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Spelled (Triticum aestivum subsp.spelta)

Spelled ( Triticum aestivum subsp. Spelta )

Order : Sweet grass (Poales)
Family : Sweet grasses (Poaceae)
Subfamily : Pooideae
Tribe : Triticeae
Genre : Wheat ( Triticum L. )
Type : Spelt
Scientific name
Triticum aestivum subsp. spelta

Spelled ( Triticum aestivum subsp. Spelta ) or spelled (also: Spelt , Fesen , Vesen or Schwabenkorn ) is a type of grain from the wheat genus and a close relative of today's common wheat . There are very many mixed forms and transitions between “modern” wheat and spelled, because in some regions both were grown together and also crossed with one another.


Like common wheat ( Triticum aestivum ), spelled has a hexaploid (six-fold) set of chromosomes . Wild forms of spelled and common wheat are not known, which is why it is assumed that it originated through mutation from older wheat species such as durum wheat ( Triticum durum ) with a four-fold set of chromosomes, emmer ( Triticum dicoccum ) or einkorn ( Triticum monococcum ), a stone age form is.


Origin (red) and cultivation area (green) of the spelled. The red oval indicates the approximate region where the spelled could have originated through mutation .
For drying spelled was after mowing in sheaves placed
Spelled, left without, right with husks

The oldest spelled finds come from western Armenia and the valleys of the Ararat Mountains (6th to 5th millennium BC). Other finds are from Bulgaria (3700 v. Chr.), Romania (Hărman, Koros Culture ), Poland and South Sweden (2500-1700 v. Chr.) And Denmark (1900-1600 v. Chr.) In the Neolithic period was Spelled is grown in Central and Northern Europe (especially in the Alpine region ), which is proven by archaeological finds. From 1700 BC BC it occurred in today's German-speaking Switzerland . In the 18th century, spelled was an important commercial grain. The word Dinkel appears in the place names Dinkels bühl and Dinkel sharte as well as their coat of arms (three ears each). This shows how much this grain was valued.

The tradition that part of the spelled is harvested before it is ripe , i.e. when it is still green, comes from the need for nutrient-rich staple foods for field work in summer. The unripe grain, called green spelled , cannot be stored, which is why it is kilned , ie dried. Green spelled cannot be baked, it can be processed into soups or green spelled cakes .

In the 20th century, the cultivation declined because of poor crop yields. In addition, the husk grain is difficult to process and technically complicated. In recent times this grain has experienced a certain renaissance, especially in the organic sector , probably also because it is valued by many allergy sufferers . Spelled is now a popular alternative to other types of wheat, especially for baby and child food. Spelled is also an integral part of modern Hildegard medicine , which refers to the medieval mystic Hildegard von Bingen .


Spelled has recently been increasingly grown again. The cultivation area in Germany was expanded to over 50,000 hectares. The cultivation area in Switzerland (5000 ha) grew by 41% between 2014 and 2017. Typical cultivation areas are Baden-Württemberg (varieties: Bauländer Spelz , Schwabenkorn ), Switzerland (varieties: Oberkulmer Rotkorn , Ostro ), Belgium ( Spelt , Rouquin ), Finland ( Speltti ) and Asturias , northern Spain ( Escanda ).

In Central Burgenland, too, spelled was one of the grain types that used to be strongly represented. Due to the complex cultivation, cultivation declined, but has been increasingly represented again since the 1980s. For this reason, the cultivation as Mittelburgenland spelled was included in the Austrian register of traditional foods , and the area was included in the enjoyment region of Austria . The Franckenkorn variety was bred by Peter Franck , the name has nothing to do with the Franconian region .

At the moment only winter spelled varieties are grown. There is no approved summer spelled variety in Germany. The most important breeding goal at the moment is the stability of the ears. The short spelled varieties (Franckenkorn and Zollernspelz) therefore have advantages over the long spelled varieties (Oberkulmer Rotkorn and Bauländer Spelz) .

Spelled does not tolerate as much nitrogen in fertilization as wheat. In terms of yield, spelled lags behind wheat, but it can withstand a harsher climate than wheat . Its earlier claimed better disease resistance than common wheat no longer applies to today's varieties. Most of the spelled varieties are susceptible to extreme susceptibility to powdery mildew (Blumeria graminis) and brown rust (Puccinia triticina) . Ergot , on the other hand, represents a lower risk.

