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The rediscovery of the cultivation of the oldest grain: the monococco wheat (also called einkorn).

by luciano

We find a very detailed description on the cultivation of the monococcus, Monlis, Hammurabi and ID331 varieties, in an interesting degree thesis. Lorenzo Moi in 2013 under the supervision of CREA followed in Orosei Sardegna, all the stages of sowing, cultivation, harvesting and processing of these varieties that were also subjected to many analyzes concerning the various processing phases. (UNIVERSITY OF PADOVA DEPARTMENT OF AGRONOMY, ANIMALS, FOOD, NATURAL RESOURCES AND ENVIRONMENT Master’s degree in Agricultural Sciences and Technologies. THE MONOCOCCO WHEAT (Triticum monococcum L. ssp. Monococcum) IN SARDINIA: AGRONOMIC, RHEOLOGICAL, TECHNOLOGICAL AND DEVELOPMENT POSSIBILITIES Supervisor Prof. Marco Lucchin Correlatori Dr. Norberto Pogna Dr. Laura Gazza. Laureando Lorenzo Moi). Lorenzo Moi, Padovano, has dedicated himself to the rediscovery of ancient grains with rare passion, determination and expertise that have led him year after year to obtain unique products for organoleptic and healthy characteristics while preserving the biodiversity of the environment.
“Quando nel 2016 sono rientrato in Sardegna ho deciso che quella della coltivazione e trasformazione del grano diventasse la mia attività principale – racconta Lorenzo Moi –. Abbiamo iniziato a piccoli passi e ora abbiamo un’estensione di circa 15 ettari, che contiamo di triplicare nei prossimi anni. Per ora vendiamo solo ai privati, ma ci stiamo organizzando per aprire uno spaccio nel nostro mulino di Orosei. Vendiamo farina, pane carasau e vari tipi di pasta fresca, dalla fregula ai malloreddus». Il marchio che sta cominciando a cavalcare anche l’onda lunga del commercio elettronico si chiama “I grani di Atlantide” e richiama il mito ma anche il concetto di terra fertile. Un grano che punta sul suo alto contenuto proteico e che previene la celiachia: come testimoniano le relazioni degli Istituti di Gastroenterologia dell’università di Brescia e Federico II di Napoli.”

Spelt and emmer flours

by luciano

Premise: the research highlighted the importance of sourdough made with selected LABs and with autochthonous ones of emmer and spelt flour to fully exploit the potential of these “ancient grains”. The optimum will be, therefore, starting from a sourdough with a selection of lactobacilli (LAB) and refreshing it with the flours in question, thus making the contribution of the Lab present in the same flours.

“Lactobacillus brevis 20S, Weissella confusa 24S and Lact. plantarum 31S were used as pool 1 to start spelt flour. Lactobacillus plantarum 6E, Lact. plantarum 10E and W. confusa 12E were used as pool 2 to start emmer flour. ‘Ancient grains’ could serve as an abundant source of protein and soluble fibre, oleic acid and macro- and micro-elements (Bonafaccia et al. 2000; Ruibal-Mendieta et al. 2005). In spite of this increasing interest, few results are available on the microbiota of spelt and emmer and on their suitability for bread making. Selection of starters within endogenous strains was considered the most important pre-requisite. Some recent studies (Di Cagno et al. 2008a,b,c) on fermented vegetable foods, which also included strains of Lact. plantarum, have clearly shown that endogenous strains are preferred to those of the same species isolated from different matrices to promote a rapid and intense process of acidification with a positive influence on nutritional and technological properties. To use, mixed starters was considered functional to completely exploit the potential of spelt and emmer flours. Mixture of strains with dif- ferent carbohydrate metabolism is frequently used because it may guarantee optimal acidification and sensory properties (Gobbetti 1998). Mixed obligate and facultative heterofermentative lactic acid bacteria starters, as selected in pool 1 and 2, ensured rapid growth and acidification, the capacity to liberate FAA and exploited the rheology, sensory and nutritional properties of the raw flours. This was according to a two-step fermentation process. The use of sourdough comprising selected and autochthonous strains of lactic acid bacteria was considered the most suitable biotechnology to exploit the potential of spelt and emmer flour in bread making. Fermentation of spelt, emmer or wheat flours by pool 1 and 2 was allowed according to a two-step fermentation process (Fig. 1). As the general rule, it was possible to keep it lower than 4Æ0 in spelt and emmer sourdoughs, which implied a considerable synthesis of acetic acid (Gobbetti et al. 2005). Acidity of spelt and emmer breads was perceived through sensory analysis and positively influenced the volume and crumb grain of breads. Flavour of bread is known to be influenced by the combination of raw materials, fermentation and baking process (Gobbetti et al. 2005). Spelt and emmer sourdough breads received the highest score for acid taste, and a clear preference for the global taste was assigned to spelt sourdough bread. First, this study showed the suitability of spelt and emmer flours to be used for bread making according to a two-step fermentation process. Sourdough biotechnology based on selected starters was indispensable to completely exploit the potential of these ‘ancient grains’. Spelt and emmer flours were purchased from a local market. The characteristics of emmer flour were water content, 15,0%; protein (N · 5,70), 15,1% of dry matter (d.m.); fat, 2,5% of d.m.; ash, 1,9% of d.m.; and total soluble carbohydrates, 2,6% of d.m. The characteristics of spelt flour were water content, 15,0%; protein (N · 5,70), 19,1% of d.m.; fat, 2,2% of d.m.; ash, 2,0% of d.m.; and total soluble carbohydrates, 2,7% of d.m. Spelt and emmer flours: characterization of the lactic acid bacteria microbiota and selection of mixed starters for bread making. (
R. Coda, L. Nionelli, C.G. Rizzello, M. De Angelis, P. Tossut and M. Gobbetti. 1 Department of Plant Protection and Applied Microbiology, University of Bari, Bari, Italy 2 Puratos N. V., Industrialaan, 25 B-1702z, Groot-Bijgaarden, Belgium. 2009).”

Genetic Diversity of wheat

by luciano

A-B-D Genomes

Wheat occurs in a range of diploid, tetraploid and hexaploid forms (summarised in Table 1). The earliest cultivated forms were the A genome diploid einkorn (T. monococcum var monococcum) and tetraploid emmer (T. turgidum var. dicoccum) with the A and B genomes. These are closely related to wild forms: diploid T. monococcum var. monococcum and T. ururtu and tetraploid T. turgidum var. dicoccoides, respectively. Modern tetraploid durum (pasta) wheat (T. turgidum var. durum) probably arose from mutations in cultivated emmer.
Hexaploid wheat (Triticum aestivum) (genomes ABD)
Hexaploid wheat (Triticum aestivum) (genomes ABD) has never existed as a wild species and no wild hexaploid wheats are known. It probably arose by hybridization of cultivated emmer with the related wild grass T. tauschii (goat grass, also called Aegilops tauschii and Ae. squarossa). This hybridization probably occurred in south-eastern Turkey about 9000 years ago (Feldman, 1995, Dubcovsky and Dvorak, 2007) and contributed the D genome. All cultivated hexaploid wheats, including spelt, are forms of T. aestivum.
A major difference between “ancient” cultivated wheats (einkorn, emmer, spelt) and their wild relatives and modern durum and bread wheats is whether the grain are hulled or free threshing. In hulled wheats the glumes and palea adhere to the grain and the threshed material consists of intact spikelets.
As the most coeliac-active T-cell epitopes are present on the α-gliadins, emphasis has been placed on exploring differences in the amounts and sequences of proteins of this class. Kasarda
et al. (1976)
33mer fragment of α-gliadin
The studies of van Herpen et al. (2006) showed that T-cell stimulatory epitopes were more abundant in α-gliadins encoded by the D genome, and Molberg et al. (2005) who demonstrated that the immunodominant 33mer fragment of α-gliadin was encoded by chromosome 6D (and hence absent from diploid einkorn and tetraploid wheats).
The absence of the D genome from durum wheat
The absence of the D genome from durum wheat could result in lower coeliac activity due to the absence of the T-cell stimulatory epitopes at the Gli-D2 locus. van den Broeck et al. (2010a) therefore screened 103 accessions of tetraploid wheat by immunoblotting of gluten protein extracts with monoclonal antibodies against the Glia-α9 and Glia-α20 epitopes. This identified three accessions with significantly reduced levels of both epitopes. Further analysis of 61 durum wheat accessions by high throughput transcript sequencing similarly identified some accessions with lower abundances of transcripts containing coeliac disease epitopes (Salentjin et al., 2013).
Other gluten proteins
Although impressive progress has been made with identifying variation in the abundances of coeliac disease epitopes in α-gliadins, it must be borne in mind that other groups of gluten protein also contain coeliac active sequences. This was demonstrated in the survey of gluten protein sequences in the Uniprot protein sequence database by Spaenij-Dekking et al. (2005) which is referred to above. They showed that T-cell stimulatory epitopes were present in all γ-gliadin sequences (17/17), in 95.5% (21/22) of HMW subunit sequences and in 5% of LMW subunit sequences (3/57), in addition to 66% (19/29) of α-gliadin sequences. (Improving wheat to remove coeliac epitopes but retain functionality. Peter R. Shewry and Arthur S. Tatham 2016).

