Free sugars in spelt wholemeal and flour


  • C. Zörb
  • T. Betsche
  • G. Langenkämper
  • J. Zapp
  • M. Seifert


Spelt (Triticum aestivum L. ssp. spelta) is experiencing a renaissance in Europe and North America, where it is used for baking, brewing, production of pasta, and self-supplied animal feed. One of the characteristics of spelt is that in comparison to modern wheat it is more resistant to harsh climatic and poor soil conditions. In contrast to wheat the hulls remain on the grain after threshing. Drawbacks are that spelt yields are quite low compared to modern wheat. The subject of the current study was to gain information about the composition of soluble sugars and their concentrations in spelt wholemeal and flour. High performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) was used for analysis. Concentrations of nine free sugars in spelt wholemeal and flour are reported. Flour cumulative free sugar concentrations were 63% lower than in wholemeal. For comparisons, we also analyzed wholemeal of wheat. The cumulative concentration of free sugars was 27% lower than in spelt wholemeal. However, when published data for sugar concentration ranges of wheat are taken into account, the total concentration of free sugar was not different between spelt and modern wheats. Low concentrations of xylose and stachyose were detected in spelt. Higher concentrations of fructans such as 1-kestose and kestotetraose were detected in spelt when compared with wheat. Generally, concentrations of free sugars in spelt were in the range of free sugar levels published for wheat, except for maltose which was higher in spelt.