Flour – Wheat: A Tear Down

Episode 2 of our flour series….

Wheat is a little seed, called kernel, that sits on top of a grass stalk. One stalk can have multiple wheat kernels. In fact, each little kernel is potential for a new stalk of wheat to grown. Inside each kernel are 3 main parts, germ, endosperm and bran.

Bran – its like our skin and clothes we put on. Its job is to protect the content inside from the weather and animals that may attack it. To do this, it is made of a tough material. The brown bits that you can see in wholemeal flour is mostly from the bran which is golden. This tougher material contains a lot of fibre, which is good for our health when we eat it.

Germ – Germ is where the core from which the baby wheat would have grown. As such it is high in protein, vitamins and minerals that the baby wheat would have needed to grow.

Endosperm – This makes up most of the wheat, sitting in between germ and bran, like a cushion. This is the part white flour comes from once the wheat is crushed. If you open a wheat up and zoom in, you will see mostly of this white powdery substance. It is also where the gluten (the stretchy component where bread and other baked goods get their texture) is located. Hence this is why most coeliac sufferers cannot eat wheat flour.

What is gluten free?

People who suffers from coeliac, gluten sensitivity has a digestive system that do not react well to gluten in food. If they eat lots of gluten, their guts will become irritated and can not absorb nutrients properly, amongst other consequences. Hence a lot of these people avoid gluten altogether to manage their condition.

Different people have different levels of sensitivity to the level of gluten in their diet. In Australia, for a food to be labelled gluten-free, they must not contain any detectable levels of gluten (which is different to rules in other developed countries). This means for most food makers having a gluten free recipe does not allow them to label the product as “gluten free”.

Why? If there are already trace levels of gluten in the air, preparation surface, walls (e.g. from a previous product that contains gluten), this can be transferred to the food. Usually, “gluten free” manufacturers have dedicated gluten free facilities to cater to this requirement.

This is why, due to our custom nature, while The Project Counter can use dietary requirement specific recipes in our cakes, we cannot offer specific “allergy free” products.