The role of additives in flour

by luciano

Autore: Simona Lauri (www.quitidiemagazine.it)

Qualche mese fa, una nota azienda alimentare commercializzò una farina riportante sulla confezione la dicitura “senza additivi”. Questo fatto suscitò immediatamente molte polemiche (false o presunte, non entro nel merito) ed indignazione da parte degli Operatori del Settore.

E’ chiaro che il più indignato in assoluto è stato l’inerme consumatore, che si è visto crollare addosso l’ultimo baluardo di sana alimentazione: la farina può non essere solo tale e contenere additivi volontari.
L’incipit “senza additivi” ha svelato finalmente a tutti che le farine non sono tutte uguali (non mi riferisco naturalmente alla sola classificazione botanica, merceologica e reologica), ma soprattutto non è purtroppo vero che tutte le farine in commercio siano prive di additivi volontari.
Quando parlo di “farine”, faccio riferimento agli sfarinati la cui denominazione di vendita è riportata nel Decreto del Presidente della Repubblica n°187/2001 e non all’immenso mondo dei mix, semilavorati, preparati, miglioratori, miscele già pronte all’uso per pane bianco, ai cinque cereali, nero, pizza soffice, croccante, dolci, ecc. che molte aziende commercializzano e che nulla hanno a che vedere con la parola “farina”.

Additivi ammessi nelle farine
Parlando di “farina”, vi è il DPR n°187/2001 che disciplina sia i TIPI, sia la denominazione di vendita, sia la modalità (art. 4); purtroppo è anche vero che nelle farine è consentito aggiungere glutine secco (all’uopo vedasi il DM n°351/1994) oltre alla L-cisteina (E920), l’acido ascorbico (E300) nella quantità quantum satis, senza cioè uno specifico limite secondo Reg. (UE) n°1129/2011, oltre all’acido fosforico, di-, tri- e poli-fosfati (E338 – E452) e l’additivo biossido di silicio e silicati (E551-E559) consentito in tutte le categorie di alimenti, farine comprese, in dose massima di 10.000 mg/kg o mg/l a seconda degli alimenti.
Oltre a ciò, si aggiunga che sono ammessi anche gli enzimi Reg. (CE) n°1332/2008 e Reg. (CE) n°1829/2003. In virtù di una trasparenza d’informazione, in teoria e anche in pratica, tutti gli additivi volontari dovrebbero essere dichiarati in etichetta, ma purtroppo questo, da parte di molte aziende non succede pur restando nella legalità.

Phytic acid

by luciano

Phytic acid makes up about 1% of wheat and rye flours, and reduces the bioavailability of calcium, magnesium, and iron by forming complexes with the divalent cations. Phytic acid also inhibits enzymes in the digestive system needed to breakdown starch and protein.1 This explains why some people experience discomfort from eating whole grain wheat products. The sour dough neutralizes the phytic acid and “pre-digestes” the wheat proteins during the fermentation process transforming them into micronutrients that are easy to digest.2


[1] Vaintraub, I. A. & Bulmaga, V. P. (1991). Effect of phytate on the in vitro activity of digestive proteinases. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 39 (5), 859-861 DOI: 10.1021/jf00005a008

[2] Gänzle, M. G. (2014). Enzymatic and bacterial conversions during sourdough fermentation. Food Microbiology, 37(0), 2-10. doi:http://dx.doi.org.libproxy.clemson.edu/10.1016/j.fm.2013.04.007


Phytate Degradation during Breadmaking

Moderate decrease of pH by sourdough fermentation is sufficient to reduce phytate content of whole wheat flour through endogenous phytase activity.

Fertilizers and wheat

by luciano

The agrotecnica in the last 50 years has undergone a strong evolution that has resulted.

  1. New methods for distributing nitrogen fertilizer (N)
  2. Introduction of fungicidal defense
  3. Introduction of growth regulators
  4. Introduction of soil surface treatments

Particular attention was paid to the use of nitrogen fertilizers due to the effects both on the quantity of grain produced and on the quality of the grain. In fact, by increasing the nitrogen supply an increase in protein and gluten is obtained. The minimum nitrogen fertilization up to the 60s has been increasing until reaching even 220 Kg. per hectare as well as being distributed over the plant’s growth span.

With the increase and delay of nitrogen distribution (N)

  1. a) Increase the protein content of grain and flour
  2. b) Albumin and Globulin are reduced while Gliadins and Glutenines increase (Godfrey, 2011; Pechanek, 1997)
  3. c) The GLU HMW / LMW report is increasing (Pechanek, 1997)
  4. d) The GLI / GLU ratio is growing (Du Pont et al., 2006; Gupta et al, 1992)
  5. e) The content in GLI α, β, γ increases while stable ω (Du Pont et al., 2006; Wieser & Seilmeier, 1998) f) Free AAs increase: Ala, Aso, Ile, Val (Godfrey, 2011) From: The evolution of agronomic techniques and the opportunity of minor cereals. Amedeo Reyneri, Debora Giordano University of Turin DISAFA. 2014.

Many other researches have highlighted the effects of nitrogen and sulfur on wheat, which substantially alter the proportions of the protein content. Changes that affect both digestibility and tolerability. The effects are very different depending on the variety, the quantity of fertilizers and the vegetative period during which they are used. Herbert Wieser Werner Seilmeier First published: 26 March 1999. https://doi.org/10.1002/ (SICI) 1097-0010 (199801) 76: 1 < 49 :: AID-JSFA950> 3.0.CO; 2-2.  Grain subproteome responses to nitrogen and sulfur supply in diploid wheat Triticum monococcum ssp. Monococcum. Titouan Bonnot et others. 2017. The Plant Journal (2017) 91, 894–910. Effects of nitrogen nutrition on the synthesis and deposition of the β-gliadins of wheat. Yongfang Wan, Cristina Sanchis Gritsch, Malcolm J. Hawkesford and Peter R. Shewry. Department of Plant Biology and Crop Science, Rothamsted Research, Harpenden, Hertfordshire AL5 2JQ, UK. It is therefore very important that the use of fertilizers is controlled and appropriate in order to alter the grain as little as possible, to respect the vegetative cycle without “forcing” to respect the soil. The “ancient” grains do not need fertilizers, herbicides and fungicides, they are naturally suited to organic farming.


Split Nitrogen Application Improves Wheat Baking Quality by Influencing Protein Composition Rather Than Concentration


The fundamental importance of maturation

by luciano

The long maturation of a dough allows the LAB (lactobacilli of the sourdough), together with the proteases of the flour, to activate the enzymatic, chemical-physical processes responsible for the organoleptic qualities of the final product as well as its shelf life. The duration of the maturation process is essential, so the processes that it activates can fully carry out their activity.

The long maturations allow the LAB (lactobacilli of the sourdough), together with the proteases of the flour, to activate the process of hydrolysis of the gluten proteins and, therefore, also of the immunogenic fraction. This technique has already been used in the research to obtain the complete destruction of the toxic fraction (and, obviously, the total destruction of gluten network) and has been used to obtain a deglutinated flour. In current use, on the other hand, the sourdough contains an extremely variable pool of lactobacilli. The new method allows, therefore, for a specific flour with sourdough made with the same flour (or with the monococcus wheat flour as specified in the description of the new method), to obtain a dough with the longest possible maturation, with a gluten network suitable to be then used to have a valid final product according to the usual criteria (the so-called quality requirements or quality descriptors).

