Pharaoh (a propriety brand name) is an ancient type of wheat related to the durum variety used in modern bread making. It is believed to have originated in the Middle East around ancient Persia (modern Iran) hence the choice of names. In the same vein it also goes under other propriety names including Kamut and Egyptian Gold. The plant’s scientific name is Triticum turgidum, subspecies turanicum, and it is also known as Khorosan wheat (from the name of a province in Iran).
Our Pharaoh wheat is grown organically in Australia since it is well suited to this method of farming. It has not undergone the genetic improvements that have produced high-yielding strains of modern wheat but have at the same time often diminished the plants’ natural resistance and hardiness.
Compared to common wheat, Pharaoh is richer in protein (by between 15% and 40%), minerals such as magnesium and zinc, Vitamin Bs and Vitamin E and unsaturated fatty acids, but contains a little less dietary fibre. It also provides much energy and is appreciated by people with active lifestyles. It is easy to digest and is generally well tolerated by those with a sensitivity to gluten. Our Pharaoh flour is not refined or bleached, and thus retains all its nutritional qualities although we have sifted out the heavier bran content so it has the appearance & characteristics of a white flour.
Pharaoh flour has a mild, somewhat sweet taste. It can be substituted for wheat in any recipe and is used to make bread, cookies, crackers, cakes, muffins, crepes, pasta and breakfast cereal.
The grain is nearly twice the size of normal wheat and we believe that the modern Durum Wheat is developed from this wheat. It produces a high protein flour and has a sweet, nutty flavour, and is excellent for pasta and bread. Pharaoh Flour has similar properties to Spelt flour and can be tolerated by many people with wheat sensitivities (see below). The outer hull of the grain is also much harder that the modern hybrid wheat grains and which wear out the modern high speed stainless steel grinders used in all the modern mills. As the wheels are expensive to replace these mills refuse to process these older varieties with their hard hulls.
Wholegrain milling in NSW which is a fully accredited Demeter Flour mill process all of Pureharvest ‘s grain. They still uses the traditional Stone wheels that are so much better suited to milling ancient grains such as Spelt, Pharaoh, Einkorn & Emmer which are all members of the grass genus Triticum.
Nutritional Information per 100g
Fat total 3.00g
In contrast with more modern forms of wheat (hybrids), there is evidence that the gliadin protein of Pharaoh as a member of the triticum genus may not be as toxic to sufferers of coeliac disease. However it has yet to be formally recommended in any gluten-free diet.
The Gentle Grain
The Pharaoh grain is one of the oldest known to man and has a great number of advantages over normal wheat for many people with wheat intolerance.
It is extremely gentle to the digestive system and many people who experience a variety of symptoms such as bloating, indigestion and rashes (often associated with wheat gluten) find that Pharaoh is the ideal alternative. These syptoms are often features of the condition commonly known as Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
In addition Pharaoh has 0% fructose. This is vital to those who suffer from fructose malabsorption. However a rider on this point is that although Pharaoh wheat contains no fructose it can be the case that its not always the fructose that that is the issue here but rather the fructans - which are a type of fructose molecule. Ancient forms of wheat still contain fructans even though they don't contain fructose. For more specific information on this matter I refer you to the following link: http://www.med.monash.edu/cecs/gastro/fodmap/
Pharaoh has a rich, buttery flavour and excellent texture, crust and crumb. It has a sweet taste with no hint of bitterness.
The grain is packed full of energy and the protein levels are up to 40% higher than that of normal wheat.
Pharaoh is higher in 8 out of the 9 minerals found in wheat.
It is rich in B-Vitamins (needed for energy release) and in iron and folic acid, (essential in red blood cell formation) and high in dietary fibre.
Pharaoh contains significantly more of the natural antioxidant selenium and is 30% higher in vitamin E. This grain also contains up to 65% more amino acids as well as greater quantities of lipids and fatty acids.
We have many customers who find their digestive system simply cannot tolerate wheat but find that Pharaoh enables them make breads, cakes, scones and all those other items that they have been missing out on.
The maxim is.- if you can make it with wheat, you can make it with Pharaoh.
This includes pasta and pizza base.
Our experience with customer feed back is that Pharaoh is even gentler to the digestive system than spelt.
For the technically minded.
A substantial amount of research has been conducted regarding wheat sensitivity and Pharaoh. Conclusions are that "For most wheat sensitive people, kamut grain can be an excellent substitute for common wheat."
Studies conducted tested two wheat sensitive populations - those with delayed immune responses and those with immediate immune responses.
In the delayed immune response group, 70% showed greater sensitivity to common wheat than Pharaoh grain
In the immediate immune response group (the severely allergic) 70% had no, or only minor, reaction to Pharaoh grain.
We are not aware of research done with those suffering from a total gluten intolerance (such as those suffering from coeliac disease) so make no recommendations.
In these cases we believe it is best to obtain your own medical advice.
Should you have a total gluten intolerance such as coeliac disease, there are products listed on this site which are likely to suit your needs. These can be found in the gluten free product section.
For general baking purposes Pharaoh provides a lighter and more tender baked product than wholemeal wheats.