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Khorasan wheat

Khorasan wheat
Triticum turgidum 2.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Monocots
(unranked): Commelinids
Order: Poales
Family: Poaceae
Genus: Triticum
Species: T. turanicum
Binomial name
Triticum turanicum
Jakubz.
Synonyms
Khorasan wheat, uncooked
Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
Energy 1,411 kJ (337 kcal)
70.38 g
Starch 52.41 g
Dietary fibre 9.1 g
2.2 g
Saturated 0.192 g
Monounsaturated 0.214 g
Polyunsaturated 0.616 g
14.7 g
Vitamins
Thiamine (B1)
(51%)
0.591 mg
Riboflavin (B2)
(15%)
0.178 mg
Niacin (B3)
(42%)
6.35 mg
Pantothenic acid (B5)
(18%)
0.9 mg
Vitamin B6
(20%)
0.255 mg
Vitamin E
(4%)
0.6 mg
Minerals
Iron
(34%)
4.41 mg
Magnesium
(38%)
134 mg
Manganese
(136%)
2.86 mg
Phosphorus
(55%)
386 mg
Potassium
(9%)
446 mg
Zinc
(39%)
3.68 mg
Other constituents
Water 10.95 g
Percentages are roughly approximated using US recommendations for adults.
Source: USDA Nutrient Database

Khorasan wheat or Oriental wheat (Triticum turgidum ssp. turanicum also called Triticum turanicum), commercially known as kamut, is a tetraploid wheat species. It is an ancient grain type; Khorasan refers to a historical region in modern-day Iran in the northeast. This grain is twice the size of modern-day wheat and is known for its rich, nutty flavor.

Original botanical identifications were uncertain. The variety is a form of Triticum turgidum subsp. turanicum (also known as Triticum turanicum), usually called Khorasan wheat. Identifications sometimes seen as T. polonicum are incorrect as the variety, although long-grained, lacks the long glumes of this species. Recent genetic evidence from DNA fingerprinting suggests that the variety is perhaps derived from a natural hybrid between T. durum and T. polonicum, which would explain past difficulties in arriving at a certain classification.

As an annual, self-fertilized grass that is cultivated for its grains, Khorasan wheat looks very similar to common wheat. However, its grains are twice the size of modern wheat kernel, with a Thousand-kernel Weight up to 60g. They contain more proteins, lipids, amino acids, vitamins and minerals than modern wheat. The grain has an amber colour and a high vitreousness.

The exact origin of Khorasan wheat remains unknown. Described by John Percival in 1921, this ancient grain likely originates from the Fertile Crescent and derives its common name from the historical province of Khorasan which included a large portion of northeastern Iran into Afghanistan and Central Asia to the river Oxus. Some Turkish scientists have suggested that it originated in Anatolia. One commonly affirms that Khorasan wheat was reintroduced in modern times thanks to an American airman, who sent grains from Egypt to his family in Montana (USA) in 1949. According to a legend, those grains were found in the tomb of an ancient Egyptian Pharaoh, hence the nickname "King Tut's Wheat." It is not known when and how Khorasan wheat was introduced to Egypt. Another legend relates that Noah brings the grain on his ark resulting in the nickname "Prophet’s wheat." Other legends surmise that it was brought into Egypt by invading armies. Finally, in Turkey, it is nicknamed "Camel's Tooth" due to its hump back shape or, more probably, because it resembles a camel's tooth.



  • Sacks, Gordon (2005). "Kamut: A New Old Grain". Gastronomica. 5 (4): 95–98. doi:10.1525/gfc.2005.5.4.95. JSTOR 10.1525/gfc.2005.5.4.95. 
  • Quinn, R.M. (1999). "Kamut: Ancient grain, new cereal". In Janick, J. Perspectives on new crops and new uses. ASHS Press, Alexandria. pp. 182–183. 
  • Rodríguez-Quijano, Marta; Lucas, Regina; Ruiz, Magdalena; Giraldo, Patricia; Espí, Araceli; Carrillo, José M. (2010). "Allelic Variation and Geographical Patterns of Prolamins in the USDA-ARS Khorasan Wheat Germplasm Collection". Crop Science. 50 (6): 2383–91. doi:10.2135/cropsci2010.02.0089. 
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Wikipedia

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