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Semolina vs Vital wheat gluten: What’s The Difference?

This article explains the key similarities and differences between semolina and vital wheat gluten, foods from the grains food group. Read on to learn more about the semolina vs vital wheat gluten comparison.
Michael Whaley, Health Writer

Written by Michael Whaley, Health Writer. Updated on January 24, 2023.

Semolina and vital wheat gluten belong to the grains food group, one of the staple food groups for people on a plant-based diet.

Grains and grain products are an affordable source of carbohydrates, as well as essential vitamins and minerals, including B vitamins (such as thiamin, riboflavin, and niacin), iron, and zinc, minerals that are usually harder to get on a plant-based diet.

They also provide a small amount of protein and healthy fats.

However, it is important to note that whole grains are generally a better source of these nutrients than refined grains.

This article will thoroughly compare semolina and vital wheat gluten and help you learn more about their similarities and differences.

Semolina

Semolina (Triticum durum) is a coarse, granular flour that is made from the hard durum wheat, a type of wheat that is high in gluten and protein.

It is a good source of carbohydrates, protein, and small amounts of minerals like iron and zinc. It is also rich in B vitamins such as niacin and thiamin.

Semolina is commonly used in the production of pasta and other traditional Italian dishes like couscous and gnocchi. It is also used in some breads, pastries, and other baked goods. It gives pasta a distinct texture and yellow color due to the presence of carotenoids in the wheat endosperm.

Semolina is gluten-rich, thus, it is not suitable for people with gluten sensitivities or celiac disease. Semolina can be enjoyed in moderate portions as part of a balanced diet, combined with vegetables, lean protein sources, and healthy fats.

Semolina is not an excellent source of any particular vitamin.

However, it contains a good amount of Vitamin B1 (Thiamine), Vitamin B3 (Niacin), Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid), and Vitamin B9 (Folate) and some Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), and Vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine).

Vital wheat gluten

Vital wheat gluten, also known as wheat gluten (Triticum aestivum), is a plant-based protein derived from wheat.

It is a rich source of micro and micronutrients, including essential amino acids, vitamins such as B-vitamins and minerals like iron, zinc, and magnesium.

Consuming vital wheat gluten has been linked to a variety of health benefits, including improved digestion, weight management, and muscle development. It is also a good source of protein for vegetarians and vegans. It can also be used as a meat substitute.

It is also beneficial for gluten sensitivity as it is gluten-free. Still, it is derived from wheat and contains gluten, so people with celiac disease should avoid it.

Vital wheat gluten is not an excellent source of any particular vitamin.

Semolina vs Vital wheat gluten Nutrition

Now that we’ve described the origin, taste, and usage of these foods, we can move to the most interesting part – comparing semolina vs vital wheat gluten.

This comparison will start by comparing the caloric value of semolina and vital wheat gluten and their macronutrients and then go more in-depth by analyzing their vitamin and mineral content.

SemolinaVital wheat gluten
Energy360 kcal370 kcal
Carbs72.8 g13.8 g
Sugar2.67 g0 g
Fiber3.9 g0.6 g
Protein12.7 g75.2 g
Fat1.05 g1.85 g
Saturated Fat0.15 g0.272 g

Semolina vs Vital wheat gluten Calories

Most calories in grains come from carbs.

Comparing semolina vs vital wheat gluten for weight loss, semolina is slightly lower in calories, with 360 calories per 100 grams, compared to 370 calories per 100 grams of vital wheat gluten.

However, both semolina and vital wheat gluten can and should be a part of a healthy diet, and neither one shouldn’t be avoided if you’re looking to lose weight.

Semolina vs Vital wheat gluten Protein

Grains and most grain products, including semolina and vital wheat gluten, are important sources of plant-based protein.

However, it should be noted that most grains, with the exception of quinoa and buckwheat, for example, are low in lysine and methionine.

That said, you can combine grains with legumes to get a complete protein.

Vital wheat gluten offers around 83% more protein than semolina.

Vital wheat gluten has 75.2 grams of protein per 100 grams, while semolina has 12.7 grams of protein per 100 grams.

Semolina vs Vital wheat gluten Carbs

Counting carbs can be important for some people for different reasons, including blood sugar control, weight management, or athletic performance.

It’s also important for people on a keto diet, so let’s compare the carbs content in semolina and vital wheat gluten.

