Craggs & Co has expanded its range of ancient grains with the addition of einkorn, emmer and rye.

The company, which said it is the only UK commercial producer of 100% British ancient grain products, has supplied spelt wheat since 2015 in a variety of formats. It will now offer einkorn, emmer (see below) and rye in grain, flour, pearled, kibbled and flaked formats as well.

  • Einkorn: Einkorn is thought to be one of the most ancient wheat varieties available today. It is grown in marginally fertile areas, and some farmers are bringing the drought-tolerant crop back into production. Studies show that, compared to modern wheat, it is higher in protein, phosphorus, potassium and beta-carotene, among other nutrients.
  • Emmer: Also known as farro, this is an ancient strain of wheat. It is one of the first cereals to be domesticated and was served as a daily ration to the Roman legions. By the beginning of the 20th century, higher-yielding wheat strains had replaced emmer almost everywhere.

“Our aim is to supply our customers with the highest-quality British-grown ancient grains. We are already displacing imported spelt and rye wheat and we know that emmer and einkorn will follow suit,” said managing director Stephen Craggs.

“We are also finding customers replacing traditional flour with our ancient grain flour. Adding a percentage of ancient grains to their finished product gives them a great marketing opportunity. They can then promote their products with all of the key messages that are on-trend for today’s consumers, such as increased protein and fibre, good gut health, along with British provenance.”

Ancient grains have boomed in popularity in recent years, added Craggs, due to their naturally higher fibre intake and protein content.

For example, they feature heavily in Paul Rhodes Bakery’s new Mastercrafted range and Gail’s also recently added an einkorn and whey sourdough loaf to its portfolio.

Craggs added that, in the past, manufacturers and bakers have struggled to include ancient grains in their products as they were heavily reliant on imported grain, with fluctuating quality and price. Craggs said it has invested in its infrastructure to ensure it can supply the UK with large quantities of consistently high-quality, British-grown ancient grain at a stable price.

British Baker subscribers can find out more about the types of ancient grains available, and how to incorporate them into baked products, by reading our latest feature ‘Ancient grains: Bakers rediscover the wisdom of the ancients’.