Type: Chapter

Developing hulled wheat-based cereal products with enhanced nutritional properties: emmer, einkorn and spelt


Dagmar Janovská

Crop Research Institute

Petra Hlásná epková

Crop Research Institute

Stefano DAmico

Austrian Agency for Health and Food Safety (Austria)

Andrea Brandolini

Council for Agricultural Research and Economics (Italy)

Heinrich Grausgruber

University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Vienna (Austria)

Publication date:

10 May 2021

ID: 9781801461566

E-Chapter format

Request Permissions


Hulled wheats (emmer, einkorn, and spelt) have low yields but are suitable for organic and low-input agriculture under marginal or high-stress conditions. However, data on the composition of hulled wheats, often also called ‘ancient wheats’ is still scarce, especially on bioactive components such as vitamins. This chapter shows that einkorn, emmer and spelt have some nutritional benefits compared to modern durum or common wheat varieties. Hulled wheats have superior properties in constituents such as protein, some minerals (e.g. calcium) and carotenoids (e.g. lutein). Einkorn might be an alternative for people suffering from wheat sensitivities due to improved gliadin digestibility and low abundance of amylase-trypsin inhibitors. A significant disadvantage is the lower content of total dietary fibres. The genetic diversity of hulled wheats can be used for breeding e.g. for Zn biofortification or reducing immunogenic potential.

Table of contents

1 Introduction 2 Protein: content, immunogenic and allergenic proteins 3 Starch 4 Dietary fibre 5 Antioxidants: polyphenols, carotenoids and tocols 6 Micronutrients: vitamins and minerals 7 Case studies: yellow pigments in einkorn 8 Summary and future trends 9 Where to look for further information 10 References