The total amount of carbohydrates is around 81% higher in semolina than in vital wheat gluten. It has 72.8 grams per 100 grams, compared to 13.8 grams in vital wheat gluten.

There’s less sugar in vital wheat gluten than in semolina, 100% precisely.

That said, 100 grams of vital wheat gluten contains 0 grams of sugar, while the same amount of semolina contains 2.7 grams.

Lastly, let’s take a look at the dietary fiber in semolina and vital wheat gluten.

Dietary fiber keeps the digestive system healthy and helps with weight management by promoting a sense of fullness.

With 3.9 grams of fiber per 100 grams, semolina is a better source of fiber than vital wheat gluten which semolina offers 0.6 grams per 100 gram portion.

Semolina vs Vital wheat gluten Fats

Like most other grains, semolina and vital wheat gluten are low in fat.

Fats in semolina and vital wheat gluten are mostly healthy unsaturated fats. They are naturally cholesterol-free and trans-fat-free.

Total fat in semolina and vital wheat gluten:

  • Semolina: 1.1 grams per 100 grams
  • Vital wheat gluten: 1.9 per 100 grams

Speaking of saturated fats, semolina is 33% lower in saturated fats.

Semolina and vital wheat gluten contain 0.2 grams and 0.3 grams of saturated fat per 100 grams, respectively.

Semolina vs Vital wheat gluten Vitamins Content

This section will discuss the vitamin content of semolina and vital wheat gluten.

Vitamins are micronutrients, meaning we need only a small amount. However, they are very important for many processes in our bodies.

However, vital wheat gluten has a higher amount of vitamin B1 (Thiamine), vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), vitamin B3 (Niacin), vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid), vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine), vitamin B9 (Folate), vitamin E, and vitamin K.

Semolina and vital wheat gluten contain the same amount of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin D, and vitamin B12 (Cobalamin).

The following table shows the exact amount of vitamins semolina and vital wheat gluten contain side by side, so you can easily compare them.

SemolinaVital wheat gluten
Vitamin A00
Vitamin C00
Vitamin D00
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)0.28 mg0
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)0.08 mg0
Vitamin B3 (Niacin)3.31 mg0
Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid)0.58 mg0
Vitamin B6 (Pyroxidine)0.103 mg0
Vitamin B9 (Folate)72 µg0
Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)00
Vitamin E0.11 mg0
Vitamin K0.1 µg0

Semolina vs Vital wheat gluten Minerals Content

Minerals are important for our body to function properly. We need only a small amount of minerals, so they are called micronutrients.

Some minerals, like iron, calcium, zinc, or iodine, are relatively hard to get on a plant-based diet, so it’s important to choose your foods thoughtfully. This part of the semolina and vital wheat gluten comparison focuses on their mineral content.

Semolina is a better source of calcium, iron, phosphorus, and sodium than vital wheat gluten.

On the other hand, vital wheat gluten is a higher amount of copper, magnesium, manganese, potassium, selenium, and zinc.

Semolina and vital wheat gluten contain the same amount of fluoride.

Check out the table below to learn how semolina and vital wheat gluten compare when it comes to mineral content.

SemolinaVital wheat gluten
Calcium17 mg142 mg
Copper0.189 mg0.182 mg
Fluoride00
Iron1.23 mg5.2 mg
Magnesium47 mg25 mg
Manganese0.619 mg0
Phosphorus136 mg260 mg
Potassium186 mg100 mg
Selenium63.2 µg39.7 µg
Sodium1 mg29 mg
Zinc1.05 mg0.85 mg

The Final Word

This article highlighted the similarities and differences between semolina and vital wheat gluten.

Grains, also known as cereal grains, are an important source of nutrition for many people around the world. They are a rich source of carbohydrates, which provide energy for the body.

Whole grains contain important vitamins and minerals, such as B vitamins and iron. Whole grains, in particular, are high in dietary fiber and can help with digestion and weight management.

They may also have other health benefits, such as reducing the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and certain types of cancer.

Grains are also a staple food and an important source of food security in many parts of the world.

Sources

Holy Peas has strict sourcing guidelines and draws only from high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical journals, associations and government institutions. Read more about our process.

How we ensure this article is accurate?
  1. It's written and or reviewed by an expert.
  2. We cite relevant studies and trusted sources.
  3. It's regularly updated.

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