Wheat for Storage

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“Wheat for Storage,” Ensign, Mar. 1974, 61

Wheat for Storage

Buying Wheat

The ideal wheat for storage is clean, (free from dirt, grass, chaff, insects, or other foreign material), hard, and low in moisture.

The hardness of wheat is determined by its protein content—above 12 percent qualifies.

Most wheat protein is gluten, which is necessary to make good bread. Therefore, storage wheat should be as high in protein as possible. Soft wheats, with lower protein content, are generally used for nonbread products such as cakes.

The moisture content of the wheat is also important in storage. Fresh wheat may have a moisture content of 14–16 percent; weevils and insects can survive if the moisture is above 10 percent. In humid climates the wheat will need to be “dried” with heat or CO2.

The wheat vendor should know the wheat’s cleanness, protein content, and moisture level.

Using Wheat

The whole wheat will usually need to be ground or cracked before it is used in the home. Cracked wheat or a coarse meal can be made easily with a hand grinder and used in bread by mixing it, half and half, with white flour. Some home blenders will grind the whole wheat. Electric grain mills for the home make excellent flour and usually can be adjusted to make cracked wheat or meal.

Kay B. Frantz
Brigham Young University
Department of Food Science and Nutrition