What’s the Difference Between Durum Wheat vs Whole Wheat?

The difference between durum wheat vs whole wheat is that durum wheat is usually refined while whole wheat is a whole grain type. Wheat is among the top three most widely used grains in the world …

durum wheat vs whole wheat

The difference between durum wheat vs whole wheat is that durum wheat is usually refined while whole wheat is a whole grain type.

Wheat is among the top three most widely used grains in the world along with rice and corn. It hasn’t reached this top recognition for nothing. Wheat isn’t just about flour, pasta, or bread but more than its culinary functions, its health benefits are surely worth writing about.

This article will let you know the types of wheat including the differences between durum wheat vs whole wheat and all about what is durum wheat semolina. You will also learn about the nutrients that these two types of wheat can provide to you.

All About Durum Wheat and Whole Wheat 

There isn’t too much difference between durum wheat and whole wheat but we can’t be so sure unless we dive into each of their definitions:

What is Durum Wheat?

Durum wheat is a strain of wheat that is refined (unless it says whole grain). Durum wheat is very hard, which facilitates a high yield of semolina. Durum wheat has a higher content of protein which makes it the main ingredient to produce pasta, bread, bulgur, couscous and noodles. 

Durum wheat semolina is what milled durum wheat yields when broken into fairly uniform fragments and coarsely ground to produce a good paste texture. Semolina is the flour that’s ground from the endosperm of durum wheat which is pale-yellow, coarse flour. 

Durum wheat:

What is Whole Wheat?

Whole wheat from the name itself belongs to the whole grain classification. Whole wheat is healthier than durum wheat (refined grain) as its three main parts (namely the bran, germ and endosperm) stay intact which are the core provider of the nutrients that grains possess. Whole wheat is also called bread wheat or common wheat.

Whole wheat:

What’s The Difference Between Durum Wheat vs Whole Wheat

The difference between durum wheat vs whole wheat is that durum wheat is usually refined wheat meaning, its core parts are removed during the process while whole wheat is a whole grain type which means, the bran, germ and endosperm remain intact which contain all the essential nutrients of a grain. More comparisons and differences are listed below:

natural organic semolina

Origin and Production

Durum wheat with a scientific name, Triticum turgidum, was one of the first crops to be domesticated from the Levant Region of the Near East and the Ethiopian Highlands about 10,000 years ago. China tops the list of the main producers of wheat worldwide, according to worldpopulationreview.com, for the current year. 

Meanwhile, whole wheat, or Triticum aestivum, is said to have originated in the “cradle of civilization” in the Tigris and Euphrates river valleys, near what is now Iraq. Wheat is used for white bread, pastries, pasta, and pizza, and has been the principal cereal crop since the 18th century.

Culinary Uses of Durum Wheat and Whole Wheat 

The hardness of durum wheat facilitates a high yield of semolina. Uniformly-sized semolina is the highly preferred ingredient for producing premium pasta and couscous. Other food products that are made of durum wheat include spaghetti, ravioli, and linguini. Durum wheat semolina can also be used to make semolina cake, cookies, and puddings.

Whole wheat almost has similar culinary uses to durum wheat, the difference could be the fact that since whole wheat is softer than durum wheat, it is more suitable to make bread as its starch content has a more ability to ferment and rise. Whole wheat is commonly transformed into wheat flour to make different dishes such as bread, roti, paratha, pasta, and noodles. 

Tastes and Texture

Durum wheat and whole wheat have almost similar tastes and textures. You cannot easily distinguish them, especially when they are already used to produce their byproducts. However, the distinctive factor that sets them apart is that durum wheat is harder than whole wheat. Because of that fact, more thorough grinding is required to produce flour, which damages some of its starch content.

Health Benefits of Durum Wheat and Whole Wheat

Foods rich in fiber

As they are both from wheat, generally, they both contain nutrients, vitamins and minerals that a typical grain has. Both contain essential nutrients including folate, which is an important component of pregnancy. It is also rich in and higher in lutein, which improves one’s eye health. They are also high in fiber which provides a lot of health benefits such as it helps control your blood sugar levels and lowering cholesterol. It also can lower your risk of colorectal cancer and helps your bowel movements. 

These types of wheat are also iron-rich foods that can aid those who have anemia. The distinguishing feature between these two when it comes to nutrients is that Durum wheat, however, is unavoidably created from a more grinding process thus losing some of its essential nutrients and therefore contains lower value than whole wheat.

Is durum wheat semolina healthy?

Yes, it definitely is. Durum wheat is rich in vitamin B, Iron, copper, zinc, and antioxidants. It also contains high dietary fiber that helps regulate our metabolism and make us feel full easily thus, lessens our desire to eat more. 

Durum wheat semolina:


Health experts recommend a certain amount of nutrients that our body needs on a daily basis. Some would opt for food supplements including synthetic vitamins to aid their deficiency of these nutrients. While it might be recommended by their specialists, you might want to reconsider that the vitamins and minerals that both of these wheat offers, can actually suffice the nutrients that we need, with proper amounts and enough servings. 

Durum wheat and whole wheat may be different in their uses and texture but they both are indeed healthy and work well in their own suits.