What is Triticale?

Triticale is a protein-rich hybrid grain produced by crossing wheat (female parent) and rye (male parent). Triticale is mostly grown as a fodder or forage crop but can also be consumed in form of whole or cracked grain, Triticale flakes or flour. Like wheat, Triticale is not gluten-free and it has a less assertive flavour, compared to rye.

Triticale is also used in several products for example the Kashi 7 grain crunchy bars with quinoa (sold in Walmart). So far I googled and only manage to find it sold by Bob’s Red Mill. I will try and see if my local store stocks it. To make the flour buy the whole grain and mill it yourself.

The main producers are Poland, Germany, Belarus, France and Russia, but it’s also cultivated in several countries worldwide. (WIKI)

Triticale was first developed in 1875 when a Scottish scientist crossed wheat with rye in the hope of creating a grain with good baking qualities and high yield from wheat and robust growing habit and high protein content from rye. Unfortunately the seeds from this initial crossing were sterile and could not grow. (The Wellness Encyclopedia of Food and Nutrition).

In 1937, a French researcher produced a fertile cross between wheat and rye. The new grain was called Triticale, coined from the generic names of wheat (Triticum) and rye (Secale). (The Wellness Encyclopedia of Food and Nutrition).

Several research is currently undergoing in Universities and International research centres like CIMMYT (International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center) to improve the quality of the hybrid grain.

Nutrition Facts of Triticale

Currently Triticale is mostly used for animal feed but can also be bought in health food stores for human consumption.

Depending on the growing conditions, Triticale can have 14-20% protein content by weight. It also has enough gluten, so can be used in baking bread.  (The Wellness Encyclopedia of Food and Nutrition).

Nutrition wise, Triticale has more thiamine and folacin than its original parents, wheat or rye, but has less niacin and B6.  (The Wellness Encyclopedia of Food and Nutrition).

Triticale can be bought in health food stores or bulk food stores in the following forms:

Cracked Triticale

Has a shorter cooking time than the whole grains. You can also buy whole grains and make cracked grains by coarsely chopping the whole grains in a blender.

Whole grain (Berries)

Whole grains have the germ and bran layer intact. They are twice as large as wheat.

Triticale Flakes

These are similar to oat flakes. The whole grain is steamed under high temperatures and then flattened using steel rollers.

How to Cook Triticale

In order to cook the whole grain (berries), you have to soak them overnight in the fridge (The Wellness Encyclopedia of Food and Nutrition).

To cook Triticale grains, you need 3 cups water for every cup grain. Simmer it for for 1 hour 45 minutes.

To make the boiled grains more flavourful you can toast them in a little oil until they brown, before adding water and cooking.

Culinary Use of Triticum

You can use them in recipes calling for wheat or bulgar or just boil them and use them as a side dish like rice or add them to long stewing soups and stews.

Cracked triticale can be used to make Tabbouleh; cracked or whole can be cooked like Pilaf or used to make stuffing for fish or poultry

Cooked grains can be added to ground beef , meatballs or meat loaf to stretch the meat.


Author: Liz

I love everything food: eating, cooking, baking and travelling. I also love photography and nature.

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