Frequently asked questions about cereals
Why are there black dots in some cereal, legume or oilseed batches?
The presence of foreign seeds cannot be fully excluded for organic cereal products despite an intense work effort during the growth phase and thorough cleaning measures; products with optical deviations can also not be totally avoided.
The color of a grain or a seed kernel in cereals, legumes and oilseeds may vary from one harvest to the next due to many different factors such as soil type, climate and weather. Since we cooperate with many small peasant farmers in different growing regions around the world, the produce is exposed to a variety of conditions that may also result in natural color variations. Extreme weather conditions may result in strong optical changes; affected grain kernels and seeds are very difficult to separate at justifiable economic costs. Since we value a long-term, economic cooperation with our small peasant farmers we also purchase their yield in difficult years and try to process the products as best as possible.
Organic agriculture uses no herbicides. Therefore, weed seeds that have similar weights or sizes as grain kernels or seeds are very difficult to sort out.
Naturally, such products have to undergo very intense quality control checks and are only marketed if the problem is purely an optical problem and there are no other restrictions with respect to taste or nutritional quality.
We constantly try to improve our mechanical cleaning systems. However, due to physical limitations (an amaranth kernel has a size of only 0.5 mm) this is very difficult at times.
What is gluten?
Gluten is a special protein that is found in wheat, rye, barley and oat grains. The gluten structure in the different cerals differs only slightly from each other.
Gluten is important for the baking properties of flour. When gluten protein is moistened, it can bind three times its weight onto water. When it binds onto water molecules, gluten becomes rubber-like and elastic. Gluten filaments pervade bread dough like a skeleton ensuring that a finely-porous, soft dough is formed that maintains the dough shape when the bread is baked. The excellent baking properties of wheat are owed to wheat gluten that has quantitatively and qualitatively the best quality.
Some people have a metabolic disease and have allergic reactions to gluten protein. People with so-called celiac sprue or celiac disease have a lifelong gluten intolerance that manifests itself as a chronic disorder of the small intestines either already during childhood or later in adult age. Since these people have an intolerance against gluten protein they should follow a gluten-free diet.
The following cereals are gluten-free in their unprocessed states: rice, corn, millet, buckwheat, amaranth and quinoa.
What is Cous-cous?
Cous-cous comes originally from the Middle East and Northern Africa. For its preparation, durum wheat semolina is precooked, pressed into small beads and dried.
Similar to boulgour, cous-cous can be used in many different ways. Chickpeas are an ideal and traditional supplement of cous-cous. Cous-cous is a popular side dish that is served with oriental meals, savory sauces or cold in salads.
Preparation basic recipe:
Bring 250 g cous-cous with approximately 375 ml milk or water to a boil, remove from stove and let soak for 10 minutes.
What is boulgour?
Boulgour is made from durum wheat. The grains are soaked in water, partially peeled and precooked in water vapor. Subsequently, the grains are dried and broken, creating the irregular, smaller bouldour grains. Boulgour can be used in many different ways and can be used in meals instead of rice, millet and other cereals. Use for patties, in casseroles or simply cooked in vegetable broth.
Preparation basic recipe:
Bring 250 g boulgour with approximately 375 ml water to a boil and let simmer for approximately 15 minutes.