A sunny field of Kamut

Khorasan wheat, like emmer/farro, einkorn, and spelt, is an ancient variety of wheat, meaning that it has been largely unchanged by breeding over the last several hundred years. The kernel of khorasan wheat is unusually large compared to other wheat varieties and it was the size of the grain that first caught the eye of 16-year-old Bob Quinn at a Montana county fair in the mid 1960s. Years later, Bob and his father, Mack, decided to track down the seed and start growing it themselves, organically.

A bowl full of Kamut grain

It turned out that this grain was unusual in more ways than one. Its sweet, nutty, buttery flavor was attracting interest from pasta makers, bakers, and consumers alike. Some consumers who thought they were sensitive to modern wheat began reporting that this ancient wheat variety seemed easier to digest, causing less gastrointestinal distress or inflammation than they typically experienced with wheat products. Recognizing that this ancient wheat variety had numerous culinary benefits, as well as potential health advantages, Bob decided to preserve this strain of wheat under a trademarked brand name, KAMUT®, which would protect it from being hybridized or modified. Prioritizing sustainable growing practices, Bob made it a condition of the trademark that any grain branded KAMUT® be grown organically, and that products made with KAMUT® grain or flour also be certified fully organic in order to use the KAMUT® name.

As Bob’s company began to grow, he became more interested in understanding the nutritional characteristics of the grain and began advocating for new research. A few years ago we wrote a blog post about one of the first human clinical trials done to test the effects of KAMUT® wheat versus modern wheat on human health. The study indicated that KAMUT® wheat may contribute to lowering cholesterol as well as reducing levels of certain markers of inflammation compared with modern wheat. While the study was very small (just 22 subjects), the results were compelling enough that a series of other studies have been launched in the convening years, studying the effect of khorasan and other ancient wheats on cardiovascular health, diabetes, irritable bowel syndrome, and non-celiac gluten sensitivity.

Photo of family with Kamut Cup trophy
Proud winners of the KAMUT® Cup trophy at the Farmer Appreciation Dinner

Whether because of the unique flavor of KAMUT® wheat, or because of the growing body of research about its nutritional attributes, or perhaps simply because of the posh, trendy position it holds as an ancient grain with a good story, commercial interest in KAMUT® has grown significantly in recent years, with companies from Patagonia to Kashi jumping on board. Today our Whole Grain Stamped product database includes more than a hundred KAMUT® brand products – from pastas, to breads, to cereals, to pilafs – sold by 38 different brands. And as more food manufacturers have started to incorporate this grain into their products, the community of farmers growing the crop in North America has grown to meet the increasing demand. Many of these farmers gather together each winter at the Kamut International Farmer Appreciation Dinner where awards are given, stories are exchanged and best practices are discussed.

If there’s one thing we love here at the WGC, it’s a room full of grainiacs sharing food and connecting with each other. If you and your graniac buddies haven’t yet added khorasan wheat to your culinary repertoire, the holiday baking season is the perfect time to give it a whirl. Wondering where to start? Check out these tips from King Arthur Flour for baking with KAMUT® wheat, and let us know how it goes! (Caroline)


