Wheat: Highly Nutritional & Widely Cultivated Cereal (Explained)

Wheat is counted among the ‘big three’ cereal crops, with over 600 million tonnes being harvested annually. It is a highly nutritional and widely-cultivated cereal grain. For over 7 centuries, wheat has been raised and harvested in many countries around the world. It’s one of the world’s most important crops and holds the title of the second most-produced grain in the world, beaten only by corn.

Demand for wheat by 2050 is predicted to increase by 50 percent from today’s levels. Meanwhile, the crop is at risk from new and more aggressive pests and diseases, diminishing water resources, limited available land and unstable weather conditions — heat in particular.

Wheat Oldest and Most Important Cereal Crop

Wheat is one of the oldest and most important of the cereal crops. Of the thousands of varieties known, the most important are common wheat (Triticum aestivum), used to make bread; durum wheat (T. durum), used in making pasta (alimentary pastes) such as spaghetti and macaroni; and club wheat (T. compactum), a softer type, used for cake, crackers, cookies, pastries, and flours. Additionally, some wheat is used by industry for the production of starch, paste, malt, dextrose, gluten, alcohol, and other products.

Scientific classification

  • Kingdom: Plantae
  • Clade: Tracheophytes
  • Clade: Angiosperms
  • Clade: Monocots
  • Clade: Commelinids
  • Order: Poales
  • Family: Poaceae
  • Subfamily: Pooideae
  • Supertribe: Triticodae
  • Tribe: Triticeae
  • Genus: Triticum L.

Origin and History

Cultivation and repeated harvesting and sowing of the grains of wild grasses led to the creation of domestic strains, as mutant forms (‘sports’) of wheat were preferentially chosen by farmers. In domesticated wheat, grains are larger, and the seeds (inside the spikelets) remain attached to the ear by a toughened rachis during harvesting. In wild strains, a more fragile rachis allows the ear to easily shatter and disperse the spikelets.

Selection for these traits by farmers might not have been deliberately intended, but simply have occurred because these traits made gathering the seeds easier; nevertheless such ‘incidental’ selection was an important part of crop domestication. As the traits that improve wheat as a food source also involve the loss of the plant’s natural seed dispersal mechanisms, highly domesticated strains of wheat cannot survive in the wild.

Archaeological analysis of wild emmer indicates that it was first cultivated in the southern Levant, with finds dating back as far as 9600 BCE. Genetic analysis of wild einkorn wheat suggests that it was first grown in the Karacadag Mountains in southeastern Turkey. Dated archeological remains of einkorn wheat in settlement sites near this region, including those at Abu Hureyra in Syria, suggest the domestication of einkorn near the Karacadag Mountain Range. With the anomalous exception of two grains from Iraq ed-Dubb, the earliest carbon-14 date for einkorn wheat remains at Abu Hureyra is 7800 to 7500 years BCE.

Remains of harvested emmer from several sites near the Karacadag Range have been dated to between 8600 (at Cayonu) and 8400 BCE (Abu Hureyra), that is, in the Neolithic period. With the exception of Iraq ed-Dubb, the earliest carbon-14 dated remains of domesticated emmer wheat were found in the earliest levels of Tell Aswad, in the Damascus basin, near Mount Hermon in Syria. These remains were dated by Willem van Zeist and his assistant Johanna Bakker-Heeres to 8800 BCE. They also concluded that the settlers of Tell Aswad did not develop this form of emmer themselves, but brought the domesticated grains with them from an as yet unidentified location elsewhere.

The cultivation of emmer reached Greece, Cyprus and Indian subcontinent by 6500 BCE, Egypt shortly after 6000 BCE, and Germany and Spain by 5000 BCE. “The early Egyptians were developers of bread and the use of the oven and developed baking into one of the first large-scale food production industries.” By 4000 BCE, wheat had reached the British Isles and Scandinavia. About two millennia later it reached China.

The oldest evidence for hexaploid wheat has been confirmed through DNA analysis of wheat seeds, dating to around 6400–6200 BCE, recovered from Çatalhöyük. The first identifiable bread wheat (Triticum aestivum) with sufficient gluten for yeasted breads has been identified using DNA analysis in samples from a granary dating to approximately 1350 BCE at Assiros in Macedonia.

From Asia, wheat continued to spread across Europe. In the British Isles, wheat straw (thatch) was used for roofing in the Bronze Age, and was in common use until the late 19th century.

