Triticale is a cereal grain created by plant breeders. In the 1950s, plant geneticists hoped that a cross fertilisation of wheat and rye would produce a cereal with superior yield. The hardiness and disease resistance of rye was combined with the milling and baking qualities of wheat.
In 1970, the first commercial variety of triticale went on sale and triticale bread, flour and breakfast cereals became available. Triticale was hyped as a miracle crop during this time, but initial interest faded when crops were inconsistent and acceptance was slow. As such, triticale has not achieved its objectives to dominate as a grain for food production. Today in Australia triticale is found in a range of grain foods and is consumed by humans.
Nutrition credentials of whole grain triticale:
- Similar to wheat, with 13% protein, but lower in lysine and niacin.
- Lower in protein complex which forms gluten.
- A good source of phosphorus and magnesium and a very good source of manganese.
- Contains B-group vitamins, most notably thiamin and folate.
Main culinary uses of triticale:
- Triticale flour – can be used to make biscuits, rye-type crispbreads, cakes and muffins. The flavour and texture of breads made from Triticale are similar to that of light rye bread.
- Triticale flakes – whole grain triticale is pressed and rolled, which than may be used like rolled oats to make a hot breakfast cereal or substituted for rolled oats in recipes (e.g. in cookies and muffins).