Three types of spelled are of economic importance (according to Frank 2006):

  • Oberkulmer Rotkorn - a selection of an old Swiss local variety
  • Schwabenkorn - a back- breeding of the University of Hohenheim to the variety Red Tyrolean
  • Franckenkorn - depending on the source
    • a cross of ((EL 3.8 x old gold) x old gold) x Rouquin
    • a backcross from old varieties with wheat content

The Oberkulmer Rotkorn and Schwabenkorn varieties are typically “pure” spelled varieties. In contrast, in Franckenkorn, wheat crossbreeding could be demonstrated by demonstrating the ω- gliadins typical of wheat . However, other sources postulate a typical “pure” spelled variety for Franckenkorn as well .

UrDinkel is a common brand in Switzerland for spelled from specified cultivation. It guarantees the exclusive use of old Swiss spelled varieties that have not been crossed with modern wheat.


In contrast to wheat and barley , the grain of the spelled is firmly fused with the husks . This means that it is better protected, but processing requires an additional processing step - it used to be peeled ( tanned or rolled ) in a "tanning process" . This is a grinding process ("underrun peeling process") in which the distance between the grinding stones was chosen to be larger so that the grain was freed from the husks but not already crushed. In modern grain mills , spelled is peeled with the help of rubber roller peelers or vertical grinders.

In the field of livestock feeding, spelled only plays a certain role in horse breeding, where it has been experiencing a renaissance for several years. Either the whole spelled is used (including the spelled) or only its spelled.

cooked spelled rice

"Spelled rice" is the name given to peeled and ground spelled grains. This special pre-treatment gives the grain rice-like properties and can also be further processed in the same way.

Spelled flour

Wholemeal spelled flour

Typical products made from spelled flour are spelled noodles and spelled bread such as Swabian soul and Knauzenwecken .

Baking properties

Although spelled is high in protein , dough made from spelled flour is more difficult to handle compared to wheat dough. The baking properties of spelled and wheat dough are mainly determined by the proteins gliadin and glutenin . Spelled contains proportionally more gliadin, which makes the dough supple, but less glutenin, which ensures a stable gluten structure in the dough. Therefore, spelled doughs are pliable and easily stretchable, but less dimensionally stable and also sensitive to tearing, which is why there is a risk of over-kneading. The glutenin structure can be stabilized by adding small amounts (approx. 0.008%) of ascorbic acid , which through a series of chemical reactions favors the formation of three-dimensionally cross-linking disulfide bridges . In the organic sector, 0.1% acerola cherry powder can be used instead, which also contains ascorbic acid as an active ingredient.

Baked goods made from spelled flour become dry and hard after a short time compared to wheat and rye products, as they can bind less water due to the comparatively low swelling capacity of the protein and carbohydrate components. Also spelled doughs are often dry due to the difficulty of processing performed . The use of dough precursors such as swelling pieces and sourdough can counteract this problem by breaking down the flour components to improve the water retention capacity and thus also the freshness of the baked goods.

Spelled coffee

Roasted spelled is also used to make spelled coffee , similar to other grains used in malt coffee .

Spelled beer

Nutritional Properties

Spelled is sometimes said to have particular health benefits compared to all other grains. The most important historical source are descriptions by Hildegard von Bingen in her book Physica .

However, to date there are no scientifically proven findings about better tolerability of the spelled. However, there are cases of wheat intolerance in which spelled is tolerated as a substitute grain. The basis for this phenomenon is unknown, so there is still a need for research in this area.

It is scientifically proven that spelled is not tolerated in celiac disease because it is not gluten-free .


If there are also certain differences between spelled and wheat with regard to the content of fat and fatty acids, amino acids, vitamins and minerals, it is questionable whether these differences go beyond the natural range of fluctuation and whether these differences even come into play with today's usual consumption habits. However, the silica content of spelled is significantly higher than that of wheat. There are also very clear differences in the gluten composition, because unlike wheat, spelled gluten does not contain ω-gliadin. This difference is also used in the laboratory for the biochemical differentiation of spelled and wheat.

Average composition

The composition of spelled naturally fluctuates, both depending on the variety, the environmental conditions such as soil and climate, and the cultivation technique depending on fertilization and crop protection.