Malinda Uhlenkott
I would like more information about Kamut. I lived in Eastern Europe for 2 years and found I didn't have my normal digestive problems. When I came back to America I felt sick immediately. I have been feeling great since I don't eat any wheat products anymore. I ate Kamut 3 different times and did not have any problems. I will continue to experiment with this grain.
Enjoy your KAMUT® adventure, Malinda! We're big fans of this grain.
Jamie Lockman
Dear Malinda: I frequently hear stories very similar to yours. Kamut International has a research program that includes data showing that people who suffer from eating regular wheat, can often eat KAMUT(R) wheat without the same issues. Please feel free to reach out to me at jamie.lockman@kamut.com and I can help you find products close to your home or direct you to online resources. Kind regards - Jamie Ryan Lockman Regional Director - North America Kamut International
Can a Celiac person eat this?
Hi Kim -- Unfortunately, those who suffer from celiac disease must avoid gluten altogether, so KAMUT®, which still contains gluten, is not an option for those with celiac disease.
how about fermenting the grains? search Vanessa Kimbell - UK , she has a whole school about doing the sourdoughs and she speaks of different grains
Sourdough is easier to digest than non-sourdough, but celiacs cannot consume gluten under any circumstances and khorasan wheat has a lot of gluten.
Ellenor et al B...
Absolutely not. It is a member of the triticeae, so it contains gluten to which someone with celiac disease would react and show the celiac sprue phenotype.
Keith Beardshear
Does the Kamut wheat variety work for irritable bowel syndrome?
Hi Keith -- We're aware of a study in British Journal of Nutrition (https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/british-journal-of-nutrition/article/effect-of-triticum-turgidum-subsp-turanicum-wheat-on-irritable-bowel-syndrome-a-doubleblinded-randomised-dietary-intervention-trial/B8F475DFF9F7085B9ACA7B20B1F36E35) that looked at the effects on IBS of replacing modern wheat with Kamut® wheat in the diet. Patients in the study did experience a decrease in the severity of their IBS symptoms when switching to Kamut®. It is important to note, however, that this study used a very small sample size (only 20 participants), so while the results are certainly promising, more research is needed to confirm the results.
Mary Massung
Over the past 10 years, I have begun experiencing digestive pain after consuming any form of bread...including naturally leavened bread. As a last resort, I decided to use Kamut grain. I ground my own and then fully fermented it using a kamut sourdough starter. I fully fermented the dough (water, flour, and sourdough starter) for 14 hours before baking the bread. I have not experienced any digestive pain when eating this bread. On several occasions, I have again tried eating both naturally leavened bread and organic bread. However, after eating it for several days, the digestive pain returned. I have tried combining the Kamut with Einkorn with success (no digestive problems). It would seem that I can easily digest diploids (Einkorn) and tetraploids (Kamut) but not hexaploids. I am 73 years old.
Chase Ambrose
Kamut is not an ancient grain. Tetraploid species that share the A and B genomes with common wheat are emmer (T. turgidum L. ssp. dicoccum Schrank ex Schübl.), durum [T. turgidum L. ssp. durum (Desf.) Husn.], rivet (T. turgidum L. ssp. turgidum), and Khorasan wheat [Triticum turgidum L. ssp. turanicum (Jakubz.) Á. Löve & D. Löve], for which one variety is marketed under the Kamut® trademark. Although durum wheat is not an ancient grain, but a free‐threshing grain primarily used for pasta, it will also be included in this discussion. Spelt [T. aestivum ssp. spelta (L.) Thell.] is a hulled species that shares A, B, and D genomes with common wheat. Reference: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/1541-4337.12129
Hi Chase – The article you’re referencing lists Kamut,® and Khorasan varieties in general, as tetraploid species (sharing only the A and B genomes found in common wheat). It states that these tetraploid species are ancient wheat relatives of common wheat. While there is no scientific definition of ancient grains, this article defines them in much the same way that we at the Whole Grains Council do, including varieties like einkorn, emmer, Khorasan (and Kamut®) among those in the “ancient grain” category.
Tony burton
I have been using this flour for my bread making for a number of years.. mixed with whole meal it makes a very sot and tasty bread.
where can I buy the kamut grain
Hi Peter -- You can buy Kamut berries and Kamut flour from many sellers online if you can't find it locally. Many of our member companies offer it for order through their websites, including Bob's Red Mill, Grain Place Foods, Organic Grains, Shiloh Farms, and To Your Health Sprouted Flour.
https://www.khorasanmills.com/ Least expensive price for Kamut wheat
Geoff Whistler
Hi, can I purchase Khorasan here in Australia to grow a crop for later harvesting.
