Whole-wheat flour (wholemeal flour in the UK) is a powdery substance, a basic food ingredient, derived by grinding or mashing the whole grain of wheat
, also known as the wheatberry. Whole-wheat flour is used in baking of breads
and other baked goods, and also typically mixed with other lighter "white" unbleached or bleached flours (that have been treated with flour bleaching agent(s)) to restore nutrients to the white flours (especially fiber
, and vitamins
), texture, and body that are lost in milling and other processing to the finished baked goods or other food(s).
The word "whole" refers to the fact that all of the grain (bran, germ, and endosperm) is used and nothing is lost in the process of making the flour. This is in contrast to white, refined flours, which contain only the endosperm. Because the whole flour contains the remains of all of the grain, it has a textured, brownish appearance.
White whole wheat flour
White whole-wheat flour is flour milled from hard white spring wheat, rather than traditional red wheat. In the United Kingdom, whole-wheat flour is more commonly made from white wheat instead of red as in the United States and sold as Wholemeal Flour. The difference is that soft white wheat has a lower gluten content and also lacks the tannins and phenolic acid that red wheat contain, causing white whole wheat to appear and taste more like refined red wheat; it is whitish in color and does not taste bitter.
White whole wheat has almost the same nutrient content as red whole wheat. However, soft white whole wheat has a lower gluten content and contains a lower protein content (between 9% and 11%) when compared with harder wheats like red (15–16% protein content) or golden wheat
Whole-grain whole wheat flour is a full-flavored flour containing vitamins, minerals and protein. Whole-grain whole wheat flour is more nutritious than refined white flour, although white flour may, in a process called food fortification, have some micronutrients lost in processing added back to the white flour (required by law in some jurisdictions). Fortified white wheat flour does not, however, contain the macronutrients of the wheat's bran and germ (especially fiber and protein) like whole-grain flour does, and is notably lacking in fiber. Whole grain is a good source of calcium
, fiber, and other minerals like selenium.