Common wheat

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Common wheat
Field with common wheat

Field with common wheat

Order : Sweet grass (Poales)
Family : Sweet grasses (Poaceae)
Subfamily : Pooideae
Tribe : Triticeae
Genre : Wheat ( triticum )
Type : Common wheat
Scientific name
Triticum aestivum

Common wheat ( Triticum aestivum ), also known as bread wheat or seed wheat , is a plant species within the sweet grass family (Poaceae). The hexaploid grain type common wheat is one of the oldest cultivated plants and was created around 9000 years ago by crossing tetraploid emmer ( Triticum dicoccum ) and diploid goat grass ( Aegilops tauschii ).

Common wheat is the economically most important type of wheat and is used for the production of bread , other baked goods , malt , animal feed , for starch production, etc. In contrast to durum wheat ( Triticum durum ), it has a significantly softer, more floury grain and a lower protein content .


Regarding the names of the individual plant parts:

"Ears" encompassing the stem
Common wheat has lemmas, but many varieties have no awns
Common wheat grains

The common wheat is grown as winter or summer grain and then grows as a winter annuelle, an annual herbaceous plant - called therophyte in technical terms . It reaches heights of growth of 40 to 100 centimeters, rarely up to 150 centimeters. The stalk is thin-walled and hollow. The nodes ( nodes ) are bare or bald early. The 6 to 16 millimeter wide leaf blades are initially softly haired and later often become bald and rough.

The annual inflorescence is 6 to 18 centimeters long without awns , at least three times as long as it is wide. It is dense and square in cross section. The ear axis is not brittle, so it is a naked wheat. The point of attachment of the spikelets has no tufts of hair. In the upper area, the axial distances between the spikelets are 4 to 8 millimeters. The spikelets are three- to six-flowered, round as long as wide. The lower three to five flowers are fertile . The glumes are about 10 millimeters long, they have a keel only in the upper area, they are rounded below. The keel ends in a short and blunt tooth. The lemmas are not awned and have a short tooth, or they have an awn up to 15 cm long. The pollination is done by foreign or self-pollination .

The fruit is loosely wrapped and fruit ripening from the top and Palea fails. The endosperm is floury or glassy. The germination takes place only at temperatures above 4 ° C.

In common wheat, the basic chromosome number is x = 7, it is hexaploid , the chromosome number is 6n = 42.


The earliest finds of common wheat come from the Can Hasan site in the Central Anatolian province of Karaman from the 7th millennium BC. The result is Triticum aestivum with its six sets of chromosomes AABBDD from the intersection of tetraploid Emmer AABB ( Triticum dicoccum ) and diploid goat grass DD ( Aegilops tauschii ).


The genome of common wheat consists of 17 billion base pairs (17 gigabase pairs) and comprises between 94,000 and 96,000 genes, which are distributed over 6 sets of chromosomes. In August 2018, Science magazine reported that the International Wheat Genome Sequencing Consortium had almost completely decoded the genome of common wheat.


Common wheat has a hectolitre weight of 62–87, corresponding to 620–870 g / l or kg / m³.

Cultivation and use

Common wheat is used as bread grain to make baked goods, and to make malt for wheat beer . When grinding is obtained as a by-product of the wheat bran , which as concentrated feed in fattening animals as well as serving food is used.

A smaller proportion of common and durum wheat is used industrially to produce starch. Other grains are more important here, such as maize , which makes up 80 percent of the world's corn starch, while wheat starch makes up 9 percent. Since common wheat has a higher starch content (around 70 percent) than durum wheat (60 percent), it is better suited for industrial use. In addition to starch, this also includes bioethanol production . In Germany in 2007, around five percent of wheat production, at 1.03 million tonnes, was used to extract starch and starch derivatives .

Due to the temporary sharp price increase in 2007/08, the industrial use of the renewable raw material wheat (for example for ethanol and starch) decreased somewhat. As a result of the increased production and lower prices, an increase in global industrial use of wheat by six percent to 18 million tons was expected for 2008/09. With global wheat production of around 690 million tons in 2008, this corresponds to almost three percent.