Types of Wheat

There are many different varieties of wheat, each of which has different protein contents and kernel colors.

There are two primary categories: winter wheat and summer wheat, which are classified based on their growing season. They’re then sub-categorized based on hardness, color, and shape. You can find information on these subcategories in the table below.

Type of Wheat Properties

  • Soft red winter wheat: This type of wheat has baking properties which make it suitable as an ingredient
    in baked goods like cakes, pastries and cookies.
  • Hard red winter wheat: This type of wheat is grown in low temperatures and snow-covered regions. It has high protein content and is used for products like general purpose flour, flatbreads and cereals. It’s also the most important type of wheat produced in the United States.
  • Hard red spring wheat: This type of wheat is produced in hot, dry climates. It’s gluten characteristics make it a good choice for use in food products like bagels, croissants and pizza crusts.
  • Soft white wheat: Sweeter and softer than other types of wheat. It’s low in protein and gluten which makes it great for more exquisite pastries and cakes, as well as Asian noodles.
  • Hard white wheat: This type of wheat has slightly less protein and is less bitter than hard red wheat. It’s used in softer loaves such as pan loaves.
  • Durum wheat: This type of wheat has more protein than any other type and is used to make pasta.

Morphological Description

The wheat plant has long slender leaves and stems that are hollow in most varieties. The inflorescences are composed of varying numbers of minute flowers, ranging from 20 to 100. The flowers are borne in groups of two to six in structures known as spikelets, which later serve to house the subsequent two or three grains produced by the flowers.

Leaves emerge from the shoot apical meristem in a telescoping fashion until the transition to reproduction i.e. flowering. The last leaf produced by a wheat plant is known as the flag leaf. It is denser and has a higher photosynthetic rate than other leaves, to supply carbohydrate to the developing ear. In temperate countries the flag leaf, along with the second and third highest leaf on the plant, supply the majority of carbohydrate in the grain and their condition is paramount to yield formation.

Wheat is unusual among plants in having more stomata on the upper (adaxial) side of the leaf, than on the under (abaxial) side. It has been theorised that this might be an effect of it having been domesticated and cultivated longer than any other plant. Winter wheat generally produces up to 15 leaves per shoot and spring wheat up to 9 and winter crops may have up to 35 tillers (shoots) per plant (depending on cultivar).

Though grown under a wide range of climates and soils, wheat is best adapted to temperate regions with rainfall between 30 and 90 cm (12 and 36 inches). Winter and spring wheat are the two major types of the crop, with the severity of the winter determining whether a winter or spring type is cultivated. Winter wheat is always sown in the fall; spring wheat is generally sown in the spring but can be sown in the fall where winters are mild.

Wheat roots are among the deepest of arable crops, extending as far down as 2m. While the roots of a wheat plant are growing, the plant also accumulates an energy store in its stem, in the form of fructans, which helps the plant to yield under drought and disease pressure, but it has been observed that there is a trade-off between root growth and stem non-structural carbohydrate reserves. Root growth is likely to be prioritised in drought-adapted crops, while stem non-structural carbohydrate is prioritised in varieties developed for countries where disease is a bigger issue.

Depending on variety, wheat may be awned or not awned. Producing awns incurs a cost in grain number, but wheat awns photosynthesise more efficiently than their leaves with regards to water usage, so awns are much more frequent in varieties of wheat grown in hot drought-prone countries than those generally seen in temperate countries. For this reason, awned varieties could become more widely grown due to climate change. In Europe, however, a decline in climate resilience of wheat has been observed.

Genetics and Breeding

In traditional agriculture systems wheat populations often consist of landraces, informal farmer-maintained populations that often maintain high levels of morphological diversity. Although landraces of wheat are no longer grown in Europe and North America, they continue to be important elsewhere. The origins of formal wheat breeding lie in the nineteenth century, when single line varieties were created through selection of seed from a single plant noted to have desired properties.

Modern wheat breeding developed in the first years of the twentieth century and was closely linked to the development of Mendelian genetics. The standard method of breeding inbred wheat cultivars is by crossing two lines using hand emasculation, then selfing or inbreeding the progeny. Selections are identified (shown to have the genes responsible for the varietal differences) ten or more generations before release as a variety or cultivar.

