Saturday, October 16, 2010

A Kernel of Wheat

Sometimes called the wheat berry, the kernel is the seed from which the wheat plant grows. Each tiny seed contains three distinct parts that are separated during the milling process to produce flour.

Endosperm – about 83 percent of the kernel weight and the source of white flour. The endosperm contains the greatest share of protein, carbohydrates and iron, as well as the four major B-vitamins, such as riboflavin, niacin, and thiamine. It is also a source of soluble fiber.

43% of the pantothenic acid
32% of the riboflavin
12% of the niacin
6% of the pyridoxine
3% of the thiamine
and 70-75% of the Protein

Bran – about 14.5 percent of the kernel weight. Bran is included in whole wheat flour and can also be bought separately. The bran contains a small about of protein, large quantities of the three major B-vitamins, trace minerals and dietary fiber – primarily insoluble (or roughage).

86% of the niacin
73% of the pyridoxine
50% of the pantothenic acid
42% of the riboflavin
33% of the thiamine
and 19% of the protein

Germ – about 2.5 percent of the kernel weight. The germ is the embryo or sprouting section of the seed, often separated from flour in the milling because the fat content (10 percent) limits flour’s shelf-life. The germ contains minimal quantities of high quality protein and a greater share of B-complex vitamins and trace minerals. Wheat germ can be purchased separately and is part of whole wheat flour.

64% of the thiamine
26% of the riboflavin
21% of the pyridoxine
7% of the pantothenic acid
2% of the niacin
and 8% of the protein.

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