Reference Number: 490
The spectrophotometric Bradford assay was adapted for the analysis of gluten protein contents (gliadins and glutenins) of spelt, durum wheat, emmer and einkorn. The assay was applied to a set of 300 samples, including 15 cultivars each of common wheat, spelt, durum wheat, emmer and einkorn cultivated at four locations in Germany in the same year. The total protein content was equally influenced by location and wheat species, however, gliadin, glutenin and gluten contents were influenced more strongly by wheat species than location. Einkorn, emmer and spelt had higher protein and gluten contents than common wheat at all four locations. However, common wheat had higher glutenin contents than einkorn, emmer and spelt resulting in increasing ratios of gliadins to glutenins from common wheat (< 3.8) to spelt, emmer and einkorn (up to 12.1). With the knowledge that glutenin contents are suitable predictors for high baking volume, cultivars of einkorn, emmer and spelt with good predicted baking performance were identified. Finally, spelt, emmer and einkorn were found to have a higher nitrogen partial factor productivity than common and durum wheat making them promising crops for a more sustainable agriculture.
Significance of this study to the baker:
At the Sourdough School and Club we believe in sustainable agriculture and like to support our local UK farmers, which is one of the reasons we are picky about quality of the flour we choose to bake with. This study highlights how different species of wheat flour, in particular the heritage grains such as spelt, emmer and einkorn, can more sustainable than others. It also tells us how different they can be in terms of their gluten content. We believe that if we choose the right quality of flour and use our Sourdough baking process to ferment the grain, we can increase the nutrient availability and improve the digestibility of the bread, as well as supporting sustainable agriculture!