Monococcus wheat (einkorn wheat): why it is so important

by luciano

Summary of the main characteristics of the monococcus wheat (einkorn) which give it great potential to be used for the preparation of bakery products but also sweet ones for people who:
1. are genetically predisposed for celiac disease (1) (2) (3) (4) (5),
2. must keep the glycemic index under control (6),
3. are non-celiac gluten sensitive, reintroduce gluten after its exclusion (7),
4. have difficulty digesting gluten (8).
5. are sensitive to ATI -amylase trypsina inhibitors-. (9)
6. Also worthy of note is the high nutritional qualities of monococcus wheat (einkorn) (10)
(1)- Immunogenicity of monococcum wheat in celiac patients
………..omissis. “Conclusions: Our data show that the monococcum lines Monlis and ID331 activate the CD T cell response and suggest that these lines are toxic for celiac patients. However, ID331 is likely to be less effective in inducing CD because of its inability to activate the innate immune pathways”. Immunogenicity of monococcum wheat in celiac patients. Carmen Gianfrani et altri. Am J Clin Nutr 2012;96:1339–45.

(2) ………omissis. “D’altra parte, tenuto conto che l’incidenza e la gravità della celiachia dipende dalla quantità e dalla nocività delle prolamine e che alcuni genotipi di grano monococco hanno una elevata qualità panificatoria accoppiata con assenza di citotossicità e ridotta immunogenicità, è atteso che l’uso delle farine di monococco nella dieta della popolazione generale, all’interno della quale si trova una elevata percentuale di individui predisposti geneticamente alla celiachia ma non ancora celiaci, possa contribuire a contenere la diffusione di questa forma di intolleranza alimentare. Ciò lascia pensare che il grano monococco, riportato recentemente in coltivazione in Italia dai ricercatori del Consiglio per la Ricerca e la sperimentazione in Agricoltura (CRA) di Roma e San Angelo Lodigiano, potrà svolgere un ruolo importante nella prevenzione della celiachia, sia direttamente sotto forma di pane e pasta sia indirettamente come specie modello per lo studio del ruolo dell’immunità innata nell’insorgenza della celiachia”. Le nuove frontiere delle tecnologie alimentari e la celiachia Norberto Pogna, Laura Gazza (2013).

(3)-Extensive in vitro gastrointestinal digestion markedly reduces the immune-toxicity of Triticum monococcum wheat: Implication for celiac disease
Carmen Gianfrani, Alessandra Camarca, Giuseppe Mazzarella, Luigia Di Stasio, Nicola Giardullo, Pasquale Ferranti, Gianluca Picariello, Vera Rotondi Aufiero, Stefania Picascia, Riccardo Troncone, Norberto Pogna, Salvatore Auricchio
and Gianfranco Mamone. Mol. Nutr. Food Res. 2015, 00, 1–11
Scope: The ancient diploid Triticum monococcum is of special interest as a candidate low-toxic wheat species for celiac disease patients. Here, we investigated how an in vitro gastro-intestinal digestion, affected the immune toxic properties of gliadin from diploid compared to hexaploid wheat.
Method and results: Gliadins from Triticum monococcum, and Triticum aestivum cultivars were digested using either a partial proteolysis with pepsin-chymotrypsin, or an extensive degradation that used gastrointestinal enzymes including the brush border membrane enzymes. The immune stimulatory properties of the digested samples were investigated on T-cell lines and jejunal biopsies from celiac disease patients. The T-cell response profile to the Triticum mono coccum gliadin was comparable to that obtained with Triticum aestivum gliadin after the partial pepsin-chymotrypsin digestion. In contrast, the extensive gastrointestinal hydrolysis drastically reduced the immune stimulatory properties of Triticum monococcum gliadin. MS-based analy- sis showed that several Triticum monococcum peptides, including known T-cell epitopes, were degraded during the gastrointestinal treatment, whereas many of Triticum aestivum gliadin survived the gastrointestinal digestion.
Conclusion: he pattern of Triticum monococcum gliadin proteins is sufficiently different from those of common hexaploid wheat to determine a lower toxicity in celiac disease patients following in vitro simulation of human digestion.

(4) …….omissis. “Abstract. A growing interest in developing new strategies for preventing coeliac disease has motivated efforts to identify cereals with null or reduced toxicity. 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 employed 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 a 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”. Protective effects of ID331 Triticum monococcum gliadin on in vitro models of the intestinal epithelium. Giuseppe Jacomino et altri 2016.