Hi Geoff -- We suggest reaching out to the folks at Kamut International to get more information about where to buy seed. It looks like they have a resource on their site that lists "primary grain sources" including one in Australia: https://www.kamut.com/en/product?type=primary-grain-sources
David Moore
I buy mine from Terra Madre in Melbourne
David Crosswell
Yes, an outfit called Wholegrain Milling produce it and even if you are only a small quantity buyer, they will be happy to recommend a reseller. https://www.wholegrain.com.au/
Hi where can I buy Khorasan wheat seed to sow ? And how much dose it cost per tone ?
Hi Trevor -- The folks at Kamut International should be able to give you more information about where to buy seed. They have a resource on their site that lists "primary grain sources": https://www.kamut.com/en/product?type=primary-grain-sources
Adriana Osipyan
Hello. Could you recommend good suppliers of Kamut flour in Europe/Spain? Thanks
Hi Adriana -- You can try reaching out to the folks at Kamut International. They have lots of information on their website about where to find suppliers and manufacturers including a resource that lists companies and products by country. Here's the list for Spain: https://www.kamut.com/en/product?countries[]=SPAIN
I was told that einkorn wheat was the only wheat that was not hybridized. Can you tell me about that ? Also Does the Kamut wheat flour also have lower gluten than other wheat flours . I know Einkorn has much less ..
Hi Cathy – You’re right that einkorn wheat is the only wheat that has not been hybridized. Other wheats, like emmer, spelt, and Kamut are hybridizations (meaning they are a cross between two grain species). However, these “ancient wheats” came into existence thousands of years ago and have undergone very little change since then. In contrast, what we call “modern wheat” has been consistently bred and changed, which is why it’s not considered an ancient wheat. While modern varieties of wheat don’t have higher levels of glutens or fructans than their ancient and heirloom counterparts, different types of wheat have a different number of chromosomes, and some studies show that the older wheats, with fewer chromosomes, tend to have lower levels of gliadins, a type of gluten protein sometimes linked to sensitivities.
Kamut is not ancient grain?
Hi Jamie -- Yes, Kamut is an ancient grain! It's an ancient variety of wheat that it has been largely unchanged by breeding over the last several hundred years.
I would really like to experiment with Einkorn wheat however I cannot find one organic seed in Australia. Maybe some big companies are afraid that this sort of wheat will benefit people with modern wheat intolerance and they will need less medicines etc.
Dear Paul, We're excited to hear that you're interested in growing organic einkorn. We recommend reaching out to the agriculture department at your local university to see if they might have connections on the best way to procure the seeds. We also wonder if a US-based organization, such as the Northern Crops Institute or the Bread Lab at Washington State University may know of international colleagues working with organic einkorn. We love einkorn for both its health and culinary properties, but we do want to remind readers that because it is a wheat, it would not be safe for someone with celiac disease or a wheat allergy. If you suspect you may have a problem with wheat or certain foods, we highly recommend that you work with your physician and dietitian to find an eating plan that is safe for you.
what is kamut a hybrid of? which 2 types of ancient wheat? and what is emmer a hybrid of? is it a chain? emmer is a hybrid of einkorn and kamut a hybrid of emmer? is kamut less hybridised than spelt? where in the hybridised chain of ancient grains does kamut come in? also modern wheat does have higher gluten than ancient grains thats why they mustnt be kneaded to long or intensely and shouldnt rise to double cos of weaker gluten?
Thanks for your questions! No, research demonstrates that the gluten content of modern wheat is not higher than the gluten content of ancient wheat. To learn more about wheat breeding, wheat genetics over time, and how the varieties differ, we highly recommend that you view “Rooting out Fiction to See the Facts of Today’s Wheat” (34 minutes) by Dr. Brett Carver at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oyINabsNjok and “Wheat Sensitivities: Sorting Fact from Fiction” (54 minutes) from Dr. Lisa Kissing Kucek. Bob Quinn's book called "Grain by Grain: A Quest to Revive Ancient Wheat, Rural Jobs, and Healthy Food" is also a great resource if you're interested in learning more about KAMUT specifically.
Where can I find breakfast cereal and bread made from Khorasan?
The Kamut website tracks products to make it easier to find specific foods made with Kamut. This is a great place to start: https://www.kamut.com/finder
Kirk W. Becker
Speaking of cereal to Teresa I would mention "Nature's Path" organic "HERITAGE FLAKES" can be purchased at some Walmart Super Stores. It's a blend of KHORASAN WHEAT, OATS, SPELT, BARLEY, MILLET and QUINOA.

Add a Comment