Major breeding objectives include high grain yield, good quality, disease and insect resistance and tolerance to abiotic stresses, including mineral, moisture and heat tolerance. The major diseases in temperate environments include the following, arranged in a rough order of their significance from cooler to warmer climates: eyespot, Stagonospora nodorum blotch (also known as glume blotch), yellow or stripe rust, powdery mildew, Septoria tritici blotch (sometimes known as leaf blotch), brown or leaf rust, Fusarium head blight, tan spot and stem rust. In tropical areas, spot blotch (also known as Helminthosporium leaf blight) is also important.

Wheat has also been the subject of mutation breeding, with the use of gamma, x-rays, ultraviolet light, and sometimes harsh chemicals. The varieties of wheat created through these methods are in the hundreds (going as far back as 1960), more of them being created in higher populated countries such as China. Bread wheat with high grain iron and zinc content has been developed through gamma radiation breeding, and through conventional selection breeding.

International wheat breeding is led by CIMMYT in Mexico. ICARDA is another major public sector international wheat breeder, but it was forced to relocate from Syria in the Syrian Civil War.

Ploidy Level

As with many grasses, polyploidy is common in wheat. There are two wild diploid (non-polyploid) wheats, T. boeoticum and T. urartu. T. boeoticum is the wild ancestor of domesticated einkorn, T. monococcum. Cells of the diploid wheats each contain 2 complements of 7 chromosomes, one from the mother and one from the father (2n=2x=14, where 2n is the number of chromosomes in each somatic cell, and x is the basic chromosome number).

The polyploid wheats are tetraploid (4 sets of chromosomes, 2n=4x=28), or hexaploid (6 sets of chromosomes, 2n=6x=42). The tetraploid wild wheats are wild emmer, T. dicoccoides, and T. araraticum. Wild emmer is the ancestor of all the domesticated tetraploid wheats, with one exception: T. araraticum is the wild ancestor of T. timopheevi.

There are no wild hexaploid wheats, although feral forms of common wheat are sometimes found. Hexaploid wheats developed under domestication. Genetic analysis has shown that the original hexaploid wheats were the result of a cross between a tetraploid domesticated wheat, such as T. dicoccum or T. durum, and a wild goatgrass, Ae. tauschii.

Polyploidy is important to wheat classification for three reasons:

  • Wheats within one ploidy level will be more closely related to each other.
  • Ploidy level influences some plant characteristics. For example, higher levels of ploidy tend to be linked to larger cell size.
  • Polyploidy brings new genomes into a species. For example, Aegilops tauschii brought the D genome into hexaploid wheats, with enhanced cold-hardiness and some distinctive morphological features.


In 2010, a team of UK scientists funded by BBSRC announced they had decoded the wheat genome for the first time (95% of the genome of a variety of wheat known as Chinese Spring line 42). This genome was released in a basic format for scientists and plant breeders to use but was not a fully annotated sequence which was reported in some of the media. On 29 November 2012, an essentially complete gene set of bread wheat was published.

Random shotgun libraries of total DNA and cDNA from the T. aestivum cv. Chinese Spring (CS42) were sequenced in Roche 454 pyrosequencer using GS FLX Titanium and GS FLX+ platforms to generate 85 Gb of sequence (220 million reads) and identified between 94,000 and 96,000 genes. The implications of the research in cereal genetics and breeding includes the examination of genome variation, analysis of population genetics and evolutionary biology, and further studying epigenetic modifications. In 2018 an even more complete Chinese Spring genome was released by a different team.

Then in 2020 some of the same researchers produced 15 genome sequences from various locations and varieties around the world – the most complete and detailed so far – along with examples of their own use of the sequences to localize particular insect and disease resistance factors. The team expects these sequences will be useful in future cultivar breeding.

Pests and Diseases

Pests and diseases, depending on the definition – consume 21.47% of the world’s wheat crop annually.


