Chemical Composition and Nutritional Value of Emmer Wheat (Triticum dicoccon Schrank): a Review
2017, 18 (1) p. 117-134
Cereals represent the most important group of crops in the structure of plant production from the economic and agronomic point of view. Cereals are widely consumed and are a valuable sources of delivering components with biological activity to humans. They are one of the most abundant sources of protein and energy and are consumed as bread – a major staple food – in most countries throughout the world. The cultivated hulled wheats emmer, einkorn, and spelt, are among the most ancient Triticeae cultivated in the world and have long represented a staple food. However, the move in recent years toward more natural foods and sustainable agriculture and the rediscovery of ancient foods and flavours have brought renewed interest in these neglected species. Emmer wheat (Triticum dicoccon Schrank) is rich in resistant starch, minerals, fibre, carotenoids, antioxidant compounds, and poor in fats; it has been recognized as a very healthy cereal and is recommended in the diet for people suffering from allergies, colitis, diabetes and high blood cholesterol. For these reasons, research activities and selection programs are being conducted to assess the genetic, agronomic, nutritional and technological properties of emmer wheat. The main results of studies and the knowledge acquired about the chemical and nutritional composition (protein content, digestible carbohydrates, dietary fibre, lipids, vitamins, and minerals) are reviewed in this paper.