Grains Research and Development

Date: 01.09.1997

Freekeh food

'Freekeh' Greenwheat packet

Durum growers have a new outlet - the sale of grain to be made into freekeh. (See stories on durum success p 12, 13.)

An innovative SA-based company has invested $1.3 million to produce freekeh, a nutritious food which is now on grocery shelves across Australia.

Tantalising the tastebuds is the nutty, slightly smoky flavour of this grain which is harvested green and roasted without being burnt in the world's first fully automated Freekeh production plant operating just north of Adelaide.

As a processed product it is being used in many ways, to name a few, in soups, salads and stuffing. Managing director of Greenwheat Freekeh, Tony Lutfi, says freekeh, which has been handmade in North Africa and the Middle East for about 2,000 years, is "very versatile and can be used in the same way as rice or pasta".

"We have had a fantastic reaction from consumers."

He said the company chose durum wheat as its first grain because of its large size. However, triticale and barley would also be tested this year.

Tony Lutfi is confident that freekeh 's versatility will see it being used in an increasing range of products.

Work is underway to make water crackers from it to serve with pate, as bread, puffed as a breakfast food, and even as a pasta product.