The Kernel of Wheat
Sometimes called the wheat berry, the kernel is the seed from which the wheat plant grows. Each tiny seed contains three distinct parts that are separated during the milling process to produce flour.
The endosperm comprises about 83 percent of the kernel weight and is the source of white flour. The endosperm contains the greatest share of protein, carbohydrates and iron, as well as the major B-vitamins such as riboflavin, niacin and thiamine. It is also a source of soluble fiber.
Bran makes up about fourteen and a half percent of the kernel weight. Bran is included in whole wheat flour and can also be bought separately. The bran contains a small amount of protein, large quantities of the three major B-vitamins, trace minerals and dietary fiber — primarily insoluble.
Germ is about two and a half percent of the kernel weight. The germ is the embryo — or sprouting section — of the seed, often separated from flour in milling because the fat content (10 percent) limits flour’s shelf-life. the germ contains minimal quantities of high quality protein and a greater share of B-complex vitamins and trace minerals. Wheat germ can be purchased separately and is part of whole wheat flour