Bio Logistic

Khorasan Triticum wheat

According to a scientific model, Khorasan cultivation would have started in the Middle East and would have expanded to Europe about 9500 years ago. Penetrating one km per year through the coasts of the Eastern Mediterranean, it arrived in Italy only a thousand years later.

This brief and introductory historical-scientific framework is to say that the three progenitor genetic lines of modern cereals were already spread throughout the Mediterranean area. Indeed, the triticum turgidum turanicum (Khorasan) is one of the countless varieties of tetraploid grains that evolved over time but, according to the criteria of modern intensive agriculture, it was economically less advantageous -because of lower yield, so it was then abandoned and subsequently recovered for its nutritional qualities.

Moreover, the two species T. turgidum and T. polonicum -which are often referred to when talking about Khorasan wheat- were already well known since the end of 1700. Indeed, since then, many authors have always confirmed the existence of these two species. Speaking of Khorasan, it is right to say that this grain is valued today for peculiar nutritional characteristics.

All this have been said to avoid attributing unfounded origins with the impossible finds of ancient seeds in Egyptian tombs. Indeed, if nowadays, with modern techniques, a well preserved seed vacuum can maintain itself maximum 30 months, it is impossible that it would have been preserved for 3000 years!

Thus, traces of Khorasan have not been found in the tombs of Ancient Egypt, even if in part it was cultivated also in the regions of Anatolia and in marginal zones of Asia and North Africa.

The origins of the Khorasan wheat is still uncertain, just as for more in general the Triticum. Already in 1651 it is described as a grain with particularly large and long caryoxides, but only in 1681 it began to be called as T. polonicum. Initially, Khorasan was wrongly attributed to T. polonicum and since 2009 is attributed to T. turgidum turanicum by the USDA -United Stetes Departments of Agricolture.

In reality, according to the publications of Professor Percival (1921), there is a third variety associated with turgidum turanicum. This is defined as oriental wheat and places its origin in the Iranian region of Khorasan. The morphological characteristics of this species are different from that of T. turgidum and T. polonicum, but it is good to follow the disposition of USDA. Among all the varieties of wheat, the oriental wheat is the one which appeared more recently because there is no evidence of its existence before the first half of the seventeenth century.