Verein für Kulturpflanzenentwicklung, Hombrechtikon

Identification of spelt and wheat by means of electrophoresis

2004 a classification system for spelt was introduced in Switzerland. It should differ spelt from spelt that is crossed with wheat an sell them separately, mainly out of economic political interests. Besides the naming/denomination of its origin and morphological criterions the gliadin-pattern is used for the classification of spelt varieties. A band in the ω-gliadin and two bands in the α-gliadin should point out the in-crossing with wheat. Intern extensive analysis with A-PAGE on 58 wheat varieties and 249 spelt varieties show that the ω-gliadin band can be called typical for wheat, the two α-gliadin bands however can appear in wheat as well as in spelt. Within the current valid order the A-PAGE leads by “clean” spelt in 18% of the tested samples to the wrong B-classification and in 52% of the cases to a false A-classification of spelt with wheat in-crossing. This shows that the A-PAGE is not qualified to proof a wheat in-crossing in spelt. Therefor, regarding the lacking scientific proof that spelt is more easily digestible than wheat for the consumer, the authors advocate for different criterions to classify spelt.

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