Triticum monococcum is the domesticated form of einkorn wheat, also know as einkorn farro. The wild form of einkorn is called Triticum boeoticum.
Einkorn is a German word that literally means “one kernel”. This unique grain gets its name from the single (one) kernel per spikelet, or husks containing kernels on the head of the grain plant.
Einkorn wheat has a very simple diploid genetic structure, with only 14 chromosomes compared with the hexaploid genetic structure in modern wheat containing 42 chromosomes.
The attractiveness of the einkorn grain to dieticians and health conscious consumers is its nutritional benefits over other types of wheat. Since wheat is such a large contributor to our diets, eating a wheat high in nutrition can greatly contribute to health.
Compared with modern wheat, Einkorn is:
- 2 times higher in Vitamin A (retinol equivalents) – helps with eye & reproductive organ health, and may prevent many cancers.
- 3 to 4 times more beta-carotene – immunity booster, helps prevent cancer and heart disease
- 3 to 4 times more lutein – macular degeneration and cataract prevention
- 4-5 times more riboflavin – create energy in the body and slows aging as an antioxidant
See the full nutritional matrix comparing 19 types of wheat (pdf), including einkorn wheat. This matrix also includes my sources and references.