General Commission for Scientific Agricultural Research-
Aleppo Research Center
Aleppo University, Faculty of Agriculture
Frikeh is one of the important durum wheat end-products in the Middle East and South Africa, widely spread in Syria. It is scorched (parched) immature green wheat, and the charring gives its grain a unique smoked flavor.
This research is aimed at identifying the best time for harvest the spikes, finding the best cultivar for processing frikeh, and studying the main chemical and physical properties of frikeh which is made of some cultivars of durum wheat through the two stages of ripping (end of milky and end of dough development) and then compared to the same mature wheat. Studies have been made as well to examine the effect of variety and location on the productivity and the characteristics of both frikeh and wheat.
The research has been carried out on eight cultivars of durum wheat; the last two of them are promising: Cham1, Cham3, Cham5, Bohouth7, Doma1, Haurani27, Gidara2, Azeghar2, and one cultivar of bread wheat Cham6. These cultivars have been grown during two growing seasons (2003/04-2004/05), and in two different locations. The first location is Yahmoul Research Station / Azaz in the 1st stability area. The second location is ICARDA / Tel Hadya and it is in 2nd stability area. This is done by GCSAR (The General Commission for Scientific Agricultural Research) in cooperation with ICARDA (The International Center of Agricultural Research in Dry Area), and Aleppo University.
The trials have been carried out in Split Block Design by two factors (variety and date of harvesting) with three replicates to determine the frikeh and wheat components, such as dry material, protein, starch, ash, crude fiber, pigments, and sedimentation test. Moreover, hardness, test weight, thousand kernel weight, virtuousness, and grain yield are studied.
As a result, the harvest of the spikes must be done for the frikeh processed in the second date (the end of the dough development) and before reaching the waxy stage to avoid the hard decrease of the yield. Therefore, the decrease has reached 33% in yield compared to the first date. The result has shown as well that Bohouth7 and Cham5 have the highest yield.
As for the processing date, there are high significant differences for most of the frikeh characteristics between the two dates. So, the second date is better than the first in yield, test weight, 1000 kernel weight, SDS, SDSni, but the first date has been the best in vitreous, ach, chlorophylls, and low percentage of starch; while the values of hardness, dry material, crude protein, and crude fiber have been similar between the two dates of harvesting.
The cultivars in Yahmoul location for both frikeh and wheat have the highest content of protein, ash, gluten strength. Ccrude fiber and starch have not been affected by the location.
The statistical analysis has shown negative significant correlation between protein and starch, while protein content correlated positively and significantly with vitreous and with volume of sedimentation and its index, too. In addition, there has been negative significant correlation between chlorophylls in frikeh and carotenoides in wheat. The promising cultivars (Gidara2) have the highest content in total chlorophylls.
The bread wheat (Cham6) is the lowest in 1000 kernel weight, test weight, vitreous, and the highest in starch content, but it has a good content of chlorophylls.
Taking into consideration the sensory score, the cooked frikeh which processed from durum wheat has proved to be better according to its texture (firmness) and flavor, as well as the grains never stick each together compared to the frikeh processed from bread wheat. The flavor and color of the first date frikeh have been clearer and better.
Finally, according to the fact that the frikeh grains are whole immature wheat and have higher percentage of some components than wheat, the frikeh can be classified in the same group of healthy food.