Durum wheat

How to grow durum wheat

Durum wheat belongs to the Triticum turgidum variety, a very hard wheat with a high protein content. It is a spring plant, which grows in the summer. It is generally considered the most resistant of all wheats. The seeds of durum wheat are usually large, golden amber and translucent. To cultivate this precious ingredient, plowing should be started in autumn so that it can be sown in spring. To ensure an evenly distributed crop, you need to understand the amount of seed you need. In any case, wheat can be grown «in a row», like other types of vegetables. You need to plant the seed to a depth of 1 or 1.5 inches for spring wheat. For satisfactory results, firm the bed to ensure good seed-to-soil contact. In midsummer the color of the stems changes from green to yellow / brown. The heads, due to the heaviness, will point towards the ground. When this happens, it means that the time has come to test the wheat: if the seeds are soft, it means that the wheat is not ready, so you have to wait, while if they are crunchy, the wheat will be ready to be harvested.

Differences between durum wheat and whole wheat

Wheat prefers almost neutral soil (pH about 6.4). It grows best if there is little humidity and freshness in winter and a mild and dry climate in summer, to start ripening. As for the soil, durum wheat gives better results in those containing clay and, therefore, tends to stay wet. The soils that are used for the cultivation of wheat need the three-year rotation of the fields: only in this way, by maintaining the quality of the soil rich in nutrients, the plant can grow at its best. After sowing, the soil is fertilized, based on nitrogen (essential for the proteins present in wheat), phosphorus and potassium. Attention must also be paid to sowing: making it too dense can lead the stems to entice themselves.

Origin and main nutrients

Durum wheat grows in three particular areas: in the Mediterranean basin, in the Northern Plains between the United States of America and Canada, and in the deserted areas of the South East of the United States, in Mexico. However, the former are the major users of this food. It contains more proteins than rice and corn, most of which are present in the endosperm portion and in the wheat germ. The outer layer of the wheat grain is covered with bran, which is a rich source of fiber. Since bran is generally removed during milling, most flours are poor sources of fiber.The largest part of the wheat seed is the endosperm which makes up nearly 83 percent of its weight. Endosperm wheat is rich in proteins, carbohydrates and some B vitamins. Wheat germ is the smallest portion of a wheat grain and is the part from which new plants germinate. It contains unsaturated fats, some B vitamins, trace elements, antioxidants and phytonutrients. Like bran, wheat germ is usually removed during milling because its high fat content causes the flour to deteriorate sooner.

Durum wheat: The properties of wheat and its use.

Wheat contains four types of proteins: albumin, globulin, gliadins and glutenin. Albumin and globulin are water soluble and have enzymatic activity. Together, gliadins and glutenin make up gluten and are the reserve proteins found in wheat, according to Russ Karow, a grain specialist at Oregon State University. The large amber-colored kernels of durum wheat contain a high amount of gluten, which gives strength and elasticity to the pasta made from durum wheat flour. Durum wheat flour is used to produce particular breads, especially in the Mediterranean region, and is the main ingredient in pasta. The milling of hard and soft wheat breaks the endosperm, produces the flour suitable for all baked goods such as bread, cakes and biscuits. However, the Durum wheat endosperm resists breaking during milling for this reason the flour remains coarse, i.e. semolina flour. The hardness of the semolina, combined with its high protein content, makes it suitable for making quality pasta. The high gluten content makes the dough stiff, suitable for forming the pasta we all know.

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