Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
|Triticum spelta L.|
Spelt (Triticum spelta) is a sub-species of common wheat.
Spelt is considered to be a hybrid of emmer wheat and einkorn wheat that originated in the Near East, where it was cultivated at least 3000 years ago. In the Middle Ages, it was cultivated in parts of Switzerland, Tyrol and Germany. Spelt was introduced to the United States in the 1890s. In the 20th century, spelt was virtually replaced by wheat, which produces higher yields. However, since spelt is rather more hardy than wheat and does not require fertilizers, the organic farming movement made it more popular again towards the end of the century.
Spelt contains about 62 percent carbohydrates, 8.8 percent fibre, 12 percent protein and 2.7 percent fat, as well as dietary minerals and vitamins, including silica. As it contains a high amount of gluten, it is suitable for baking. However, the gluten in spelt is different from that in normal wheat and therefore spelt can be consumed by some gluten-intolerant people.
In Germany, the unripe spelt grains are dried and eaten as Grünkern, which literally means green seed.
The Luxembourger surname "Speltz" is derived from this grain.
This grain is also called speltz or spelts in English.
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