Details per 100 grams of edible portion:

water 11.02 g
protein 14.57 g
fat 2.43 g
carbohydrates 70.19 g *
Fiber 10.7 g
sodium 8 mg
potassium 388 mg
magnesium 136 mg
Calcium 27 mg
manganese 3.1 mg
iron 4.4 mg
zinc 3.28 mg
phosphorus 401 mg
Retinol (Vit. A 1 ) 0 µg
Riboflavin (Vit. B 2 ) 113 µg
Vitamin B6 230 µg
Vitamin E. 790 µg
vitamin C 0 µg

*) Difference calculation

The physiological calorific value is 1420  kJ (338 kcal) per 100 grams of edible portion.

To compare the ingredients of spelled and common wheat, see common wheat # Average composition

Web links

Wiktionary: Spelled  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Wiktionary: Spelt  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Commons : Spelled  album with pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Sources for scientific relationship studies between wheat species: z. BP Bertin, D. Grégoire, S. Massart, D. de Froidmont: "High level of genetic diversity among spelt germplasm revealed by microsatellite markers". In: Genome . 47, 2004, pp. 1043-1054.
  2. Beatrice Ciuta: Plant species within the prehistoric communities from Transylvania. Editura Mega, Cluj 2012, p. 60
  3. a b Thomas Miedaner, Friedrich Longin: Underestimated types of grain - Einkorn, Emmer, Dinkel & Co. Agrimedia, 2012, ISBN 978-3-86263-079-0 .
  4. Article in Heinrich Beck: Reallexikon der Germanischen Altertumskunde , Verlag Walter de Gruyter 2006 (Google book search, accessed on January 13, 2009).
  5. Herbert Wieser: Comparison of pure spelled and spelled / wheat crosses , accessed on February 28, 2017
  6. Federal Statistical Office: Agricultural Structure Survey 2017: Fewer farms, but more and more organic farms In: admin.ch , May 8, 2018, accessed on May 11, 2018.
  7. Mittelburgenland spelled . Entry no. 133 in the register of traditional foods of the Austrian Federal Ministry for Agriculture, Regions and Tourism .
    Mittelburgenland spelled at the association Genuss Region Österreich . Retrieved February 14, 2013
  8. Alfred Obst, Klaus Gehring: Grain - Diseases, pests, weeds . Th. Mann, Gelsenkirchen 2002, ISBN 978-3-7862-0123-6 , pp. 96 .
  9. a b Gottfried Spicher, M. Brandt, M. Gänzle (eds.): Handbook sourdough: Biology, biochemistry, technology . Publisher: Behr's, 6th edition, 2005, ISBN 978-3-89947-166-3 .
  10. Herbert Wieser: Comparison of pure spelled and spelled / wheat crosses , accessed on February 28, 2017
  11. Annette Koenig, Katharina Konitzer, Herbert Wieser, Peter Koehler: Classification of spelt cultivars based on differences in storage protein compositions from wheat . In: Food Chemistry . tape 168 , February 1, 2015, ISSN  0308-8146 , p. 176–182 , doi : 10.1016 / j.foodchem.2014.07.040 ( sciencedirect.com [accessed June 14, 2019]).
  12. Annette Koenig, Katharina Konitzer, Herbert Wieser, Peter Koehler: Classification of spelt cultivars based on differences in storage protein compositions from wheat . In: Food Chemistry . tape 168 , February 1, 2015, ISSN  0308-8146 , p. 176–182 , doi : 10.1016 / j.foodchem.2014.07.040 ( elsevier.com [accessed June 14, 2019]).
  13. a b How much wheat is there in spelled? The DNA and proteins typical of wheat provide information. Retrieved February 20, 2016 .
  14. ^ Klaus Roth: Chemical delicacies . John Wiley & Sons, 2010, ISBN 978-3-527-32752-2 , pp. 104 ( limited preview in Google Book search).
  15. ^ Klaus Roth: Chemical delicacies . John Wiley & Sons, 2010, ISBN 978-3-527-32752-2 , pp. 105 ( limited preview in Google Book search).
  16. ^ Thuringian State Agency for Agriculture, January 2019
  17. Herbert Wieser: Comparison of pure spelled and spelled / wheat crosses , accessed on February 28, 2017
  18. Nutrient database (spelled uncooked), USDA, accessed January 16, 2019