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Foods -- Breads and Grains

What is spelt flour?

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Spelt is a grain that is used as a substitute for individuals who are allergic to wheat. Spelt was grown in Europe over 9,000 years ago. This grain is not widely used because of its lower yield in comparison to wheat and the need to mechanically de-hull the grain before milling. It can be substituted in any recipe for wheat flour. Individuals who have used it state that it works better than any other wheat flour substitute. Its only disadvantage is that it imparts a yellowish color. It can be substituted 1:1 in recipes calling for wheat flour. Spelt flour does contain gluten. Therefore it may not be an answer for people with allergies to gluten. Often it is hard to determine if the allergic reaction is to gluten or wheat. We need to be very careful when sharing information on allergies and food sensitivities.

PREPARED BY: Angela M. Fraser, Ph.D., Associate Professor/Food Safety Specialist, NC State University in July 2004

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