1.     “The different micro-organisms used during fermentation have a complex metabolism that does not limit itself to making the mixture only macroscopic modifications linked to the use of sugars for the production of carbon dioxide (primary agent of leavening). In fact, these micro-organisms are endowed with enzymes capable of also substantially modifying the composition of the dough. In general, this action of the fermenting microbial flora is all the more evident the longer the leavening time is long and the more varied the type of microorganisms used. Therefore, rapid leavening obtained by means of brewer’s yeast has a mild action on the transformation of the various constituents of the dough and that, on the contrary, long fermentations obtained with acid pastes, containing various types of lactic bacteria and yeasts, cause very more pronounced in the different constituents of the dough. Recently several studies have been published to try to describe and summarize how the action of slow leavening obtained through acid pastes (therefore with methods closer to the traditional bread-making techniques) influence the organoleptic, nutritional and technological qualities of bread.” (Katina et al 2005, Corsetti and Settanini 2007).

2.     “We have seen that long fermentations, obtained through the use of acid dough, improve the aroma and taste of the final product, thanks to the different organic acids produced by the activity of lactic bacteria on sugars. The long natural fermentations involve the release of a greater quantity of free amino acids in the mixture. This is due to the proteolytic activity of lactic bacteria and in part to the activation of proteases in the flour. It was found that the presence in the mixture of amino acids, allows the formation of compounds that contribute to the formation of the aroma of bread, thus improving its organoleptic qualities. The general increase in the aroma and palatability of the products obtained through natural fermentation makes the wholemeal breads more palatable which, as previously seen, often do not meet the favor of the consumers. The production of naturally leavened wholemeal bread could thus increase its consumption and encourage the intake of all the nutrients that this type of bread contains. Fermentation with sourdough compared to leavening with brewer’s yeast has different influences on the content of many of the bioactive compounds present in the bread. In general, the decrease in pH due to the use of acid paste causes an increase in the phenolic compounds and a decrease in compounds such as thiamine (vitamin B1), the dimers of ferulic acid (antioxidant) and phytic acid. The reduction of the phytic acid content is important because this molecule, binding to the minerals contained in the flour, makes them unavailable to the human body. A 62% phytic acid reduction with acid pastes has been described compared to a 38% reduction by leavening with brewer’s yeast (Lopez et al., 2001).

3.     “NEW BREAD FROM ANTIQUE GRAINS Evolution of wheat varieties, milling and bread making techniques” (Research carried out with the scientific support of the Department of Agricultural and Food Production Sciences and the University of Florence and the technical collaboration of the Tuscan Coordination of Organic Producers).

3.1 “The most studied process for gluten degradation during bread making is sourdough fermentation. Sourdough is a mixture of flour and water that is fermented with LAB and yeasts (commonly Saccharomyces cerevisiae). The proteolytic activity of LAB enzymes to degrade gluten during dough mixing and fermentation may be attributed to the proteolytic activity of LAB and endogenous proteases of flour under acidic conditions”. This results in a weaker dough and a decrease in the loaf specific volume; these effects are accentuated when long fermentation times are used [38]. In contrast to traditional sourdough processes, it has been reported that for total gluten degradation, long fermentation times are needed (approximately 24–72 h). The use of sourdough fermentation for bread making plays a crucial role in the development of sensory properties such as taste, aroma, texture, and overall quality of baked goods. This is due to the acidification, proteolysis, and activation of a number of enzymes [7,8].

3.2 “Different attempts have been made for reduction of immunogenic gluten sequences of wheat while keeping its baking technological properties. In the last decade, several studies have shown the capacity of proteolytic enzymes, mainly peptidases, to degrade gluten during food processing.”

4.     “Another important effect of sourdough fermentation is to disrupt the gluten protein network. The highest molecular weight proteins in gluten are glutenins which are polymers stabilised by disulphide bonds. When glutenins are partially hydrolysed, the depolymerisation and solubilisation of the polymers occurs” (Thiele et al., 2004). “In addition, glutathione is an endogenous reducing agent in dough that can cleave disulphide bonds particularly when the pH is slightly acidic as during the first hours of sourdough fermentation” (Grosch and Wieaser, 1999; Wieser et al., 2008). “Furthermore, the activity of glutathione reductase is increased due to the effect of the lactobacilli on the redox potential” (Jänsch et al., 2007). “Finally, proline-rich polypeptides released by disruption of the gluten network, are exposed to the action of proline-specific peptidases from lactobacilli” (Trends in wheat technology and modification of gluten proteins for dietary treatment of coeliac disease patients. F Cabrera-Chávez, AM Calderón de la Barca 
Coordinación de Nutrición. Centro de Investigación en Alimentación y Desarrollo, A. C. Carretera a la Victoria Km 0.6 P. O. Box 1735. Hermosillo 83000, Mexico).

5.     “More recently, it was shown that selected Lactobacillus in combination with fungal and/or malt proteases could decrease the residual concentration of gluten immunogenic sequences during extended fermentation times [2–5]. However, its utilization may affect the technological properties of dough and the quality of baked products” Here the study also shows that with a pool of selected LABs it is possible to arrive not only at the complete degradation of gluten but also at the elimination of toxic residues. (Microbial Proteases in Baked Goods: Modification of Gluten and Effects on Immunogenicity and
Product Quality. Nina G. Heredia-Sandoval, Maribel Y. Valencia-Tapia, Ana M. Calderón de la Barca and Alma R. Islas-Rubio. Received: 1 May. 016; Accepted: 27 August 2016; Published: 30 August 2016).

6.     “The degradation of gluten proteins influences the rheology of the doughs and, consequently, the structure of the bread (Thiele et al., 2004); moreover, the hydrolysis of the glutinic mesh improves the workability of the dough (Wehrle et al., 1999). Amino acids and small peptides released during fermentation are important for microbial growth as well as for the development of aroma in bakery products. The proteolytic/peptidolytic activity of lactic bacteria can contribute to the hydrolysis of bitter peptides and the release of bioactive peptides (Mugula et al., 2003). Lactic bacteria play a substantial role in proteolysis during fermentation” (Di Cagno et al., 2002; Wehrle et al., 1999).

7.     “The most studied process for gluten degradation during bread making is sourdough fermentation. Sourdough is a mixture of flour and water that is fermented with LAB and yeasts (commonly Saccharomyces cerevisiae). The proteolytic activity of LAB enzymes to degrade gluten during dough mixing and fermentation may be attributed to the proteolytic activity of LAB and endogenous proteases of flour under acidic conditions. This results in a weaker dough and a decrease in the loaf specific volume; these effects are accentuated when long fermentation times are used. pag. 7.” (Microbial Proteases in Baked Goods: Modification of Gluten and Effects on Immunogenicity and Product Quality. Nina G. Heredia-Sandoval, Maribel Y. Valencia-Tapia, Ana M. Calderón de la Barca and Alma R. Islas-Rubio. Received: 1 May 2016; Accepted: 27 August 2016; Published: 30 August 2016).

8.     For those with a less severe reaction, with what Pollan calls “gluten intolerance”, which is more commonly known as non-celiac gluten sensitivity, the sourdough process may increase tolerance for consuming the bread, says Alessio Fasano, director of the Center for Celiac Research at Massachusetts General Hospital. The long fermentation process to make sourdough bread the old fashioned way does reduce some of the toxic parts of gluten for those that react to it, says Peter Green, director of the Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University. (Https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/mar/23/sourdough-bread-gluten-intolerance-food-health-celiac-disease).

9.     Sourdough and degradation of protein: A grounded guide to gluten: How modern genotypes and processing impact wheat sensitivity – Chapter fermentation and microbial enzymes – (Lisa Kissing Kucek – Lynn D. Veenstra, Plaimein Amnuaycheewa and Mark E. Sorrels – Comprehensive reviews in food schience and food safety Vol 14 – 2015).

10.  An important contribution of sourdough fermentation is wheat endoprotease activity that require a low pH level (Hartmann et al. 2006 – Ganzle et al. 2008 – Loponen et al. 2009).