Average composition

The composition of common wheat 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 12.8 g
protein 10.9 g
fat 1.8 g
Carbohydrates 1 59.5 g
Fiber 13.3 g
Minerals 1.7 g
sodium 8 mg
potassium 380 mg
magnesium 95 mg
Calcium 35 mg
manganese 3.1 mg
iron 3.2 mg
copper 0.37 mg
zinc 2.6 mg
phosphorus 340 mg
Selenium 2 0.002 mg
Retinol (Vit. A 1 ) 3 µg
Thiamine (Vit. B 1 ) 460 µg
Riboflavin (Vit. B 2 ) 95 µg
Nicotinic acid (Vit. B 3 ) 5100 µg
Pantothenic acid (Vit. B 5 ) 1200 µg
Vitamin B6 270 µg
Folic acid 85 µg
Vitamin E. 1400 µg
vitamin C traces
essential and semi-essential amino acids
Arginine 3 620 mg
Histidine 3 280 mg
Isoleucine 540 mg
Leucine 920 mg
Lysine 380 mg
Methionine 220 mg
Phenylalanine 640 mg
Threonine 430 mg
Tryptophan 150 mg
Tyrosine 410 mg
Valine 620 mg
1 Difference calculation
2 Often higher values ​​in some countries
3 semi-essential

The physiological calorific value is 1263  kJ (302 kcal) per 100 grams of edible portion.

For a comparison of the ingredients of common wheat and spelled, see spelled # ingredients


In Germany, a distinction is made between different quality levels of common wheat for baking purposes. Important parameters are the volume yield in the standardized Rapid Mix Test , the protein content , the falling number and other quality features . The division of the German Federal Plant Variety Office comprises the following levels:

  • E-wheat (elite wheat)
  • A wheat (quality wheat, also called mixed wheat)
  • B wheat (bread wheat)
  • C wheat (other wheat)


Web links

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

Individual evidence

  1. a b c Rachel Brenchley et al .: Analysis of the bread wheat genome using whole-genome shotgun sequencing. Nature 491, 705–710, November 29, 2012 doi: 10.1038 / nature11650 , November 29, 2012, accessed on December 3, 2012 (English).
  2. ^ ME Kislev: Emergence of Wheat Agriculture. In: Paléorient, Vol. 10, No. 2, 1984, pp. 61-70.
  3. Elizabeth Pennisi: Wheat's complex genome finally deciphered, offering hope for better harvests and nonallergenic varieties . In: Science, August 16, 2018
  4. ↑ The genome of wheat decoded ., August 16, 2018
  5. Starch - versatile and in demand. January 2004.
  6. ^ BF Carver: Wheat Science and Trade. Wiley-Blackwell, Ames (Iowa) 2009, ISBN 978-0-8138-2024-8 .
  7. Association of the starch industry: Numbers & data. Current statistical data on raw materials, products, sales, accessed on March 2, 2010
  8. Federal Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection : Special Harvest and Quality Determination 2009.
  9. Wheat - New-season projections raise hopes for relief from tight global supplies. May 1, 2008.
  10. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations : FAOSTAT - Production - Crops. Agricultural statistical information database, accessed March 2, 2010.
  11. German Research Institute for Food Chemistry , Garching (ed.): Food table for practice . 4th edition. Wissenschaftliche Verlagsgesellschaft mbH, Stuttgart 2009, ISBN 978-3-8047-2541-6 , p. 239 .
  12. Bundessortenamt: Descriptive list of varieties (PDF file; 704 kB) Hanover, 2014, p. 122ff., Accessed January 15, 2015.
  13. Office for Food, Agriculture and Forests Bavaria: Crop production in Lower Franconia  ( page can no longer be accessed , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. , accessed March 2, 2010.@1@ 2Template: Toter Link /