Health benefits of Einkorn Wheat

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Einkorn wheat Quick Facts
Name: Einkorn wheat
Scientific Name: Triticum monococcum
Origin Caucasus, western Asia, eastern and southeastern Europe
Shapes Fruit is caryopsis with adherent pericarp; hairy at apex. Hilum is linear.
Health benefits Support for risk of eye disease, Reduce allergy symptoms, weight loss and prevents Type 2 diabetes.
Einkorn wheat scientifically known as Triticum monococcum L. is a primary wild relative of cultivated Bread Wheat, Durum Wheat, Emmer Wheat, Spelt, and Sanduri wheat belonging to Poaceae / Gramineae (Grass family). The plant is native to Caucasus (Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia), western Asia (Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Syria and Turkey), eastern (Krym in Ukraine) and southeastern Europe (Albania, Bulgaria, Greece, Montenegro and Serbia). The wild and domesticated forms are either considered separate species, as here, or as subspecies: Triticum monococcum subsp. boeoticum (wild) and T. monococcum subsp. monococcum (domesticated). Einkorn,   Einkorn wheat, Hulled wheat, small spelt and one-grained wheat are some of the popular common names of the plant.

Its vernacular name comes from the German Einkorn, literally ‘‘single grain’’, and refers to the presence of only one grain per spikelet. The name einkorn is used for both the wild (subsp. aegilopoides) and the cultivated (subsp.monococcum) forms. The cultivated form has larger and plumper seeds and a tougher rachis which prevents spikelets falling apart at maturity. Einkorn wheat was one of the first plants to be domesticated and cultivated. The earliest clear evidence of the domestication of einkorn dates from 10,600 to 9,900 years before present (8650 BCE to 7950 BCE) from Çayönü and Cafer Höyük, two Early Pre-Pottery Neolithic B archaeological sites in southern Turkey. Remnants of einkorn were found with the iceman mummy Ötzi, dated to 3100 BCE.

