Wheat Nutrients


Complex Carbohydrate -- Wheat flour is a good source of complex carbohydrate, the most efficient source of energy available to the human body.

Fiber -- Fiber is the undigestible carbohydrate in food which acts like a broom to sweep our the digestive tract. One slice of whole wheat bread contains 1.5 grams of dietary fiber; one slice of white bread contains 0.5 grams.


Wheat foods are moderate sources of incomplete protein. This means that while wheat and other cereal grains may contain all eight of the amino acids necessary for good health, not all eight are found at adequate levels. However, combining wheat or other cereal grains with animal proteins or legumes makes the grain protein complete. Within the cereal group, wheat contains more protein than rice or corn.


Fats account for 2 to 23 percent of wheat foods, although wheat alone contains very little fat. Most often, the fat content in wheat foods results from fat added in production, such as the oil or shortening found in many baked or fried wheat foods. Bread and pasta products are low-fat foods because the by weight, is wheat flour.

Other Vitamins And Minerals

Thiamine -- One of the essential B-vitamins needed daily for good appetite, digestion and healthy nerves. Wheat foods are a good source of thiamine.

Niacin -- A B-vitamin essential for the efficient use of protein by the body. Wheat foods are a good source of niacin.

Iron -- Vital to nutrition. Wheat foods are a reliable source of iron for normal dietary needs.

Zinc -- Important for skin healing and growth properties. Wheat foods are a good source of zinc.

Riboflavin -- Essential for growth and good vision. Wheat foods are a fair source of riboflavin.

Trace Minerals -- Wheat foods are a good source of selenium and magnesium, nutrients essential to good health.

Wheat Flours

All-Purpose Flour

All-purpose flour is the finely ground endosperm of the wheat kernel separated from the bran and germ during the milling process. All-purpose flour is made from hard wheats or a combination of soft and hard wheat from which the home baker can make a complete range of satisfactory baked products such as yeast breads, cakes, cookies, pastries and noodles.

Enriched All-Purpose Flour has iron and B-vitamins added in amounts equal to or exceeding that of whole wheat flour.

Bleached Enriched All-Purpose Flour is treated with chlorine to mature the flour, condition the gluten and improve the baking quality. The chlorine evaporates and does not destroy the nutrients but does reduce the risk of spoilage or contamination.

Unbleached Enriched All-Purpose Flour is bleached by oxygen in the air during an aging process and is off-white in color. Nutritionally, bleached and unbleached flour are the same.

Bread Flour

Bread flour, from the endosperm of the wheat kernel, is milled primarily for commercial bakers but is also available at retail outlets. Although similar to all-purpose flour, it has a greater gluten strength and generally is used for yeast breads.

Self-Rising Flour

Self-rising flour is an all-purpose flour with salt and leavening added. One cup of self-rising flour contains 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Self-rising flour can be substituted for all-purpose flour in a recipe by reducing salt and baking powder according to those proportions.

Whole Wheat Flour

Whole wheat flour is a course-textured flour ground from the entire wheat kernel and thus contains the bran, germ and endosperm. The presence of bran reduces gluten development. Baked products made from whole wheat flour tend to be heavier and denser than those made from white flour.

Other Flours

Cake Flour - Milled from soft wheat. Especially suitable for cakes, cookies, crackers and pastries. Low in protein and gluten.

Pastry Flour - Milled from a soft, low gluten wheat. Comparable in protein but lower in starch than cake flour.

Gluten Flour - Used by bakers in combination with flours having a low protein content because it improves the baking quality and produces gluten bread of high protein content.

Semolina- Coarsely ground endosperm of durum wheat. High in protein. Used in high quality pasta products.

Durum Flour - By-product of semolina production. Used to make commercial U.S. noodles.

Farina - Coarsely ground endosperm of hard wheats. Prime ingredient in many U.S. breakfast cereals. Also used in the production of inexpensive pasta.

Minnesota Association of Wheat Growers

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