Is Durum Wheat Whole? Ask Annie

Dear Annie,
I always buy whole wheat noodles and I was looking at the ingredients and one package said it had “100 Percent Durum Wheat,” and the other said “100 Percent Whole Wheat.” What is the difference between the two, and which one is better for you? Thank you for your time. –Debra, MS

Hi Debra,
Even though 100 percent durum wheat isn’t as dark of a color as something labeled “whole wheat,” it actually is a coarsely ground whole grain. Durum wheat is a class of wheat. Note that “whole semolina” is also 100 percent durum wheat, just by another name. Durum wheat is preferred for pasta because it is high in protein, dense and strong. You are absolutely right to want to go for the 100 percent whole grain, because it contains the entire wheat berry and the full spectrum of nutrients and fiber. “White” pasta is refined and processes out much of the nutritional value.

Learn more about wheat foods at and on their Grain Blog.


Sumita Chatterjee

thanks for the information

J.L. A.
JL A.3 years ago

good to know

Donna Hamilton
Donna Hamilton3 years ago


Chris R.
Chris R.4 years ago


Chris R.
Chris R.4 years ago


Robert O.
Robert O.5 years ago

Thanks Annie.

May Howie
may Howie5 years ago


Lady Kaira
None None5 years ago

didn't know that thanks

Jennifer C.
Past Member 5 years ago

Thanks for sharing.

Larissa L.
Larissa Lu.6 years ago

The language is tricky, because while something can be made 100% out of wheat, does that always mean 100% of the wheat kernel is used to make it?

Based on the below information semolina is ground from the endosperm of the durum only.

When durum is milled, the endosperm is ground into a granular product called semolina.

The starchy endosperm accounts for about 83 percent of the grain’s weight. Most of the protein and carbohydrates are stored in the endosperm, as are some minerals and B vitamins (though less than are in the bran). This layer also has some dietary fiber; for example, about 25 percent of the fiber in wheat is found in the endosperm. In wheat, the endosperm is the part of the grain used to make white flour.