The ancient grains are original varieties of the past that remained unchanged through time, which means no manipulations to increase their yield. Their ears are tall with dark shades and irregular grains. They are not worked intensively, and this means higher production costs, but a healthier and more genuine product. Ancient grains are usually stone ground. The flour produced is therefore much less refined than that produced mainly by milling cylinders. With this kind of processing, an whole or semi-whole product is privileged, ie, compared to flour type 0 or 00, the nutritional properties in the grain are maintained. Modern grain has been artificially selected and modified to increase the amount of harvested per hectare worked, as well as to facilitate its mechanical harvesting.
From modern varieties, flours are obtained with a strong gluten, whose remarkable cohesive strength makes the mixture ideal for modern industrial plants. This means that the gluten of this type of grain develops a dough which, if, on one hand has a significant cohesive strength and therefore is workable on modern industrial plants, on the other hand may be more difficult to digest. The gluten of the antique grains is less strong: it has ties more easily workable by the enzymes of digestion. This strength is expressed by the Gluten Index, which as a percentage expresses how much of the gluten remains cohesive if the mixture of water and flour, after starch removal, is subjected to mechanical stresses.