(5)………omissis. “Scientific research has several times supported and encouraged the use of grains with low toxicity in the prevention of celiac disease; in the research we are now presenting, some grains have been studied highlighting their profile regarding both the presence of peptides resistant to gastro-intestinal digestion and, among these, those containing the “toxic” fraction (table 3) “ ….omissis Even if none of them can be considered safe for CD patients, grain with reduced amount of major T-cell stimulatory epitopes may help in the prevention of CD, since previous studies demonstrated that the amount and duration to gluten exposure are strictly linked to the initiation of this pathology.” (A Comprehensive Peptidomic Approach to Characterize the Protein Profile of Selected Durum Wheat Genotypes: Implication for Coeliac Disease and Wheat Allergy. Rosa Pilolli , Agata Gadaleta, Luigia Di Stasio , Antonella Lamonaca, Elisabetta De Angelis , Domenica Nigro , Maria De Angelis , Gianfranco Mamone and Linda Monac. Published: 1 October 2019).

(6) ….omissis. Non tutto l’amido è rapidamente idrolizzato durante la digestione, la frazione che resiste alla digestione e all’assorbimento nell’intestino tenue umano è definita “amido resistente” e ha effetti fisiologici comparabili a quelli della fibra alimentare. Il grano monoccoco però ha un basso contenuto (0,2%) in “amido resistente” se confrontato con il grano tenero(0,4- 0,8%) (Abdel-Aal et al. 2008).

(7) ….omissis. “Once the diagnosis of NCGS is reasonably reached, the management and follow-up of patients is completely obscure. A logical approach is to undertake a gluten-free dietary regimen for a limited period (e.g., six months), followed by the gradual reintroduction of gluten. During the gluten-free diet, the ingestion of prolamine peptide (gliadin)-derived from wheat, rye, barley, oats, bulgur, and hybrids of these cereal grains-should be avoided. Rice, corn, and potatoes have been the typical substitutes, but nowadays other different cereals and pseudocereals, such as amaranth, buckwheat, manioc, fonio, teff, millet, quinoa, and sorghum, can be used. After some period on a gluten-free diet, the reintroduction of gluten can start with cereals of low gluten content (e.g., oats). In addition, einkorn farro (Triticum monococcum) can be used, having no direct in vitro or ex vivo toxicity and low (7%) gluten content[41]”. (Non-celiac gluten sensitivity: Time for sifting the grain. Luca Elli, Leda Roncoroni, and Maria Teresa Bardella. Copyright ©The Author(s) 2015. Published by Baishideng Publishing Group Inc.

(8) “Il glutine che è un composto formato dalla gliadina e glutenina che è alla base dei prodotti da forno (pane e altro) non è, in quanto tale, assimilabile dall’intestino ma deve essere ridotto agli aminoacidi componenti o piccole serie (peptidi) di essi. La riduzione avviene ad opera di diversi enzimi quali la tripsina nello stomaco, la pepsina nell’intestino tenue ed altri enzimi [1]. In condizioni normali di salute l’intestino espelle le parti di glutine non digerite perché troppo grandi per essere assimilate. La digeribilità del glutine non è solamente, però, dipendente dalla “forza del glutine” cioè dalla forza dei diversi tipi di legami che “collegano” le proteine del glutine ma anche dal tipo di enzimi che idrolizzano “spezzettano” il glutine e dall’ambiente nel quale questi processi avvengono. Ad esempio, la tripsina, nello stomaco è attivata (cioè lavora), solo in ambiente acido. Tutti gli enzimi digestivi, inoltre, hanno la possibilità di lavorare meglio se direttamente a contatto con il glutine: cosa che può avvenire solo negli esperimenti di laboratorio, dal momento che nello stomaco e nell’intestino questi enzimi si troveranno a dover “lavorare” su un “complesso” di cibi e non sul glutine [2]. La conoscenza della digeribilità del glutine è quindi oltremodo complessa essendo affetta da molteplici fattori non ultimo la variabilità delle condizioni dell’ambiente dove avviene (stomaco ed intestino).” https://glutenlight.eu/2019/09/21/glutine-digeribilita/.

(9) ….omissis. “Amylase/trypsin-inhibitors (ATIs) are putative triggers of non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS), but contents of ATIs in different wheat species were not available. Therefore, the predominant ATIs 0.19+0.53, 0.28, CM2, CM3 and CM16 in eight cultivars each of common wheat, durum wheat, spelt, emmer and einkorn grown under the same environmental conditions were quantitated by targeted liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) and stable isotope dilution assays (SIDA) using specific marker peptides as internal standards. The results were compared to a label-free untargeted LC-MS/MS analysis, in which protein concentrations were determined by intensity based absolute quantitation (iBAQ). Both approaches yielded similar results. Spelt and emmer had higher ATI contents than common wheat, with durum wheat in between. Only three of eight einkorn cultivars contained ATIs in very low concentrations. The distribution of ATI types was characteristic for hexaploid, tetraploid and diploid wheat species and suitable as species-specific fingerprint. The results point to a better tolerability of einkorn for NCGS patients, because of very low total ATI contents. Targeted LC-MS/MS Reveals Similar Contents of α-Amylase/Trypsin-Inhibitors as Putative Triggers of Nonceliac Gluten Sensitivity in All Wheat Species except Einkorn. Article in Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 66(46) · October 2018. Sabrina Geisslitz, Christina Ludwing, Katharina Scherf (Technische Universität München Munich, Bayern, Germany).

