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Einkorn wheat cultivar Norberto (ID331)

by luciano

Brief presentation of the Norberto cultivar.

Genetic banks of grains hold innumerable grain seeds (accessions-cultivar) which are the object of studies, researches as well as requests for cultivation. The accession can be indicated with a number, a code, the name of the farmer, of the person who identified it, of the collector, etc., and of the collection location. The cultivar are, unlike the accessions, registered in the Register of varieties of agricultural species with their own identification name so that they can be marketed. And this is what happened with accession ID331 that CREA of Rome “characterised” (i.e. described and unambiguously identified) and registered with the name of Norberto. Subsequently CREA, through a public tender (2017) assigned, for 10 years, to the company Agroservice S.P.A. the cultivation of the seed with the obligation to keep it pure.

Peculiar characteristics of einkorn wheat.
1. gluten structure characteristic
2. health characteristics
3. certainty of what we buy
4. purity and wholesomeness of what we buy

Characteristic of the gluten structure
Because the gluten of einkorn is less strong than that of durum wheat and bread wheat. The gluten structure is composed of glutenins which form a structure called macropolymer (the gluten skeleton) which incorporates the gliadins. Gluteins are linked together by disulfide bonds which are very resistant to splitting. Einkorn has more gliadins than glutenins compared to other grains, therefore it has a less developed “skeleton” which makes its gluten less “strong” [1]. The greater presence of gliadins also makes the doughs viscous and soft.

1 – The content and composition of gluten proteins has been the subject of few studies; existing ones also concerning the GLIADIN/GLUTENIN ratio reported the following data: white soft wheat flour values ​​between 1.7–3.1 (Wieser and Kieffer, 2001) and 1.4–2.1 (Thanhaeuser et al., 2014), while those of spelled (2.2–9.0) (Koenig et al., 2015 ), durum wheat (3.1–5.0) (Wieser, 2000; Wieser et al., 2003), spelled (3.5–7.6) (Wieser and Koehler, 2009) and einkorn (4.0–14.0) (Wieser et al., 2009), also einkorn (4.2-12.0) Sabrina Geisslitz et al. 2018.

Health features

1 – Digestibility of gluten
The einkorn wheat cultiva have a gluten, despite the variability due to the pedo-climatic conditions of the growing areas, significantly less “strong” and in lower quantities (Comparative Analysis of in vitro Digestibility and Immunogenicity of Gliadin Proteins From Durum and Einkorn Wheat. Frontiers in Nutrition May 2020)” compared to hard and bread wheat. These characteristics have a strong impact on the digestibility of gluten. The Norberto cultivar einkorn wheat has a gluten index of 15-30 and a strength index of about 80. A study conducted by the CNR of Avellino by G. Mamone demonstrates the high digestibility of einkorn compared to wheat: “With In our study we discovered that ancient varieties of this cereal contain a more fragile gluten and therefore more digestible and less toxic than common wheat (Triticum aestivum)”. Insight: the digestion of gluten.

The digestibility of gluten is extremely important to keep the gastro-intestinal system and, consequently, health in good condition. The gastro-intestinal system is subject to multiple pathologies (as well as actual diseases) which compromise its proper functioning. Among these “pathologies” inflammation and intestinal permeability are of particular importance. Rather frequent pathologies aggravated by the increasingly present stress in our lives (at very high levels today also due to the effect of the covid) and by the not always correct diet.

Einkorn wheat possesses peculiar characteristics which make it an excellent ally in order not to aggravate both inflammation and intestinal permeability. The ID331 cultivar (now Norberto), contains a fraction of gluten (peptide) which exerts a “protective” effect against the intestinal membrane as hereinafter specified. Furthermore, products with einkorn wheat can improve not only the proinflammatory/antioxidant parameters but also the glycemic and lipid status (Brandolini 2021).

2 – Effect on intestinal permeability and towards the intestinal membrane
A 2016 research showed that the gluten (specifically the gliadins) of the einkorn wheat id331 (now Norberto) do not stimulate intestinal permeability “ID331 gliadin did not enhance permeability”. It also has a gluten fraction which exerts a protective action on the intestinal mucosa. (Protective effects of ID331 Triticum monococcum gliadin on in vitro models of the intestinal epithelium. G. Jacomino et al 2016).

3 – Anti-inflammatory effect towards the intestinal membrane
The study “ Integrated Evaluation of the Potential Health Benefits of Einkorn-Based Breads A. Gobetti et al. 2017” highlighted that einkorn bread (bread) exerts an anti-inflammatory action on the intestinal membrane: “einkorn bread evidenced an anti-inflammatory effect, although masked by the effect of digestive fluid”. Basically a potential help to maintain health: “potential health benefit of einkorn-based bakery products compared to wheat-based one