Vital wheat protein (gluten) primarily comprises protein fractions of glutenin and gliadin, which form a dough on contact with water or with mechanical action (kneading). This directs the hydrophobic areas inwards and the hydrophilic areas outwards. Due to the formation of such water-repellent agglomerates, which give doughs a viscoelastic structure, gluten is also called gluten.
Enzymatic hydrolysis shortens the molecular chains, preventing agglomerates from forming. The polar amino acid residues of the hydrolysed wheat protein can be well hydrated, which opens up other areas of application than for gluten.