A high protein man-made grain produced by crossbreeding wheat and rye for the intended purpose of duplicating the protein and bread-making merits of wheat and the durability and high lysine content of rye. Pronounced “trit-i-KAY-lee”, the name is a combination of the Latin botanical names of wheat and rye – “triti,” referring to triticum for wheat and “cale”, referring to secale for rye. Experimentation began in the late 19th Century, but triticale was not perfected until the mid 20th Century and the first commercial variety did not go on the market until after 1970. For all of the time and effort in research and experimentation, triticale still has not caught on with the general public.

The plant looks like wheat, but the heads are larger and the grain resembles wheat or rye kernels. Triticale is able to adapt to a variety of climates ranging from temperate to tropical. The grain doesn’t taste like rye, but it has a stronger, nuttier flavor than wheat. It is a delicious ingredient for breads and other baked goods.

Triticale combines the nutritional benefits of both wheat and rye. The protein content of triticale is closer to that of wheat than rye, but it actually contains more protein than wheat and it also contains a high level of lysine that is common in rye. There is a greater quantity of folic acid, pantothenic acid, copper, and vitamin B6 in triticale than in wheat, but a lesser quantity of niacin. Triticale is also an important source of iron, thiamin, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc and it is rich in fiber.

Triticale flour contains less gluten than wheat flour so when baking yeast breads, it can be combined with wheat flour for the best results. It can be substituted in equal portions for recipes requiring either wheat or rye. Triticale products include whole grain berries, flour, breads, and breakfast cereals.

USDA Nutrition Facts


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