Maturation and fermentation of a mixture of water, flour and yeasts and / or lactic bacteria

by luciano

Maturation and fermentation are just two of the many processes that take place within a dough: they are not the same thing and they must not be confused with each other. The general concept of “fermentation” is known and is quite well known and is understood as the complex of biological reactions involving the transformation of sugars as the lactic fermentation and the alcohol. During such metabolisms part of the sugars present in the dough are transformed by the yeast and by bacteria into acids, carbon dioxide, water, ethyl alcohol, energy etc.. and macroscopically result in a lowering of the pH value, in the production of aromatic substances and / or volatile, in gas production and in the increase of the dough mass. The term “maturation” on the other hand, refer to the complex of countless biochemical reactions that is the basis of cleavage or enzymatic breakdown of complex molecules into simpler molecules; macromolecules from complex to simple amino acids in the case of proteins, in the case of polysaccharides to monosaccharides. These reactions take long time, while the fermentation is much faster; the fermentation, however, can be slowed down very much if the dough is placed at rest in a low temperature (from 1 ° C to 4 ° C max). In this way we give the opportunity to the dough to mature; only to maturation occurred will choose to operate the gradual raising of the temperature in order to increase, to balance and optimize the fermentation process. Prolonghed fermentation and maturation also have an influence, not secondary, both on the shelf life both on the organoleptic characteristics of the finished product conferring, between the other, perfumes and flavors emphasized.


The fundamental importance of maturation

More digestible starch in the Monococcus wheat

by luciano

The amylose content in T. monococcum (23.3-28.6% of total starch) (Hidalgo et al .. 2014) is lower than durum wheat (30%) and soft wheat (35-43% ), suggesting that the amylose content increases as the number of genomes increases. It also has small starch granules (so-called B-type) in greater proportion than grown wheat. Even large starch granules (A-type) have a significantly lower diameter in the monococcus grain (13.2 μm) than durum wheat (15.3 μm) or soft wheat (23.8 μm) (Taddei et al., 2009) and all this contributes to the high digestibility of foods based on monococcus wheat (Taddei et al., 2009), consequently the surface per unit weight of the starch grain granules (764 μm) is greater than to soft wheat (550 μm), and therefore more rapidly hydrolyzed by amylases (Franco et al 1992). Not all starch is rapidly hydrolyzed during digestion, the fraction that resists digestion and absorption in the human small intestine is called “resistant starch” and has physiological effects comparable to those of dietary fiber. However, single-grain wheat has a low content (0.2%) in “resistant starch” when compared to common wheat (0.4% to 0.8%) (Abdel-Aal et al., 2008).

Tolerability of the monococcum wheat.

by luciano

A peculiar characteristic of this cereal is the high food tolerability. In the last few years numerous experimental evidences of the reduced toxicity of the monococcus wheat prolamins have been obtained. In particular, the prolamins of this cereal are not able to induce lesions in the intestinal mucosa of celiac patients (Auricchio et al., 1982; De Vincenzi et al., 1995; 1996) and to agglutinate K562 (S) cells, a in vitro tests strongly correlated with the “toxicity” of the prolaminic peptides. Furthermore, T. monococcum accessions of immuno-dominant sequences able to stimulate T lymphocytes have been identified (Molberg et al., 2005; Spaenij-Dekking et al., 2005; Zanini et al., 2013). Recently, Gianfrani et al. (2012) reported the results of a study on two monococcus wheat genotypes, Monlis and ID331, compared with the variety of tender wheat Sagittarius. However, while the proliferates of Sagittarius and Monlis, a variety of monococcus wheat free of ω-gliadins, are able to promote the proliferation of enterocytes in the crypts of the mucous membranes of celiac patients and to induce the synthesis of interliquine 15 (IL- 15) in intestinal villi enterocytes, ID321 prolamins, a monococcus wheat line containing only one ω-gliadin, show no effect. The results suggest that Monlis is able to activate innate immunity and promote the synthesis of interleukin 15 (IL-15), a key molecule in the induction of adaptive immunity, while ID331 does not seem capable of eliciting this type of immune response. All this is in agreement with the observation that the prolamins of the Monlis variety and other monococcus wheat genotypes without ω-gliadin behave like the prolamins of soft wheat in their ability to agglutinate K562 (S) cells and alter the intestinal epithelium. These rare toxic genotypes of monococcus wheat (<2%) differ from the others due to the peculiarity of not producing ω-gliadins, in which sequences able to counteract the toxicity of the other prolamins seem to be present. Although monococcus wheat proteins show reduced cytoxicity towards intestinal cells, the presence of immune-dominant epitopes precludes their use in the celiac diet.
On the other hand, considering that the incidence and severity of celiac disease depends on the quantity and the harmfulness of the prolamins and that some monococcus wheat genotypes have a high bread making quality coupled with absence of cytotoxicity and reduced immunogenicity, it is expected that use of monococcus flours in the diet of the general population, in which there is a high percentage of individuals genetically predisposed to celiac disease but not yet celiac, can help to contain the spread of this form of food intolerance. This suggests that the monococcus wheat, recently reported in cultivation in Italy by researchers of the Council for Research and Experimentation in Agriculture (CRA) of Rome and San Angelo Lodigiano, will play an important role in the prevention of celiac disease, both directly in the form of bread and pasta both indirectly as a model species for the study of the role of innate immunity in the onset of celiac disease. FROM: The new frontiers of food technologies and the celiac disease Norberto Pogna, Laura Gazza (2013). Volume 212, 1 December 2016, Pages 537-542 Further confirmations were highlighted by the research: Protective effects of ID331 Triticum monococcum gliadin on in vitro models of the intestinal epithelium. Giuseppe Jacomino et al. 2016. Highlights: • ID331 gliadins do not enhance permeability and do not induce zonulin release. • ID331 gliadins do not trigger cytotoxicity or cytoskeleton reorganization. • ID331 gastrointestinal digestion releases ω (105-123) bioactive peptide. • ω (105-123) exerts a protective action against the toxicity induced by T. aestivum. Abstract A growing interest in developing new strategies due to coeliac disease. In the current study, we investigate the biological effects of ID331 Triticum monococcum gliadin-derived peptides in human Caco-2 intestinal epithelial cells. Triticum aestivum gliadin derived peptides were used as a positive control. The effects on epithelial permeability, zonulin release, viability, and cytoskeleton reorganization were investigated. Our findings confirmed that ID331 gliadin did not enhance permeability and did not induce zonulin release, cytotoxicity or cytoskeleton reorganization of Caco-2 cell monolayers. We also demonstrated that ID331 ω-gliadin and its derived peptide ω (105-123) exerted to protective action, mitigating the injury of Triticum aestivum gliadin on cell viability and cytoskeleton reorganization. These results may represent a new opportunity for the future development of innovative strategies to reduce gluten toxicity in the diet of patients with gluten intolerance.

Monococcus Wheat (einkorn, little spelt)

by luciano

Monococcus wheat protein content, on average 15-18%, is higher than that of other cultivated cereals and has a nutritional value higher than that of common wheat and durum wheat. The studies carried out at the Research Unit for the Qualitative Valorisation of Cereals of the Council for Research and Experimentation in Agriculture (CRA-QCE) in the last ten years have allowed to identify many peculiar and nutritionally interesting aspects of the monococcus wheat. Among the characteristics that make it unique in the field of straw cereals we have (i) the high content of carotenoids, precursors of vitamin A and natural antioxidants, which is about 5 times that of soft wheat; (ii) the excellent availability of tocoli (vitamin E), which is about 50% greater than durum wheat and soft wheat; (iii) the high content in lipids (about 50% more than common wheat), with a clear prevalence of unsaturated fatty acids; (iv) the high percentage in ash and the high content in minerals (particularly interesting are zinc, iron and phosphorus) and (v) a content in fruits about 50-70% greater than soft wheat (Hidalgo and Brandolini, 2008) ). The monococcus wheat flour, almost impalpable, has a characteristic yellow color and is excellent for the production of biscuits, snakes, flakes and other bakery products (Brandolini et al., 2008; Pollini et al., 2013); there are also genotypes with an excellent attitude to bread-making (Saponaro et al., 1995; Borghi et al., 1996). Also the pastification quality is very high, both in terms of workability of the raw material and of the quality of the finished product: the spaghetti and the monococco wheat macaroni have a good resistance to cooking and a reduced loss of starch compared to those based on commercial groats. of durum wheat (Brandolini et al., 2008). Moreover T. monococcum possesses small-sized (so-called B-type) starch granules in proportion to the cultivated wheats.

1. Tolerability of the monococcus wheat
2. More digestible starch in the monococcus wheat

Species and variety concept

by luciano

“Ha senso parlare di “specie antiche” e “specie moderne”? Secondo chi scrive, no. Semmai dovesse avere un senso parlare di “antico”, questo lo si può riferire all’origine della specie, quindi è corretto dire che il farro monococco ha origini molto antiche (infatti è stato il primo frumento comparso circa 12 mila anni fa), mentre il frumento tenero ha origini più “moderne” (si stima la sua origine a soli – si fa per dire – 8000 anni fa).

