What Is Kamut?


Kamut is a grain, similar to wheat. The name Kamut® is a registered trademark, but it is officially recognized by the USDA as "QK-77." It has an interesting back story and was once exhibited as "King Tut's Wheat."

A field of wheat after harvest. image by "Wheat field after harvest" is Copyrighted by Flickr user: tskdesign under the Creative Commons Attribution license.


The first kernels of Kamut wheat to be grown in the U.S. were sold to a U.S. airman with the story that they had been taken from an Egyptian pyramid. Instead, it is thought to be a descendant of traditional grains grown in Egypt and Asia Minor; it is most closely related to durum wheat.


The name Kamut comes from the ancient Egyptian word for wheat. Its scientific name is Triticum turgidum.


Kamut is more nutritious than modern wheat varieties. It has 30 percent more protein and higher levels of thiamin, riboflavin, vitamin E, magnesium and zinc than wheat.


About 30 percent of those who are allergic to wheat are able to eat Kamut grains without reacting. Wheat-sensitive people should check with their doctor before trying Kamut.

Fun Fact

Kamut is a tetraploid wheat containing 28 chromosomes. It shares this characteristic with durum, but most modern wheat is hexaploid with 42 chromosomes.


  • Kamut: Ancient Grain, New Cereal
  • Western Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education: Profile of Bob Quinn
  • USA Emergency Supply: Kamut -- All About Grains

Who Can Help

  • Official Kamut website: Origin
Keywords: kamut wheat, ancient wheat, kamut grain

About this Author

Jenn Mercer is a Writer, Poet, and Translator (French > English) living in Raleigh, NC. She has Bachelors degrees in both English (Creative Writing) and French from NC State University. Mercer has been published in the Grapevine, Astropoetica, Talkin Blues, Nth Degree, the CATI Quarterly, The Fix, and Uncle John's Bathroom Reader for Kids.