(10) Il contenuto proteico del grano monococco, in media 15-18%, è superiore a quello degli altri cereali coltivati e presenta un valore nutrizionale superiore a quello di frumento tenero e frumento duro. Gli studi condotti presso l’Unità di Ricerca per la Valorizzazione Qualitativa dei Cereali del Consiglio per la Ricerca e la Sperimentazione in Agricoltura (CRA-QCE) negli ultimi dieci anni hanno permesso di identificare numerosi aspetti peculiari e nutrizionalmente interessanti del grano monococco. Tra le caratteristiche che lo rendono unico nell’ambito dei cereali a paglia abbiamo (i) l’elevato contenuto in carotenoidi, precursori della vitamina A e antiossidanti naturali, che è circa 5 volte quello del frumento tenero; (ii) l’ottima disponibilità di tocoli (vitamina E), che è circa 50% maggiore rispetto a frumento duro e tenero; (iii) l’alto contenuto in lipidi (circa 50% in più rispetto al frumento tenero), con una netta prevalenza di acidi grassi insaturi; (iv) l’alta percentuale in ceneri e l’elevato contenuto in minerali (particolarmente interessanti sono zinco, ferro e fosforo) e (v) un contenuto in fruttani circa 50-70% maggiore rispetto al grano tenero (Hidalgo e Brandolini, 2008). La farina di grano monococco, quasi impalpabile, presenta un caratteristico colore giallo ed è ottima per la produzione di biscotti, snakes, fiocchi (flakes) e altri prodotti da forno (Brandolini et al., 2008; Pollini et al., 2013); esistono anche genotipi con un’ottima attitudine alla panificazione (Saponaro et al., 1995; Borghi et al., 1996). Anche la qualità pastificatoria è molto elevata, sia in termini di lavorabilità della materia prima che di qualità del prodotto finito: gli spaghetti e i maccheroni di grano monococco hanno una buona tenuta alla cottura e una ridotta perdita di amido rispetto a quelli a base di semole commerciali di grano duro (Brandolini et al., 2008).

(11) …omissis. “The hulled wheat einkorn (Triticum monococcum L. ssp. monococcum), staple food of early farmers for many thousand years, today is cropped only in small areas of the Mediterranean region and continental Europe. The increasing attention for the nutritional quality of foods has fostered a renewed interest for this low-impact crop. The reappraisal of einkorn quality evidenced that this ancient wheat has some dietary advantages over polyploid wheats. Einkorn whole meal is poor in dietary fibre, but rich in proteins, lipids (mostly unsaturated fatty acids), fructans and trace elements, including Zn and Fe. The good concentration of several antioxidant compounds (carotenoids, tocols, conjugated polyphenols, alkylresorcinols and phytosterols) and the low beta-amylase and lipoxygenase activities (which limit antioxidants degradation during food processing) contribute to the excellent nutritional properties of its flour, superior to those of other wheats. Conversely, einkorn has relatively low bound polyphenols content and high polyphenol oxidase activity. In spite of eliciting weaker toxic reactions than other Triticum ssp., einkorn is not suitable for coeliacs. Current trends towards the consumption of functional foods suggest that this cereal may still play a significant role in human consumption, especially in the development of new or special foods with superior nutritional quality”. Nutritional properties of einkorn wheat (Triticum monococcum L.) Alyssa Hidalgo Andrea Bardolini Article· Literature Review in Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture 94(4). March 2014 with 409 Source: PubMed

To underline:
La varietà di grano monococco Monlis ha un comportamento simile al grano tenero per quanto riguarda la tollerabilità e, dunque, va escluso per l’utilizzazione per la preparazione di prodotti per le persona sopra indicate. Pag. 30 – 33 Celiachia e GlutenSensitivity. Strumenti per contrastarne gli effetti N. E. POGNA 2013 (CRA)

Einkorn wheat flour * currently on sale in shops or directly at companies:
1. Einkorn wheat flour Azienda Podere Pereto: www.poderepereto.it
2. Einkorn wheat flour company “The grains of Atlantis” http://granidiatlantide.com/
3. Enkir Mulino Marino wheat flour
* = partial list

Bread Einkorn wheat sample:

Pane del 07-01-2020 Grano monococco Norberto (ID331) 100% with einkorn sourdough

Pane del 07-01-2020 Grano monococco Norberto (ID331) 100% with einkorn sourdough