control commercial tortilla flour. Quantitative and qualitative evaluations were performed on the dough and tortillas derived from the flour from each of these lines. None of the deletions in the gliadin loci altered the shelf stability versus that found for the parent to the deletion lines or control tortilla flour. However, deletions in the Gli 2 loci, in particular Gli A2 reduced the relative proportion of alpha- and beta-gliadins with a greater cysteine amino acid content and gluten cross-link function versus the chain-terminating omega-gliadins in Gli 1, which were still present. As such, the dough and gluten matrix appeared to have greater extensibility, which improved the diameter and overall quality of the tortillas while not altering the rollability. Deletions in the Gli 1 loci had the opposite result with increased cross-linking of alpha- and beta-gliadins, polymeric protein content, and a stronger dough that decreased the diameter and overall quality of the tortillas. The data suggest that altering certain Gli 2 loci through null alleles could be a viable strategy to develop cultivars improved for the specific functionality requirements needed for the rapidly growing tortilla market.

published proceedings

  • J Agric Food Chem

author list (cited authors)

  • Mondal, S., Hays, D. B., Alviola, N. J., Mason, R. E., Tilley, M., Waniska, R. D., Bean, S. R., & Glover, K. D.

citation count

  • 7

complete list of authors

  • Mondal, Suchismita||Hays, Dirk B||Alviola, Noviola J||Mason, Richard E||Tilley, Michael||Waniska, Ralph D||Bean, Scott R||Glover, Karl D

publication date

  • February 2009