Poi, dentro la specie, è importante definire con esattezza i diversi concetti di popolazione, varietà, varietà antica, varietà moderna.
Le varietà tradizionali sono le varietà locali (landraces), chiamate impropriamente anche “popolazioni locali” e sono state da sempre coltivate dagli agricoltori. Sono popolazioni eterogenee, in rapporto dinamico con l’ambiente naturale e le tecniche colturali e sono state oggetto inconsapevole della selezione dell’agricoltore stesso.

Il passaggio dalla selezione “inconscia” condotta dagli agricoltori per secoli a quella “organizzata e consapevole” condotta dai costitutori vegetali (tra le fine dell’Ottocento e l’inizio del Novecento), ha dato avvio al miglioramento genetico (breeding), finalizzato all’ottenimento di varietà migliorate (bred varieties o cultivars). Queste sono popolazioni omogenee, spesso costituite da un solo genotipo (come le linee pure nei frumenti) con caratteristiche “desiderate” dai selezionatori.

Pertanto, tutte le varietà derivate da un programma di miglioramento genetico, condotto con qualsiasi metodica (selezione massale, selezione genealogica, selezione ricorrente, selezione entro popolazioni locali o entro popolazioni segreganti ottenute da incrocio) sono “varietà migliorate”.

E nelle varietà migliorate, qual è la differenza fra “varietà antiche” e “varietà moderne”? Oppure è il caso di dire che tutte le varietà locali sono “antiche” per definizione?
Qualcuno utilizza come criterio il periodo di costituzione, per cui le varietà costituite prima del dopoguerra sarebbero “antiche”; per qualcun altro invece tali sarebbero quelle ottenute da metodi di breeding “poco invasivi”, senza ricorso all’incrocio artificiale. Non c’è nessun fondamento scientifico in tale dissertazione e le definizioni, a mio giudizio, sono del tutto soggettive.

Di fatto la distinzione effettiva resta fra le varietà locali e quelle migliorate. Dentro a queste ultime troviamo tipologie diverse, frutto di obiettivi diversi di miglioramento genetico, quindi con caratteristiche differenziate in grado di rispondere a diversi metodi di trasformazione e a diverse esigenze nutrizionali.

Ancora oggi esistono in Italia varietà locali di Triticum. Solo per citarne qualcuna fra le più conosciute: il farro di Monteleone di Spoleto e il farro della Garfagnana nel dicocco; i frumenti teneri “Solina d’Abruzzo” e “Rosciole” dell’Appennino Centrale; Ruscìe, Saragolla/Saragolle, Marzuolo/Marzuoli nei frumenti duri.


E perché al plurale? Perché le varietà locali, similmente alle popolazioni naturali, sono frutto dell’azione combinata di mutazioni, ricombinazioni, fenomeni di migrazione e deriva genetica, selezione e sono popolazioni bilanciate, in equilibrio con un determinato ambiente, geneticamente dinamiche, ma anche soggette a diversi gradi di selezione attuata dagli agricoltori. Pertanto, grazie alla loro variabilità
all’adattamento a
assumono tratti
differenziati, tali da consentire una diversa identità genetica in ogni ambiente.

Inoltre, la denominazione di una varietà locale può derivare dal legame con il territorio (farro di Monteleone), con il nome di un agricoltore (il frumento tenero Jervicella nelle Marche), da una caratteristica morfologica (“ruscìe”, “russelli”, “rosciole”, frumenti duri e teneri, che assumono a maturazione la tipica colorazione rossastra di spighe, ariste, culmo, dovuta alla forte pigmentazione), da un tratto fisiologico (i grani marzuoli sono varietà ad habitus primaverile, quindi non hanno bisogno di vernalizzazione e possono essere seminati alla fine dell’inverno, fino a marzo).


Le “Saragolle” sono un gruppo di frumenti duri storicamente diffusi nelle regioni del Sud Italia e Sicilia, di cui si ritrova traccia in numerosi documenti storici. Da tali documenti non emerge con chiarezza se trattasi soltanto di frumento duro oppure anche di altre specie.
Personalmente ho cominciato ad occuparmi di questi frumenti una ventina di anni fa, ho raccolto numerosi campioni, presso collezioni private e banche del germoplasma, e in parte anche presso agricoltori in Abruzzo, Puglia, Basilicata, Sicilia, ed ho appurato che si tratta sia di frumento duro che di frumento turanico e, spesso, miscuglio delle due specie nella stessa popolazione.
Senza voler “categorizzare” troppo, è possibile definire alcuni tratti tipici delle “Saragolle”, quali la taglia molto elevata, la spiga di grosse dimensioni, le cariossidi molto grandi e spesso molto lunghe (aspetto per qualche tempo le ha fatte erroneamente classificare come Triticum polonicum), il basso contenuto in glutine e la ridotta tenacità di questo.
La gran parte delle accessioni di “Saragolle” da me rintracciate in Italia sono classificabili come frumento turanico, anche quelle descritte come “grano del faraone”, “grano degli egizi” e denominazioni simili. Al riguardo va precisato che in molti casi si tratta dello stesso materiale genetico di origine, passato da un’azienda all’altra, al quale è stato attribuito un nome diverso!! Non più lontano di 10 anni fa praticamente nessuno conosceva le “Saragolle”.

Sono avvenuti due fatti più o meno concomitanti che ne hanno fatto esplodere l’interesse e la conoscenza.

Il primo fatto è legato all’introduzione nel mercato italiano del Kamut®, marchio commerciale della Kamut Int. Ltd del Montana (USA) che protegge la filiera che utilizza la linea QK-77 di frumento turanico, reperita in Egitto. Basta poco per rintracciare in rete una vastissima gamma di informazioni su questo prodotto. Il successo commerciale del Kamut® va attribuito sicuramente alla grossa abilità di marketing della società detentrice che ha saputo sfruttare al meglio alcune delle peculiarità agronomiche e qualitative di questo grano: fra tutte l’adattabilità alla produzione biologica e un glutine “debole”, particolarmente adatto ad una determinata fascia di consumatori (sensibilità al glutine, che non è celiachia, che invece è intolleranza genetica allo stesso).

Il secondo fatto, che ha creato molta confusione, è stata l’iscrizione nel 2004 al Registro Nazionale del frumento duro della varietà Saragolla da parte della Società Produttori Sementi di Bologna. Questa varietà è frutto di uno specifico programma di miglioramento genetico condotto dalla Società partendo da parentali del tutto diversi che nulla hanno a che vedere con le “saragolle”, varietà locali sopra descritte, così come nessuna affinità c’è tra le due varietà. L’iscrizione al Registro Nazionale con tale nome è stata del tutto lecita, perché questa denominazione non era “repertoriata” in nessun elenco pubblico in nessuna parte d’Italia e il nome non contrastava con i criteri stabiliti dall’Unione Europea in materia di denominazioni varietali e, infine, nei due mesi di pubblicazione del nome nel Bollettino ufficiale delle varietà edito dal Mipaaf, non c’è stata nessuna opposizione.

Per gli operatori del settore non c’è alcuna possibilità di confondere le due tipologie varietali, ma nel cittadino/consumatore comune, qualche dubbio è sorto e continua a sorgere.

Solo di recente è stata iscritta una varietà di Saragolla Lucana alla sezione delle “Varietà da conservazione” del frumento duro, sezione prevista quale appendice al comune Registro delle Varietà Vegetali detenuto presso il Mipaaf. L’iscrizione è stata presentata da Cra – Centro di Ricerca per la Cerealicoltura di Foggia (Cra-Cer) e Regione Basilicata, su segnalazione di un agricoltore lucano e dell’Associazione lucana cerealisti di antiche varietà di Palazzo San Gervasio. La varietà era diffusa in passato nei territori dei comuni di Palazzo San Gervasio, Forenza, Maschito, Banzi, Genzano di Lucania, Venosa, Montemilone, Lavello, tutte località in provincia di Potenza.

Infine, giusto per aumentare la confusione, con un nome simile, “Saracolla”, una decina di anni fa è stato rintracciato un frumento tenero nell’appennino reatino. Si tratta di una varietà con spiga aristata, con colorazione rossastra a maturazione, cariosside di medio-grandi dimensioni, ciclo precoce. Quindi tutt’altra cosa rispetto alle saragolle di cui sopra.

Possiamo quindi concludere che non è difficile fare confusione, soprattutto quando il mercato alimenta tale confusione.