The main wheat-disease categories are:

  • Rust-affected wheat seedlings: There are many wheat diseases, mainly caused by fungi, bacteria, and viruses. Plant breeding to develop new disease-resistant varieties, and sound crop management practices are important for preventing disease. Fungicides, used to prevent the significant crop losses from fungal disease, can be a significant variable cost in wheat production. Estimates of the amount of wheat production lost owing to plant diseases vary between 10 and 25% in Missouri. A wide range of organisms infect wheat, of which the most important are viruses and fungi.
  • Seed-borne diseases: these include seed-borne scab, seed-borne Stagonospora (previously known as Septoria), common bunt (stinking smut), and loose smut. These are managed with fungicides.
  • Leaf- and head- blight diseases: Powdery mildew, leaf rust, Septoria tritici leaf blotch, Stagonospora (Septoria) nodorum leaf and glume blotch, and Fusarium head scab.
  • Crown and root rot diseases: Two of the more important of these are ‘take-all’ and Cephalosporium stripe. Both of these diseases are soil borne.
  • Stem rust diseases: Caused by basidiomycete fungi e.g. Ug99
  • Viral diseases: Wheat spindle streak mosaic (yellow mosaic) and barley yellow dwarf are the two most common viral diseases. Control can be achieved by using resistant varieties.


Wheat is used as a food plant by the larvae of some Lepidoptera (butterfly and moth) species including the flame, rustic shoulder-knot, setaceous Hebrew character and turnip moth. Early in the season, many species of birds, including the long-tailed widowbird, and rodents feed upon wheat crops. These animals can cause significant damage to a crop by digging up and eating newly planted seeds or young plants. They can also damage the crop late in the season by eating the grain from the mature spike.

Recent post-harvest losses in cereals amount to billions of dollars per year in the United States alone, and damage to wheat by various borers, beetles and weevils is no exception. Rodents can also cause major losses during storage, and in major grain growing regions, field mice numbers can sometimes build up explosively to plague proportions because of the ready availability of food.

To reduce the amount of wheat lost to post-harvest pests, Agricultural Research Service scientists have developed an “insect-o-graph,” which can detect insects in wheat that are not visible to the naked eye. The device uses electrical signals to detect the insects as the wheat is being milled. The new technology is so precise that it can detect 5–10 infested seeds out of 30,000 good ones. Tracking insect infestations in stored grain is critical for food safety as well as for the marketing value of the crop.

Planting and Harvesting

Once the land is prepared, the seeds are sown in the furrows created by the raking or use of the wheat drill. When sowing by hand, a simple half circular movement with the wrist will spread the seeds properly. For larger areas, attaching a wheat drill to the tractor will allow the wheat seeds to be spread evenly and in place. Once the seeds are in place, make sure the area is watered properly. Wheat crops will absorb a large amount of water in a short period of time, so be sure to soak the area thoroughly. However, refrain from watering the area to the point that water is left standing.

When planting a summer wheat crop, be sure to water the area at least two or three times during the hottest months. This will provide the moisture needed to help the wheat crop grow properly. For a winter crop, there is a good chance that watering during the season will not be necessary. Test the ground from time to time to ensure that the moisture content remains within acceptable levels.

In all seasons, the use of some sort of insecticide will be a must. The exact type will depend on the season and the type of infestation that is native to the area. County agents can provide details on both commercial and natural insecticides that will work well in a given location and climate.

The final step in growing wheat is harvesting. Once the wheat stems, the time for harvesting has arrived. Using a scythe to manually harvest the wheat kernels is the time-honored process. For large wheat crops, the use of a combine machine allows for quick and easy harvesting of acres of wheat in a short period of time. After harvesting the wheat, the process of separating any chaff prepares the end product for grinding into flour or other applications.

Wheat is measured in bushels and a bushel of wheat weighs approximately 60 pounds. The wheat is weighed after it has been removed from the seed head. Only kernels are weighed, not the whole plant. Additional bushels harvested, means additional grain the farmer can sell to the local flour mill or elevator operator for shipment to Portland for export to overseas millers and bakers.

Wheat Processing

Most wheat used for food requires processing. The grain is cleaned and then conditioned by the addition of water so that the kernel breaks up properly. In milling, the grain is cracked and then passed through a series of rollers. As the smaller particles are sifted out, the coarser particles pass to other rollers for further reduction. About 72 percent of the milled grain is recovered as white flour. Flour made from the whole kernel is called graham flour and becomes rancid with prolonged storage because of the germ-oil content retained. White flour, which does not contain the germ, preserves longer. Inferior and surplus wheats and various milling by-products are used for livestock feeds.

The greatest portion of the wheat flour produced is used for breadmaking. Wheats grown in dry climates are generally hard types, having protein content of 11–15 percent and strong gluten (elastic protein). The hard type produces flour best suited for breadmaking. The wheats of humid areas are softer, with protein content of about 8–10 percent and weak gluten. The softer type of wheat produces flour suitable for cakes, crackers, cookies, and pastries and household flours. Durum wheat semolina (from the endosperm) is used for making pastas, or alimentary pastes.


