Processing and bread-making quality profile of spanish spelt wheat
Spelt wheat (Triticum aestivum L. ssp. spelta Thell.) is an ancient wheat that has been widely cultivated for hundreds of years. Recently, this species has been neglected in most of Europe; however, the desire for more natural and traditional foods has driven a revival of the crop. In the current study, eighty-eight traditional spelt genotypes from Spain, together with nine common wheat cultivars and one modern spelt (cv. Anna Maria) were grown during a period of two years in Andalucia (southern Spain). In each, several traits were measured in to evaluate their milling, processing, and end-use quality (bread-making). The comparison between species suggested that, in general, spelt and common wheat showed differences for most of the measured traits; on average, spelt genotypes had softer grains, higher protein content (14.3 vs. 11.9%) and gluten extensibility (alveograph P/L 0.5 vs. 1.8), and lower gluten strength (alveograph W 187 vs. 438 × 10−4 J). In the baking test, both species showed similar values. Nevertheless, the analysis of this set of spelt genotypes showed a wide range for all measured traits, with higher values than common wheat in some spelt genotypes for some traits. This opens up the possibility of using these materials in future breeding programs, to develop either new spelt or common wheat cultivars.