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Is Durum Wheat Whole? Ask Annie

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.

Read more: Food, Ask Annie, Basics, Eating for Health, , , ,

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Annie B. Bond

Annie is a renowned expert in non-toxic and green living. She was named one of the top 20 environmental leaders by Body and Soul Magazine and "the foremost expert on green living." - Body & Soul Magazine, 2009. Learn Annie's latest eco-friendly news on, a website dedicated to healthy and green living.


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5:10AM PST on Jan 19, 2013

thanks for the information

3:27PM PST on Jan 17, 2013

good to know

10:06AM PST on Jan 17, 2013


9:11AM PDT on Nov 5, 2011


9:11AM PDT on Nov 5, 2011


12:30AM PDT on Aug 30, 2011

Thanks Annie.

1:48PM PDT on Aug 28, 2011


5:23AM PDT on Aug 28, 2011

didn't know that thanks

6:34AM PDT on Aug 3, 2011

Thanks for sharing.

7:54AM PDT on Jun 22, 2010

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.

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