Storing wheat has always been a challenge to farmers. On the farm storage bins, or silos, are made of steel and concrete. Many farmers have built grain storage bins on their property so they can separate different varieties of grain and market their crop when the price is right. The silo’s main function is to keep out moisture, insects, rodents, and birds. The silos are always completely cleaned before grain is stored in them.

One of the biggest enemies of stored grain is moisture. Moisture brings insects and mold. If the moisture in the grain is too high the quality of the wheat is lowered and it may be rejected for milling and baking. When this happens it is sold for a much lower price to be fed to livestock.

Nutrition Facts

The nutritional composition of the wheat grain varies somewhat with differences in climate and soil. On an average, the kernel contains 12 percent water, 70 percent carbohydrates, 12 percent protein, 2 percent fat, 1.8 percent minerals, and 2.2 percent crude fibres. Thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, and small amounts of vitamin A are present, but the milling processes removes most of those nutrients with the bran and germ.

Here are the nutrition facts for 3.5 ounces (100 grams) of whole-grain wheat flour:

  • Calories: 340
  • Water: 11%
  • Protein: 13.2 grams
  • Carbs: 72 grams
  • Sugar: 0.4 grams
  • Fiber: 10.7 grams
  • Fat: 2.5 grams

Why has Wheat been so Successful?

Despite its relatively recent origin, bread wheat shows sufficient genetic diversity to allow the development of over 25 000 types (Feldman et al., 1995) which are adapted to a wide range of temperate environments. Provided sufficient water and mineral nutrients are available and effective control of pests and pathogens is ensured, yields can exceed 10 tonnes ha−1, comparing well with other temperate crops.

However, deficiencies in water and nutrients and the effects of pests and pathogens cause the global average yield to be low, at about 2.8 tonnes ha−1. Wheat is also readily harvested using mechanical combine harvesters or traditional methods and can be stored effectively indefinitely before consumption, provided the water content is below about 15% dry weight and pests are controlled.

There is no doubt that the adaptability and high yields of wheat have contributed to its success, but these alone are not sufficient to account for its current dominance over much of the temperate world. The key characteristic which has given it an advantage over other temperate crops is the unique properties of doughs formed from wheat flours, which allow it to be processed into a range of breads and other baked products (including cakes and biscuits), pasta and noodles, and other processed foods. These properties depend on the structures and interactions of the grain storage proteins, which together form the ‘gluten’ protein fraction.

Many Uses of Wheat

Unsurprisingly, the main demand for wheat comes from human consumption. In fact, over two-thirds of wheat produced globally is used as food. It contains many vitamins and minerals which make it a staple food product. It’s used in premium bread making, general purpose bread making, biscuit and cake making, and as animal feed.

Although foodstuffs represent the main use of wheat, it also has several alternative uses. The gluten and starch present in wheat make it elastic and able to bind water. This makes wheat useful for products like:

Paper: The starch from wheat is used to improve the strength of paper. The United States paper manufacturing industry uses over 5 billion pounds of starch every year.

Pharmaceuticals: Wheat gluten is used in the pharmaceuticals industry to create capsules.

Adhesives: The adhesive on the back of postage stamps is created with wheat starch

Soaps: Wheat germ, which contains lots of vitamin E, is commonly used in soaps and creams. Wheat is also used to produce bioethanol, but it plays a relatively small role in this compared to crops like corn.

Health Effects

Consumed worldwide by billions of people, wheat is a significant food for human nutrition, particularly in the least developed countries where wheat products are primary foods. When eaten as the whole grain, wheat is a healthy food source of multiple nutrients and dietary fiber recommended for children and adults, in several daily servings containing a variety of foods that meet whole grain-rich criteria.

Dietary fiber may also help people feel full and therefore help with a healthy weight. Further, wheat is a major source for natural and biofortified nutrient supplementation, including dietary fiber, protein and dietary minerals.

Manufacturers of foods containing wheat as a whole grain in specified amounts are allowed a health claim for marketing purposes in the United States, stating: “low fat diets rich in fiber-containing grain products, fruits, and vegetables may reduce the risk of some types of cancer, a disease associated with many factors” and “diets low in saturated fat and cholesterol and rich in fruits, vegetables, and grain products that contain some types of dietary fiber, particularly soluble fiber, may reduce the risk of heart disease, a disease associated with many factors”.