Solo il riferimento a risultati certi di ricerche e studi ben precisi può consentire – è il caso di dirlo – di non scambiare “ceci per cicerchie”.

DA: https://www.icvalenza.edu.it/materiale-d-waterandfoodsecurity-org-buone-pratiche-di-sviluppo-sostenibile/?aid=16290&sa=0.”

Millstones and millstones with stones

by luciano

The old mills with stone millstones are very few and work small batches of wheat, so no industrial plant uses this flour. The good news is that today modern versions of the old mills are also spreading, made up of two stainless steel discs covered with natural stone (the most appreciated is the flint of French La Ferté-sous-Jouarre). Alternatively there are also wheels covered with a mixture of flint, magnesite and emery, similar to that of non-stick pans. With the stone millstones it is impossible to obtain the ’00’ type flour because it is impossible to separate the starch from bran and germ Contrary to the past, the two wheels are housed in a wooden structure and the grains of wheat (or other cereals) are poured from above into the central hole of the disc, which shatters them by rotating at high speed. The difference between natural and artificial stone is that the French millstone rotates at 90-100 rpm, keeping the flour a working temperature around 30 ° C. In the other system the millstones rotate at high speed and the flour overheats, reducing the nutritional properties. The advantage of stone mills (both natural and artificial) is that the flour is ‘truly integral’ because whole grains are ground and in this way the germ and the outer coating (bran) are mixed with the flour, obtaining a flavor, a aroma and superior nutritional properties compared to traditional grinding with cylinders. This flour is rich in fibers, minerals, B vitamins, tocopherols (vitamin E), proteins and fats – polyunsaturated and monounsaturated – present in the bran and germ. Against the best nutritional characteristics, however, there is less conservability due to the presence of the fatty acids of the germ, and a certain resistance to leavening due to the presence of the bran.

Preliminary operations the grinding of wheat : Grain conditioning

by luciano

Phase in which the grain is wet with a sufficient quantity of water, to facilitate the detachment of the external parts (integuments) from the floury almond and the breaking of the same. The purpose of this phase is to soften the casing to prevent its fragmentation and promote its detachment, to reduce the hardness of the albumen to facilitate its transformation into flour and to obtain a degree of damage to the starch that is optimal for the various uses. . Conditioning is influenced by the amount of water added, the temperature of the treatment and the duration of the rest of the grain.

Stone grinding why?

by luciano

The choice is motivated by the desire to work flours that preserve all the parts of the grain obtained with a single step. A flour with an irregular granulometry is obtained, with a greater quantity of bran (which gives a darker coloring) and a total conservation of the germ (embryo). Germ preservation is the basic and essential aspect of natural stone milling, since it contains both the most “noble” part of the grain, consisting of antioxidant substances, such as carotenoids (especially zeaxantines and lutein), fat-soluble vitamins (in particular the E), polyphenols, flavonoids, betaine and beta-glucans, which the most “tasty” part, composed of essential oils. The complete blending of the starch with the essential oils contained in the germ gives the flour a fragrance and a richer and fuller aroma. However, the mills must work at low rpm so as not to overheat the flour and compromise its qualities. The stone milling must, however, predict the cleaning and analysis of the grain beforehand. Food safety should be guaranteed, effectively, even before grinding, through analysis on the sanitary quality of the raw material and with a careful cleaning process capable of eliminating not only earth and foreign bodies but also broken and sick beans. With the milling of cylinders and with several passes, the various components of the flour are obtained separately and then reassembled according to certain criteria (especially commercial). Theoretically, therefore, it is possible to obtain with flour the cylinders a flour complete with all the components of the grain as well as that obtained with the stone milling.

1. Preliminary operations the grinding of wheat : Grain conditioning
2. Millstones and millstones with stones
3.Grain milling
4.History of the cereal mill


How to grow organic

by luciano

Organic cultivation is a method of production that has its basic principles in the care of soil fertility and in the balance of the environment in which it is grown. It is therefore not the substitution of fertilizers, herbicides, fungicides, pesticides in general, with what is admitted by the European regulation, but the correct application of the principles of agro ecology, having as its objective to increase the biodiversity in the soil and the ground for the search for nutritional and environmental balance. The main actions on which it is based are:
• Improve and increase organic fertility – through the use of composted organic fertilizers, the practice of green manure, the burial of crop residues is the inclusion in large rotations of legume crops, in order to increase the quantity and quality of the organic substance of the soil. To support yields and improve the quality of production, it is possible to resort to the list of fertilizers allowed by the regulation;
• Rotation or rotation of crops – is the key to the success of herbaceous and horticultural crops. A Ministry decree indicates that: between a crop and its return on the same land, there is the cultivation of at least two cycles of different crops, of which at least one is composed of legumes or a green manure. This should be considered the minimum certifiable limit, it would be appropriate to diversify as much as possible the type of crops, also to encourage the company biodiversity. The rotation is then the main control element of weeds supplemented by mechanical actions and containment and prevention against pathologies and pests;
• The varietal choice – to date, research has produced and tested very few specific varieties for the organic; it is therefore useful to base oneself on the technical know-how and experience of organic producers in your area, to orient oneself to varieties that have demonstrated adaptability to the territory, ability to compete with weeds and resistance to major adversities. This attention is very valid for new plants of fruit trees and tree crops in general;
• Creation of hedges and trees – useful not only to improve the landscape but to increase biodiversity, therefore the protection of crops, giving hospitality to natural predators of pests and also acting as a physical barrier to possible external pollutants;
• The consociation – not turning over the ground over 25/30 cm and ensuring the breaking of the deeper layers with disjointed tools, always trying to protect the soil, favoring stability with suitable hydraulic arrangements and applying, where possible and especially in the arboretums vegetable cover;
The systematic application of these techniques helps to create balance in the company; if, however, it is necessary to intervene to defend crops from pests and other adversities, the farmer can make use of the products allowed by the European Regulation, listed in the annexes with the criterion of the so-called “positive list”.
From: AIAB – Italian Biological Agriculture Association – has a federal structure with the central office in Rome and 15 Regional Associations operating autonomously in the area with its own offices and collaborators (regional offices in Basilicata, Campania, Calabria, Emilia Romagna , Friuli Venezia Giulia, Lazio, Lombardy, Liguria, Marche, Molise, Piedmont, Puglia, Sicily, Umbria, Veneto).

Gluten Light website presentation

Light why?

The scientific community has long highlighted the presence, increasingly accentuated, of a syndrome attributable to the consumption of products containing gluten distinct from celiac disease. The non-celiac gluten sensitivity, even if it regards a small percentage of the population, is in continuous progression and, in any case, concerns a segment that is no longer negligible. It is necessary to reconsider the use, in these cases, of grains with a less tenacious gluten, more digestible that is more tolerable even in cases of gastro-intestinal inflammation. Many scientific researches on ID331 single-grain wheat hope (for example) to use this grain to increase the prevention of celiac disease.
m>”Although noticeably less harmful, the monococco is not however suitable for patients who have already manifested celiac disease,” Gianfrani points out. “Instead, he may have good effects on the development of the disease in subjects at high risk of celiac disease. In fact, since there is a close correlation between the amount of gluten taken and the threshold to trigger the adverse reaction, a preventive action could be to use grains with lower gluten content. Therefore a grain like the monococco that contains a more digestible gluten, and therefore less harmful, could be a valid tool for the prevention of this pathology ”. According to the researchers, even those with gluten sensitivity would welcome a diet based on small spelled. “Today we know that foods made from monococcum wheat are well tolerated even by those who are a part of this eating disorder, which has characteristics different from celiac disease. Therefore, the next step in the research will be to perform the experiments directly on the intolerant subjects to confirm the lower toxicity of the monococcus and bring back to our table an ancient grain “, the researchers conclude. (ISA-CNR and IBP-CNR researchers have shown that small spelled contains a more digestible gluten than common wheat and may be suitable for people sensitive to this substance. The study is published in Molecular Nutrition and Food Research and opens new celiac disease prevention prospects.)”

The first glance goes to the ancient grains (the site clarifies the ancient term or, better, neither from a generally shared interpretation); some ancient grains obviously, since even here there are marked differences. The research focuses on those varieties with a much lighter gluten than (generally) modern grains (figure 22); grains often linked, if not always, to their territory of origin, grains that enhance the territory and also preserve genetic variability. The “modern” grains (briefly those on which Man has laid his hands with specific techniques) are certainly not “ad excludendum” but will be the subject of a later moment.

