Out of the three gluten containing grains, wheat, rye, and barley, wheat is the one most commonly found in foods. But did you know that there are several types of wheat?
Thanks to the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act, all forms of wheat have to be listed as wheat. That makes label reading much easier for us. However, it doesn’t mean that you won’t see the types of wheat listed by their lesser known names or get questions from family or friends about them.
When I was diagnosed 11 years ago, it was common for health food store employees to tell you that you could eat spelt. While that form of wheat might be easier for some people to digest, if you have celiac disease or a gluten sensitivity, it is off limits.
Here is a list of types of wheat or other names for wheat. They all contain gluten.
Bulgur – a form of wheat that has been parboiled, dried, and cracked
Couscous – dried granules of semolina (see below)
Durum – a type of wheat
Einkorn – a type of wheat
Emmer – a type of wheat
Farro – a type of wheat
Kamut – a type of wheat
Semolina – a granular product of durum wheat
Spelt – a type of wheat
Triticale – a hybrid cross between wheat & rye
Triticum – the Latin name for wheat
As I said, in the United States these forms of wheat have to be declared on food labels as wheat. That means you might see something like this on a box of pasta: “Durum (Wheat) Semolina.” Or it might have a list of ingredients, then a statement that says, “Contains wheat ingredients.”
I think it is helpful to be familiar with these types of wheat, though. That way when someone says, “You can eat spelt.” You can answer them, “No, I can’t. Spelt it a type of wheat and contains gluten.”
Can you think of any names for wheat that I have missed?