Semolina is obtained from grains, usually durum wheat or soft wheat (also called farina), in a rather complex process. The milling process allows semolina to be ground to a specific size, either fine, medium, or coarse.
Soft wheat semolina (farina) is used to make hot cereals, desserts, cakes, and dumplings. It is also a good choice for making baby food and cereal for children. In Germany, you can buy farina for babies (Babygriess) that you can then stir into cold fluids. Since only steaming and milling are used in the production process, soft wheat semolina is easier to digest and farina for babies does not have to be cooked.
Durum wheat is ground into semolina flour and then used to make pasta. It is extremely high in gluten, which is why pasta made from semolina keeps its shape during cooking. Semolina flour is the preferred flour for pasta, but is also used in recipes for sweet desserts, dumplings, and soups.1
White wheat farina and semolina flour are available in many supermarkets and several online shops. It can, however, be more difficult to find whole grain varieties. An alternative is to find a similar product made from spelt, which is a grain closely related to white wheat. Farina for babies is sometimes enriched, and it is therefore important to make sure that it doesn’t contain any undesired ingredients.
Semolina’s quality is directly dependent upon the quality of the soft or durum wheat from which it is made. The nutritional profile varies depending on environmental conditions and cultural practices during "growing". On average, one 3.5 oz serving of semolina contains 360 calories, of which 290 are from carbohydrates. A serving of semolina also contains 12.7 grams of protein, is low in fat with approximately one gram of fat per serving, and is rich in B-complex vitamins, including folate and thiamine.
Semolina flour has a higher protein and gluten content than regular flour. Semolina has a protein content of around 13 % compared to all-purpose flour with 8–11 %. The proteinogenic amino acid making up the greatest percentage of amino acids in semolina is glutamic acid, followed by prolin. Additional nutritional information is listed in the nutrition table for this ingredient.
Since semolina contains gluten, individuals who have celiac disease should avoid it. However, less than one percent of the world’s population suffers from this type of gluten intolerance.2
From Wikipedia: Semolina is the coarse, purified wheat middlings of durum wheat mainly used in making pasta and couscous. The word semolina can also refer to sweet dessert made from semolina and milk. The term semolina is also used to designate coarse middlings from other varieties of wheat, and from other grains, such as rice and maize.3
Semolina is derived from the Italian word semola, meaning 'bran'. This is derived from the ancient Latin simila, meaning 'flour', itself a borrowing from Greek σεμίδαλις (semidalis), "groats". The words simila, semidalis, groat, and grain may all have similar proto-Indo-European origins as two Sanskrit terms for wheat, samita and godhuma,[ or may be loan words from the Semitic root smd – to grind into groats (cf. Arabic: سميد samīd).3