Cereals (and among these the grains) have a fundamental role in human nutrition and are at the base of the Mediterranean diet because they are the main source of carbohydrates, they provide fiber, B vitamins, mineral salts such as potassium, iron, phosphorus and calcium. The content of vitamins and minerals is greater in the case in which the grain is used in its “In the first decades of the 20th century, the Italian government strongly supported the research so much that in 1925 the project Battaglia del Grano was launched with the aim of making the nation self-sufficient in the production of wheat, without subtracting new land to other crops useful for national economy. The intense programs of genetic improvement carried out after the Second World War, led to the complete substitution of local varieties with new cultivars of reduced size and highly productive with a consequent decrease in the genetic variability of wheat “. (From: Morphological and agronomic characterization of ancient cereal populations Project: Ancient Fruits for new bread – NUTRIGRAN-BIO Project financed with funds from the Rural Development Plan for Umbria 2007-2013). Finally, in the last decades, the progressive industrial transformation concerning the production of bread and derivatives as well as pasta has pushed research towards the creation of varieties with a more tenacious gluten suitable for working with machines. The ancient varieties generally have a gluten not suitable for processing with the machines because they are not very extensible and with reduced stability to the kneading (the kneading time of the ancient varieties can be of few minutes while for the machines it takes much longer times). Modern varieties, not all, meet these needs.

It should be noted immediately, however, what is meant by ancient grains: The ancient term is improper and is used above all in communication, that is quick and concise but, often, misleading. The true differentiation must be made between existing varieties in the past and the object of mass or genealogical selection by man and those obtained by hybridization or genetic modification. These latter varieties are generally the result of different genetic improvement able to respond to different processing methods and different nutritional needs. They will be the subject of studies and research in a subsequent phase. The first varieties include – full-fledged – local or autochthonous varieties. Citing Dr. Ssa Porfiri: “Ancora oggi esistono in Italia varietà locali di Triticum. Solo per citarne qualcuna fra le più conosciute: il farro di Monteleone di Spoleto e il farro della Garfagnana nel dicocco; i frumenti teneri “Solina d’Abruzzo” e “Rosciole” dell’Appennino Centrale; Ruscìe, Saragolla/Saragolle, Marzuolo/Marzuoli nei frumenti duri. E perché al plurale? Perché le varietà locali, similmente alle popolazioni naturali, sono frutto dell’azione combinata di mutazioni, ricombinazioni, fenomeni di migrazione e deriva genetica, selezione e sono popolazioni bilanciate, in equilibrio con un determinato ambiente, geneticamente dinamiche, ma anche soggette a diversi gradi di selezione attuata dagli agricoltori. Pertanto, grazie alla loro variabilità
all’adattamento a
assumono tratti 
differenziati, tali da consentire una diversa identità genetica in ogni ambiente.”


1) Concept of species, variety
2) Morphological and agronomic characterization of ancient cereal populations


National Week Celiac Disease 2017 AIC press release

by luciano

La “Settimana Nazionale della Celiachia” torna per il terzo anno, da sabato 13 a domenica 21 maggio, per informare e sensibilizzare su una patologia che in Italia interessa circa 600.000 persone di cui appena 190.000 diagnosticate. Promossa dall’Associazione Italiana Celiachia (AIC), con il patrocinio dell’Associazione Nazionale Dietisti (ANDID), la terza edizione è dedicata alla nutrizione e all’educazione alimentare per vivere al meglio una dieta che per i celiaci non è una scelta alimentare ma l’unica terapia possibile, a fronte di circa 6 milioni di consumatori che seguono in modo ingiustificato la dieta senza glutine spendendo oltre 100 milioni di euro per prodotti di cui non avrebbero bisogno.

6 milioni di italiani celiaci ‘per moda’, sprecano ogni anno 105 mln di euro

Dilaga la moda dei cibi gluten-free, un mercato in continua crescita al ritmo del 27% l’anno, che in Italia vale 320 milioni di euro ma solo 215 vengono spesi dai pazienti con diagnosi. Un prodotto su tre viene infatti acquistato da chi non è celiaco e pensa così di dimagrire o guadagnare benessere, ma è un falso mito: nessuna ricerca scientifica dimostra i vantaggi per la salute erroneamente attribuiti alla dieta senza glutine per chi non è celiaco. Lo conferma anche uno studio appena pubblicato sul British Medical Journal secondo cui la dieta di esclusione in chi non è celiaco non riduce il rischio cardiovascolare. Eppure per un italiano su dieci la dieta gluten-free è più salutare, per tre su dieci fa dimagrire: un equivoco pericoloso, che banalizza la malattia celiaca, che riguarda l’1% della popolazione per la quale l’esclusione del glutine non è una scelta ma un vero è proprio ‘salvavita’. Molte le iniziative per fare chiarezza previste per la Settimana Nazionale della Celiachia: sul sito www.settimanadellaceliachia.it sarà possibile informarsi sulle 5 regole per una corretta alimentazione senza glutine, gli eventi speciali delle 20 sezioni regionali e la chat online attraverso cui chiedere consigli a medici e dietisti. Dal 13 maggio scaricabile online anche la guida “Sport&Celiachia” a cura del Comitato Scientifico di AIC: patrocinata dal CONI, sottolinea l’utilità dello sport per il benessere dei pazienti e spiega come una dieta di esclusione non migliori le performance in chi non è celiaco. Per sensibilizzare i giovani nei confronti della celiachia, in 700 scuole di tutta Italia saranno distribuiti menù gluten-free.


Prima il ‘biologico’, poi il ‘naturale, quindi il ‘vegano’ e ora il ‘no-glutine’, un mercato in ascesa negli ultimi anni, con crescita di fatturato e proseliti spinti dalle celebrities. Gwyneth Paltrow, Victoria Beckham, Kim Kardashian, Lady Gaga con milioni di follower sui social, diversissime fra loro ma accomunate dal pallino del gluten-free. Non sono celiache ma non portano in tavola nulla che contenga glutine, convinte di guadagnare così in salute e restare in forma più facilmente. Un equivoco, come dimostrano i dati scientifici più recenti, che l’appeal delle celeb contribuisce non poco ad alimentare. Dilaga così la moda gluten-free, di tendenza anche in Italia: nel nostro Paese ogni anno si spendono 320 milioni di euro per prodotti senza glutine, ma di questi solo 215 derivano dagli alimenti erogati per la terapia dei pazienti celiaci. Il 10% dei cittadini europei segue una dieta totalmente, parzialmente o occasionalmente gluten-free senza averne bisogno e sono circa 6 milioni gli italiani celiaci ‘per moda’ che sprecano ogni anno oltre 100 milioni di euro stando ai dati Nielsen diffusi dall’Associazione Italiana Celiachia (AIC) in occasione della Settimana Nazionale della Celiachia, dal 13 al 21 maggio, dedicata quest’anno alla nutrizione e all’educazione alimentare per vivere al meglio una dieta che per i celiaci non è una scelta alimentare ma l’unica terapia possibile.

Comunicato stampa dell’Associazione  Italiana Celiachia (AIC). Roma, sabato 6 maggio 2017


Celiac disease: gluten-free foods that are not always healthy, especially those for children 2017

by luciano

Confrontati 654 prodotti gluten-free con equivalenti contenenti glutine. Nei primi troppi grassi, poche proteine e zuccheri. L’allarme dei nutrizionisti: “Inducono ad una dieta sbilanciata, le confezioni ingannano e i ragazzini celiaci rischiano obesità” di AGNESE FERRARA Repubblica.it. 15-Maggio-2017

GLI ALIMENTI senza glutine non sarebbero così salutari come sembra. L’ennesima conferma (con tanto di prove) arriva dai nutrizionisti della Società europea di gastroenterologia, epatologia e nutrizione pediatrica (Espghan) riuniti a Praga per il 50esimo congresso. I ricercatori hanno confrontato 654 prodotti gluten-free come pane, pasta, pizza, farine e biscotti di 25 marche diverse, con gli equivalenti che invece contengono il glutine. I risultati dell’analisi sono stati presentati oggi al congresso. I grassi. “Complessivamente i diversi tipi di pane senza glutine avevano un livello molto maggiore di grassi e acidi grassi saturi, le paste un più basso contenuto di proteine e zuccheri e i biscotti un minimo contenuto di proteine e troppi lipidi. Il pane, la pasta e le farine con il glutine, invece, hanno un contenuto 3 volte maggiore di proteine rispetto ai loro sostituti gluten-free”, spiegano gli esperti dell’Espghan.