Einkorn Wheat Facts

Name Einkorn wheat
Scientific Name Triticum monococcum
Native Caucasus (Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia), western Asia(Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Syria and Turkey), eastern (Krym in Ukraine) and southeastern Europe(Albania, Bulgaria, Greece, Montenegro and Serbia)
Common Names Einkorn,   Einkorn wheat,  Hulled wheat, Small spelt, one-grained wheat
Name in Other Languages Afrikaans: Einkorn          
Albanian: Einkorn, gruri tepa, tepe
Amharic: Menek’ak’ati (መነቃቃት)
Arabic: Einkorn (īnˌkôrn), Al qamhh el wahhid el hhabbah, qamh wahid alhaba  (قمح وحيد الحبة)
Armenian: Einkorn (īnkôrn)        
Azerbaijani: Einkorn, Təkdənli buğda     
Bengali: Einkorn (īnˌkôrn)
Bulgarian: Ot limets (от лимец), ednozarnest limetz (еднозърнест лимец)
Burmese: Maingalarpar (မင်္ဂလာပါ)
Catalan: Espelta petita
Chinese: Einkorn (īnˌkôrn), Hitotsubu komugi (一粒小麦 ),  Yi li xiao mai
Croatian: Einkorn, Jednozrna pšenica, jednozrni pir, jednozrnac
Czech: Einkorn, pšenice jednozrnka
Danish: Enkorn
Dutch: Einkorn, Eenkoren, kleine spelt  
English: Einkorn,   Einkorn wheat,  Hulled wheat, Small spelt, one-grained wheat
Esperanto: Einkorn, Unugrajno
Estonian: Einkorn, Kultuur-üheteranisu
Filipino: Einkorn
Finnish: Einkorn, Yksijyvävehnä, einkornvehna
French: Einkorn, Engrain, Petit Épeautre, Petit Epeautre de Haute Provence, blé riz, blé à un grain, ingrain
Georgian: Eink’orni (ეინკორნი)
German: Einkorn, Einkornweizen, ingrain, Eicher, kleiner Spelz
Greek: Einkorn (īnkôrn), Monókokko sitári (Μονόκοκκο σιτάρι), tiphe
Gujarati: Ā ikōrna (આઇકોર્ન)
Hausa: Einkorn 
Hebrew: Einkorn, איינקורן, shipon
Hindi: Einkorn
Hungarian: Alakor          
Icelandic: Einkorn, Einkornahveiti
Indonesian: Einkorn      
Irish: Einkorn    
Italian: Faro, Farro minore, Piccola spelta, farro piccolo, spelta minore, monococco
Japanese: Eikōn (エイコーン),    Hito tsubu komugi (ヒトツブコムギ)
Javanese: Einkorn           
Kannada: Einkorn
Kazakh: Einkorn               
Korean: Aikon (아이콘), oealmil (외알밀)
Kurdish: Einkorn              
Lao: Einkorn
Latin: Einkorn   
Latvian: Einkorns
Lithuanian: Einkornas
Macedonian: Einkorn
Malagasy: Einkorn          
Malay: Einkorn 
Malayalam: Einkorn, aikēāṇ gēātamp (ഐകോൺ ഗോതമ്പ്)
Maltese: Einkorn
Marathi: Einkorn
Mongolian: Einkorn
Moroccan: Skaliah
Nepali: Einkorn
Norwegian: Einkorn       
Oriya: Einkorn  
Pashto: ايکنورن
Persian: شرم آور, گندم تک‌دانه
Polish: Einkorn, Pszenica samopsza, pszenica płaskurka,              
Portuguese: Einkorn, Trigo-candial, escanha-menor, espelta
Punjabi: Einkorn              
Romanian: Alac
Russian: Odnozernyanky (однозернянки), Odnozernjanka (Однозернянка ),  PÅ¡enica odnozernjanka (Пшеница однозернянка), Odnozernyanka (Однозернянка), zanduri (зандури), psˇenica odnozernjanka
Serbian: Einkorn (еинкорн), jednozrnac (једнозрнац), psˇenice jednozrnka, krupnik    
Sindhi: ڪنن
Sinhala: Einkorn              
Slovak: Pšenica jednozrná          
Slovenian: Einkorn         
Spanish: Einkorn, Escaña Menor, Espadrilla, Trigo candial, Trigo carraón, Trigo de un grano, Trigo einkorn, Trigo escaña cultivada
Sudanese: Leuweung
Swedish: Einkorn, Enkornsvete
Tajik: Einkorn
Tamil: Einkorn
Telugu: Einkorn
Thai: Einkorn     
Turkish: Einkorn, Siyez, siyez, ku¨c¸u¨ k bug˘day, kaplıca bug˘dayı
Ukrainian: Exinor (ехінор)
Upper Sorbian: Jednozorno
Urdu: Einkorn   
Uzbek: Einkorn
Vietnamese: Cây bạch quả
Welsh: Einkorn
Zulu: Einkorn
Plant Growth Habit Annual plant
Growing Climates Occurs in field margins, grasslands and on roadsides; it favours rocky places and dry areas
Soil Can survive on poor, dry, marginal soils where other varieties of wheat will not
Plant Size Usually less than 70 centimeters (28 in) tall
Stem Thin, firm, hairy on the knees
Leaf Leaf-sheath is oral hairs ciliate. Leaf-sheath is auricles falcate. Ligule has an eciliate membrane. Leaf-blades are about 2-5 mm wide. Leaf-blade surface is puberulous. Margins of Leaf-blade are smooth, or scaberulous.
Flowering season June to July
Flower Inflorescence is composed of racemes. Racemes are single; bilateral; 3-4 cm long. Rhachis is fragile at the nodes and flattened; glabrous on margins, or pubescent on margins. Spikelet packing broadside to rhachis. Rhachis internodes are oblong; 2-2.5 mm long; falling with spikelet above. Spikelets are solitary. Fertile spikelets are sessile. Spikelets comprise of 1-2 fertile florets; with diminished florets at the apex. Spikelets are oblong; laterally compressed; 10 mm long; falling entire; deciduous with accessory branch structures.
Fruit Shape & Size Caryopsis with adherent pericarp; hairy at apex. Hilum is linear.
Season August to September
Health benefits
  • Lowers the risk of eye disease
  • Reduce allergy symptoms
  • Aids weight loss
  • Delays development and progression of Type 2 diabetes
  • Prevent the risk of diseases
  • Low in gluten
Culinary Uses
  • Seed is usually ground into a flour and used as a cereal.
  • It is not very suitable for bread making.
  • Retains its glumes when threshed making utilization of the seed more difficult.
  • It is primarily eaten boiled in whole grains or in porridge.

Plant Description

Einkorn wheat is an annual plant that normally grows less than 70 centimeters (28 in) tall and is not very productive of edible seeds. The plant is found growing in field margins, grasslands and on roadsides and normally it favors rocky places and dry areas. It can survive on poor, dry, marginal soils where other varieties of wheat will not. Culm-nodes are bearded. Leaf-sheath is oral hairs ciliate. Leaf-sheath is auricles falcate. Ligule has an eciliate membrane. Leaf-blades are about 2-5 mm wide. Leaf-blade surface is puberulous. Margins of Leaf-blade are smooth, or scaberulous.

Flower

Inflorescence is composed of racemes. Racemes are single; bilateral; 3-4 cm long. Rhachis is fragile at the nodes and flattened; glabrous on margins, or pubescent on margins. Spikelet packing broadside to rhachis. Rhachis internodes are oblong; 2-2.5 mm long; falling with spikelet above. Spikelets are solitary. Fertile spikelets are sessile. Spikelets comprise of 1-2 fertile florets; with diminished florets at the apex. Spikelets are oblong; laterally compressed; 10 mm long; falling entire; deciduous with accessory branch structures. Glumes are similar; shorter than spikelet. Lower glume is oblong; 6-8 mm long; 1 length of upper glume; coriaceous; 2-keeled; keeled all along; 5-9 -veined. Lower glume is apex dentate; 2 -fid. Upper glume is oblong; 6-8 mm long; 0.9-1 length of adjacent fertile lemma; coriaceous; 2-keeled; keeled all along; 5-9 -veined.