The scientific opinion of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) related to health claims on gut health/bowel function, weight control, blood glucose/insulin levels, weight management, blood cholesterol, satiety, glycaemic index, digestive function and cardiovascular health is “that the food constituent, whole grain, is not sufficiently characterized in relation to the claimed health effects” and “that a cause and effect relationship cannot be established between the consumption of whole grain and the claimed effects considered in this opinion.”


In genetically susceptible people, gluten – a major part of wheat protein – can trigger coeliac disease. Coeliac disease affects about 1% of the general population in developed countries. There is evidence that most cases remain undiagnosed and untreated. The only known effective treatment is a strict lifelong gluten-free diet.

While coeliac disease is caused by a reaction to wheat proteins, it is not the same as a wheat allergy. Other diseases triggered by eating wheat are non-coeliac gluten sensitivity (estimated to affect 0.5% to 13% of the general population), gluten ataxia, and dermatitis herpetiformis.

It has been speculated that FODMAPs present in wheat (mainly fructans) are the cause of non-coeliac gluten sensitivity. As of 2019, reviews have concluded that FODMAPs only explain certain gastrointestinal symptoms, such as bloating, but not the extra-digestive symptoms that people with non-coeliac gluten sensitivity may develop, such as neurological disorders, fibromyalgia, psychological disturbances, and dermatitis.

Other proteins present in wheat called amylase-trypsin inhibitors (ATIs) have been identified as the possible activator of the innate immune system in coeliac disease and non-coeliac gluten sensitivity. ATIs are part of the plant’s natural defense against insects and may cause toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4)-mediated intestinal inflammation in humans. These TLR4-stimulating activities of ATIs are limited to gluten-containing cereals. A 2017 study in mice demonstrated that ATIs exacerbate preexisting inflammation and might also worsen it at extraintestinal sites. This may explain why there is an increase of inflammation in people with preexisting diseases upon ingestion of ATIs-containing grains.

Wheat Fun Facts

Below are some fun facts about wheat from the Wheat Foods Council.

  • Wheat is a member of the grass family that produces a dry, one-seeded fruit commonly called a kernel.
  • More than 17,000 years ago, humans gathered the seeds of plants and ate them. After rubbing off the husks, early people simply chewed the kernels raw, parched or simmered.
  • Wheat originated in the “cradle of civilization” in the Tigris and Euphrates river valley, near what is now Iraq.
  • The Roman goddess, Ceres, who was deemed protector of the grain, gave grains their common name today – “cereal.”
  • Wheat, used for white bread, pastries, pasta, and pizza, has been the principal cereal crop since the 18th century.
  • Wheat was introduced by the first English colonists and quickly became the main cash crop of farmers who sold it to urban populations and exporters. In colonial times its culture became concentrated in the Middle
  • Colonies, which became known as the “bread colonies”.
  • Six classes bring order to the thousands of varieties of wheat. They are: hard red winter (HRW), hard red spring (HRS), soft red winter (SRW), hard white (HW), soft white (SW) and durum.
  • One bushel of wheat contains approximately one million individual kernels.
  • One bushel of wheat weighs approximately 60 pounds.
  • One bushel of wheat yields approximately 42 pounds of white flour OR 6onebushel0 pounds of whole-wheat flour.
  • A bushel of wheat yields 42 one-and-a-half pound commercial loaves of white bread OR about 90 one-pound loaves of whole wheat bread.
  • There is approximately 16 ounces of flour in a one-and-a-half pound loaf of bread.
  • The first bagel rolled into the world in 1683 when a baker from Vienna Austria was thankful to the King of Poland for saving Austria from Turkish invaders. The baker reshaped the local bread so that it resembled the King’s stirrup. The new bread was called “beugel,” derived from the German word stirrup, “bugel.”
  • The traditional bagel is the only bread product that is boiled before it is baked.

Source: 1. Britannica, Trade Finance Global, Wheat World, Wikipedia, Oregonaitc.
2. P. R. Shewry, Wheat, Journal of Experimental Botany, Volume 60, Issue 6, April 2009, Pages 1537–1553, doi.org/10.1093/jxb/erp058

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