LEGGI Sei milioni di italiani consumano cibo per intolleranti senza esserlo

L’appello degli esperti. Gli scienziati riuniti a Praga hanno lanciato un appello affinché questa tipologia di cibi sia riformulata con materie prime più salutari per assicurare una nutrizione più sana, soprattutto durante l’infanzia. “L’intolleranza al glutine colpisce l’1% della popolazione europei e una dieta senza glutine va seguita per tutta la vita, – spiega Joaquim Calvo Lerma, del gruppo di ricerca sulla celiachia e immunopatologia digestiva all’Instituto de Investigation Sanitaria La Fe a Valencia, in Spagna, a capo dell’indagine. “Inoltre un numero sempre crescente di persone mangia senza glutine perché convinta sia più salutare, anche se non sono affetti da celiachia. E’ imperativo che il mercato dei cibi sostitutivi sia riformulato per assicurare che tali alimenti siano uguali agli altri dal punto di vista nutrizionale. Ciò è particolarmente importante per i bambini perché una dieta così sbilanciata influenza il loro sviluppo e aumenta il rischio di obesità durante l’infanzia”. La legislazione. Sulla questione interviene Daciana Sarbu, vice direttore del comitato per l’ambiente, la salute pubblica e la sicurezza alimentare al Parlamento Europeo. “La legislazione europea prevede l’etichettatura nutrizionale obbligatoria anche per gli alimenti gluten-free preconfezionati – spiega – .Tuttavia i prodotti alimentari non pre-imballati, come il pane o le pizze senza glutine, non sono soggetti agli stessi requisiti di etichettatura. In questo caso, i consumatori potrebbero essere meno consapevoli delle importanti differenze nutrizionali con impatti sanitari potenzialmente significativi”.

Le proteine. “Il dato è noto in pediatria sia ai nutrizionisti che ai gastroenterologi, – commenta Andrea Vania, pediatra nutrizionista al dipartimento di pediatria Sapienza- Università di Roma – .Per rendere più appetibili gli alimenti gluten-free e simili agli altri le industrie impiegano una quota più elevata di grassi, in particolare nei prodotti come biscotti, merende e biscotti da tè. Il calo delle proteine, invece, è inevitabile perché il glutine è la proteina che permette al pane di essere pianificato e alla pasta di tenera la cottura. Levandolo, la percentuale di proteine cala ma questo aspetto preoccupa molto meno perché la nostra alimentazione contiene già troppe proteine e zuccheri e il rischio di deficit nei bambini è molto raro”.

Cosa fare. Cosa fare allora se il proprio figlio o figlio è celiaco?. “E’ bene che tali prodotti vengano riformulati – precisa Vania – ma nel frattempo il consiglio che do ai genitori di bambini con celiachia è di cucinare il più possibile a casa i cibi gluten free, usando solo ingredienti sani e privi di glutine, senza grassi e addensanti in più. Le ricette sono davvero molte e si trovano anche nel web. Si possono fare la pasta fresca, i biscotti, i dolci farciti con l’uso di creme fatte con la fecola di patate o maizena. Ci sono molti ingredienti alternativi, come l’amido di mais e la fecola di patate, privi di glutine e senza grassi in eccesso”.

Repubblica.it 2017



Is gluten-free better? No, if you are not celiac. Here because.

by luciano

La moda del senza glutine per tutti impazza da tempo. Tutto cominciò negli Stati Uniti, anche tra chi non soffriva di celiachia. La prova? Spuntano come funghi ristoranti e rivendite di prodotti gluten free, anche tra coloro che non soffrono di celiachia. A sentire i sostenitori di questo tipo di dieta si tratterebbe di un regime alimentare più salutare e non solo: favorirebbe addirittura la perdita di peso.

Inutile dire che la moda del senza glutine sta registrando un incredibile successo anche in Italia. Tutto bene? Macché! L’Aic (Associazione italiana celiachia) mette in guardia i non celiaci: è una scelta alimentare poco salutare per quanti non soffrono di celiachia e in più influisce sul ritardo diagnostico o la mancata diagnosi di questa forma di “intolleranza permanente” al glutine. Tanto successo ha portato addirittura al conio di un neologismo: glutenfobia. E non si tratta di un fenomeno irrilevante, visto che un italiano su dieci è convinto che la dieta “gluten free” sia più salutare e che tre su dieci pensano che faccia dimagrire. Vero o Falso? Una vera bufala, smentita da gastroenterologi e nutrizionisti che mettono addirittura in guardia su conseguenze negative per la salute.

Infine, al Gluten Free Fest (Festival dedicato interamente alla celiachia) hanno ricordato che frequentemente si confonde la celiachia e la sensibilità al glutine. Utile, così, sapere che il responsabile numero uno della celiachia è il glutine, una sostanza lipoproteica (è l’unione di due tipi di proteine: la gliadina e la glutenina) contenuta nel frumento e in diversi cereali come orzo, farro, segale, avena. Ne sono privi riso, mais, miglio, sorgo, grano saraceno, quinoa e amaranto, che possono essere consumati tranquillamente dai celiaci. Eppoi? Le prolammine (come l’ordeina dell’orzo o la secalina della segale) che si formano per digestione incompleta del glutine sono le responsabili dell’effetto tossico per il celiaco e scatenano la reazione avversa al sistema immunitario. Queste sostanze possono scatenare, in persone geneticamente predisposte, un’infiammazione cronica dell’intestino tenue. Gli effetti? Danneggiamento delle sue pareti intestinali, che provoca distruzione dei villi, con conseguente malassorbimento di macro e micro nutrienti (sali minerali, vitamine, ecc.) Dunque, per il celiaco una dieta senza glutine è imperativa, ma per tutti gli altri no. Su ciò l’Iss salute (Istituto superiore di sanità) è categorico. In assenza di una diagnosi di celiachia fatta da un medico con gli opportuni accertamenti clinici e diagnostici, privarsi di cibi contenenti glutine è sconsigliato. In primis, perché non portare più a tavola i cereali contenenti glutine – come frumento, orzo e farro – vuol dire privarsi non solo delle principali fonti di carboidrati complessi, ma anche dei minerali, delle vitamine, delle proteine e delle fibre alimentari. Viene smontata anche la favoletta del dimagrimento. Al contrario si rischia di perdere la linea. Vediamone la ragione. In genere, i prodotti senza glutine che occhieggiano, ormai, anche dagli scaffali dei supermercati sviluppano un maggior numero di calorie rispetto al corrispondente alimento che contiene glutine, perché addizionati di grassi. Altro aspetto da non trascurare? Questi prodotti hanno un più elevato indice glicemico, quindi portano a un maggior aumento dello zucchero nel sangue dopo il loro consumo, e contemporaneamente hanno un minor effetto saziante. La morale? Lasciate ai celiaci i cibi gluten free, gli unici che ne hanno veramente bisogno per stare in salute. Società | 10 Febbraio 2019

Il Fatto Quotidiano.it – ​​Life and Health blog. – 2019.

Organic cultivation and ancient grains

by luciano

Organic cultivation is particularly suitable for ancient grains: why?
• The varieties of ancient wheat are particularly rustic, that is, adapted to survive in hostile, nutrients and water-poor conditions because selected during a period when agriculture was not yet intensive and supported by the unbridled use of chemical fertilizers, pesticides and irrigation systems. This characteristic allows them to cultivate areas defined as “marginal”, where modern varieties would struggle or require high economic effort.
• Given the strength of ancient grains, these varieties are particularly suitable for cultivation under organic conditions, where the use of non-natural chemical fertilizers is absolutely forbidden, thus protecting the environment. Fertilizers, among other things, not even necessary because they extract micronutrients from the soil by very deep roots.
• We all know that the diversity of the diet is of fundamental importance for human health. On average 60% of our calories come from wheat, rice and maize; for this reason it is important to alternate the use of the varieties of these three plant species and therefore get used to buying flours and products derived from the use of ancient grains that guarantee a real variety in the diet.
• Protect biodiversity.
The term “organic farming” refers to a method of cultivation that only allows the use of natural substances, ie present in nature, excluding the use of chemical synthesis substances (fertilizers, herbicides, insecticides). Organic farming means developing a production model that avoids the over-exploitation of natural resources, especially soil, water and air, using these resources instead within a development model that can last over time.
How to grow organic