Skip to main content
ARS Home » Plains Area » Manhattan, Kansas » Center for Grain and Animal Health Research » Grain Quality and Structure Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #205519

Title: Quality of Spelt Wheat and its Starch

item Wilson, Jeff

Submitted to: Cereal Chemistry
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/6/2008
Publication Date: 5/10/2008
Citation: Wilson, J.D., Bechtel, D.B., Wilson, G.T., Seib, P.A. 2008. Quality of Spelt Wheat and Its Starch. Cereal Chemistry. 85(5):629-638.

Interpretive Summary: Spelt is the only husked wheat that is currently grown in the United States for human food consumption. Market promotions for human consumption increased from less than 40 hectare (ha) to over 3200 ha between 1987 and the present. Spelt products are available through health food outlets as grain, whole grain and white flours and processed products. These products include assorted pasta, cold and hot cereals, and pre-packaged bread, muffin, and pancake mixes. Spelt in the United States remains a commodity in the health food and specialty markets with limited crop production. While the gluten fraction of spelts has received most of the attention with respect to its possible unique products and functionality, the starch fraction has received little attention. This study assessed the composition and properties of flour and starch from five spelt varieties grown in the same location over three growing seasons. The environment impact on spelt properties seemed to have a greater effect on bread baking quality and various starch properties than genetic control.

Technical Abstract: Flours from 5 spelt cultivars grown over 3 years were evaluated as to their bread baking quality and isolated starch properties. The starch properties included amylose contents, gelatinization temperatures (differential scanning calorimetry), granule size distributions and pasting properties. Milled flour showed highly variable protein content and was higher than hard winter wheat, with short dough-mix times indicating weak gluten. High protein cultivars gave good crumb scores, some of which surpassed the hard red winter wheat (HRW) baking control. Loaf volume was correlated to protein and all spelt varieties were at least 10-15% lower than the HRW control. Isolated starch properties revealed an increase in amylose in the spelt starches of between 4 - 7 % over the HRW control. Negative correlations were observed for the large A-type granules to bread crumb score, amylose level, and final pasting viscosity for cultivars grown in year 1999 and to pasting temperature for samples grown in 1998. Positive correlations were found for the small B- and C-type granules relative to crumb score, loaf volume, amylose, and RVA final pasting viscosity for cultivars grown in year 1999, and to RVA pasting temperature in 1998. The environmental impact on spelt properties seemed to have a greater effect than genetic control.