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

by luciano

Summary of the main characteristics of the monococcum 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.

Potential Health Benefits of Einkorn-Based Breads

by luciano

The research we present can be considered the first integrated assessment of the potential benefits, linked to the excellent nutritional properties, of the use for bread and derivatives of Einkorn. The research emphasizes the use of whole wheat flour and sourdough is essential to obtain the best results in terms of exploiting the potential of this grain. The choice of this grain is well summarized in a passage of research: “Einkorn (Triticum monococcum L. ssp. monococcum) is an ancient crop. Compared to polyploid wheats it has a higher content of proteins, polyunsaturated fatty acids, fructans, and phytochemicals as tocols, carotenoids, alkylresorcinols, phytosterols, and a lower α-, β-amylase and lipoxygenase activities [15]. In addition, einkorn expresses very few T-cell stimulatory gluten peptides [16]. Einkorn could represent a valid alternative for producing functional baked products.

“Abstract: Nowadays the high nutritional value of whole grains is recognized, and there is an increasing interest in the ancient varieties for producing wholegrain food products with enhanced nutritional characteristics. Among ancient crops, einkorn could represent a valid alternative. In this work, einkorn flours were analyzed for their content in carotenoids and in free and bound phenolic acids, and compared to wheat flours. The most promising flours were used to produce conventional and sourdough fermented breads. Breads were in vitro digested, and characterized before and after digestion. The four breads having the best characteristics were selected, and the product of their digestion was used to evaluate their anti-inflammatory effect using Caco-2 cells. Our results confirm the higher carotenoid levels in einkorn than in modern wheats, and the effectiveness of sourdough fermentation in maintaining these levels, despite the longer exposure to atmospheric oxygen. Moreover, in cultured cells einkorn bread evidenced an anti-inflammatory effect, although masked by the effect of digestive fluid. This study represents the first integrated evaluation of the potential health benefit of einkorn-based bakery products compared to wheat-based ones, and contributes to our knowledge of ancient grains.

Monococcum wheat (einkorn) and wheat allergy

by luciano

The research reported in the summary highlighted the absence of ω-5 gliadin in the monococcum wheat responsible for wheat allergy: another important characteristic of the monococcum wheat!

Study on the Immunoreactivity of Triticum monococcum (Einkorn) Wheat in Patients with Wheat-Dependent Exercise-Induced Anaphylaxis for the Production of Hypoallergenic Foods. Carla Lombardo, Michela Bolla Roberto Chignola Gianenrico Senna Giacomo Rossin Beatrice Caruso, Carlo Tomelleri Daniela Cecconi Andrea Brandolini Gianni Zoccatelli. Cite This:J. Agric. Food Chem.201563378299-8306. Publication Date:September 2, 2015. https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.jafc.5b02648 Copyright © 2015 American Chemical Society Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry
Abstract
“Wheat [Triticum aestivum (T.a.)] ingestion can cause a specific allergic reaction, which is called wheat-dependent exercise-induced anaphylaxis (WDEIA). The major allergen involved is ω-5 gliadin, a gluten protein coded by genes located on the B genome. Our aim was to study the immunoreactivity of proteins in Triticum monococcum (einkorn, T.m.), a diploid ancestral wheat lacking B chromosomes, for possible use in the production of hypoallergenic foods. A total of 14 patients with a clear history of WDEIA and specific immunoglobulin E (IgE) to ω-5 gliadin were enrolled. Skin prick test (SPT) with a commercial wheat extract and an in-house T.a. gluten diagnostic solution tested positive for 43 and 100% of the cases, respectively. No reactivity in patients tested with solutions prepared from four T.m. accessions was observed. The immunoblotting of T.m. gluten proteins performed with the sera of patients showed different IgE-binding profiles with respect to T.a., confirming the absence of ω-5 gliadin. A general lower immunoreactivity of T.m. gluten proteins with scarce cross-reactivity to ω-5 gliadin epitopes was assessed by an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Given the absence of reactivity by SPT and the limited cross-reactivity with ω-5 gliadin, T.m. might represent a potential candidate in the production of hypoallergenic bakery products for patients sensitized to ω-5 gliadin. Further analyses need to be carried out regarding its safety”.

More digestible starch in the Monococcum 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).