Senay Simsek Research Website


A Kernel of Wheat

Wheat kernel diagram

  • The wheat kernel is 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.
  • Endosperm is about 83% of the kernel weight and the source of white endosperm flour. The endosperm contains the greatest share of protein, carbohydrates, and iron, as well as B-vitamins such as riboflavin, niacin.  It is also a source of soluble fiber.
  • Bran is about 14% 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, trace minerals, and dietary fiber – primarily insoluble.
  • Germ is about 2.5% of the kernel weight. The germ is the embryo or sprouting section of the seed. It is often separated from flour because the fat content (10%) limits shelf life. The germ contains minimal quantities of high quality protein and a greater share of B-complex vitamins and trace minerals. Wheat germ is part of whole wheat flour and can be purchased separately.


Wheat Quality & Carbohydrate Research
Department of Plant Sciences
NDSU Dept. 7670
PO Box 6050
Fargo , ND 58108-6050
166 Loftsgard Hall
(701) 231-7737
Fax: (701) 231-8474
Site Manager: Senay Simsek
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