Fruits

Fruit is caryopsis with adherent pericarp; hairy at apex. Hilum is linear.

Major Health Benefits of Einkorn wheat and Flour

Listed below are some of the popular health benefits of using einkorn wheat and flour

1. Lowers the risk of eye disease

Einkorn consists of dietary carotenoids, which work as antioxidants to provide relief to certain diseases including eye diseases such as macular degeneration. This was discovered after an experiment where Einkorn was observed to be increasing in carotenoid levels when sprouting, particularly when exposed to light. It’s also been exposed that there are concentrations of lutein, zeaxanthin, and β-carotene in Einkorn, which are lipophilic antioxidants that have also proven effective against eye diseases. The main function of these antioxidants is to act as a shield that absorbs the damaging effect of the light that enters the eye.

2. Reduce allergy symptoms

Einkorn is also known to be among the less allergic wheat varieties. This was first revealed in the Journal of Nutritional Science and Vitaminology after research was performed on 324 different wheat varieties sourced from different parts of the world. Research focused mostly on major wheat allergens or components of gluten such as glutenin and gliadin. This was to ensure the best screening process because these allergens were known to trigger allergic reactions in patients that were tested.

The allergens glutenin and gliadin were used as the benchmark for determining less allergenic varieties of wheat, a process which revealed Einkorn and several other wheat varieties as less allergenic. This discovery inspired the use of Einkorn and other less allergenic wheat options as mother plants for breeding to aid wheat-allergic patients with getting rid of and treating their food allergies.

3. Aids weight loss

Einkorn flour consists of several rich nutritional elements that are good for your body. Einkorn whole meal is rich in proteins and unsaturated fatty acids, fructans and trace elements, including zinc and iron. It also consists of several antioxidant compounds, which combined with its trace elements, can help you lose weight.

4. Delays development and progression of Type 2 diabetes

Einkorn flour restricts cell production that is related to glucose and fat metabolism, a process that is synonymous with the prevention or delay of diabetes development. This discovery was made after a study on ancient grains was conducted at the Department of Endocrinology and Internal Medicine at Aarhus University Hospital in Denmark.

Research investigated the effects of ancient wheat whole grain flour diets on the development and progression of type 2 diabetes, with focus on the glycemic responses. Also, an intervention study which involved the consumption of five different diets – emmer, rye flour, spelt, refined wheat and Einkorn was conducted over a period of nine weeks.

The results showed a down-regulation of hepatic genes, a phenomenon in which a cell decreases the quantity of a cellular component in response to an external variable (grain). Each diet showed a remarkable effect of the decreasing of cell production relating to glucose and fat metabolism, which is equivalent to the prevention or delay of diabetes development. Based on these findings, it’s a good idea to include ancient grains and flours, Einkorn flour specifically, in your diabetes diet plan.

5. Prevent the risk of diseases

Einkorn flour consists of copious amounts phenolic acids. This acid is known to be responsible for protecting the body from oxidative damage and diseases through the ingestion of some plants, fruits, and vegetables. Larger quantities of carotenoids have also been found in Einkorn flour than any other modern wheat flour. All of these elements have proven effective at fighting serious diseases like coronary heart disease, stroke, and cancer.

6. Low in gluten

Unlike other wheat flour varieties, Einkorn flour is low in gluten and lighter in mass. This makes it easier to digest and allows better absorption of nutrients, especially recommended for those with sensitive stomachs and endurance athletes.

Other Facts

  • The straw has many uses, as a biomass for fuel etc., for thatching, as mulch in the garden etc.
  • Fiber obtained from the stems is used for making paper.
  • Stems are harvested in late summer after the seed has been harvested; they are cut into usable pieces and soaked in clear water for 24 hours.
  • They are cooked for 2 hours in lye or soda ash and then beaten in a ball mill for 1½ hours in a ball mill.
  • Fibers make a green-tan paper.
  • The starch from the seed is used for laundering, sizing textiles etc.
  • It can also be converted to alcohol for use as a fuel.
  • It is also used for bulgur or as animal feed in mountainous areas of France, India, Italy, Morocco, the former Yugoslavia, Turkey and other countries.

References:

https://www.itis.gov/servlet/SingleRpt/SingleRpt?search_topic=TSN&search_value=42241#null

https://npgsweb.ars-grin.gov/gringlobal/taxon/taxonomydetail?id=40597

https://pfaf.org/USER/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Triticum+monococcum

https://www.cabi.org/isc/datasheet/117665

http://www.theplantlist.org/tpl1.1/record/kew-448821

https://indiabiodiversity.org/species/show/243329

http://www.narc.gov.jo/gringlobal/taxonomydetail.aspx?id=40597

https://gd.eppo.int/taxon/TRZMO

https://plants.usda.gov/home/plantProfile?symbol=TRMO22

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