Unenriched farina (soft wheat semolina) contains gluten and depending on the milling process is ground to a specific size, either fine, medium, or coarse. It is generally used to make hot cereals and desserts.
Summarized from Wikipedia: 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 seminola is easier to digest and farina for babies does not have to be cooked.1
White wheat farina is available in many supermarkets and several online shops. It can, however, be more difficult to find whole grain farina. 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.
Wheat proteins have a low quality for human nutrition, according to the new protein quality method (DIAAS) promoted by the Food and Agriculture Organization.Though they contain adequate amounts of the other essential amino acids, at least for adults, wheat proteins are deficient in the essential amino acid, lysine. Because the proteins present in the wheat endosperm (gluten proteins) are particularly poor in lysine, white flours are more deficient in lysine compared with whole grains. Significant efforts in plant breeding are being made to develop lysine-rich wheat varieties, without success as of 2017. Supplementation with proteins from other food sources (mainly legumes) is commonly used to compensate for this deficiency, since the limitation of a single essential amino acid causes the others to break down and become excreted, which is especially important during the period of "growing".2 The nutritional information for the other substances differs depending on how finely the farina is milled.
Dangers / Intolerances:
Since farina 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.3
Farina is a form of milled wheat often prepared as hot cereal. The word "farina" is Latin, meaning meal or flour. It is made from the germ and endosperm of the grain, which is milled to a fine consistency then sifted. Farina is a carbohydrate-rich food. When enriched, it is one of the best sources of dietary iron available, especially for vegetarian diets. Popular brands offer up to 50% of the recommended daily value of iron in a single 120-calorie serving. In commercially-available farina the bran and most of the germ are removed. Cream of Wheat, Malt-O-Meal, and Farina Mills are popular brand names of breakfast cereal. To augment its mild taste, popular add-ins to cooked farina include brown sugar, maple, honey, nuts, cinnamon, butter, grated chocolate, jams, and salt.4 Farina is mainly used for desserts and breakfast cereals, whereas durum wheat semolina is primarily used to make pasta and hearty dishes such as semolina dumplings (Griessnocken) and soups.
Farina is milled in a similar manner as is flour, but the mill is set up differently. A portion of the milled product is finer like flour and is separated from the farina and used as flour. The settings can be adjusted so that either more farina or more flour is produced.1 Seminola is ground to a specific size, either coarse (600–1'000 µm), medium (475–600 µm), or fine (300–475 µm). Finer particles yield flour (>150 µm) or what is called Dunst (150–300 µm).
Sources / Literature:
- Wikipedia. Griess [Internet]. Version dated January 15, 2018 [Cited on February 14, 2018]. Available at: de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grie%C3%9F
- Wikipedia. Wheat [Internet]. Version dated July 29, 2018 [Cited on August 2, 2018]. Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wheat
- ZEIT ONLINE. Die Legende vom bösen Gluten [the myth about evil gluten. Internet]. Version dated November 29, 2013 [Cited on February 14, 2018]. Available at: http://www.zeit.de/2013/48/gluten-unvertraeglichkeit
- Wikipedia. Farina [Internet]. Version vom May 1, 2018 [Cited on August 2, 2018]. Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Farina_(food)