The protein quality of parched immature Durum wheat (frekeh) produced from Deir Alla-2 variety was evaluated. Frekeh from two maturity stages was used: one at the end of the milk stage (F1) and the other at the end of the dough stage (F6). Two animal experiments were carried out in which net protein utilisation (NPU) was determined for the two samples and for mature wheat using Sprague Dawley rats, the first for 12 and the second for 11 days. Additionally, the chemical scores for these cereals were calculated.
The results indicated that the protein of F1 was of higher quality than that of F6 or mature wheat; the protein efficiency ratio adjusted values for F1, F6 and wheat were respectively 2.70, 1.93 and 1.45, and the NPUop values were 53, 46 and 44 respectively. There was agreement between these results and the chemical score values as they were 54, 41 and 42 for F1, F6 and wheat respectively. There was a significantly higher voluntary intake of cereal-based diets in comparison with the casein-based diet (P <0.05).
Thus it is shown that frekeh produced from wheat harvested at an early stage of maturity was of higher protein quality than that produced at a late stage of maturity or mature wheat.