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Wheat Germ vs. Wheat Bran: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Harlon Moss || Published on March 6, 2024
Wheat Germ is the nutrient-rich core of the wheat kernel, containing vitamins, minerals, and protein. Wheat Bran is the hard outer layer of the wheat kernel, high in fiber and nutrients but lower in vitamins and protein than germ.

Key Differences

Wheat Germ is the embryo of the wheat kernel, rich in essential nutrients like Vitamin E and folic acid. Wheat Bran, in contrast, is the kernel's protective outer shell, concentrated with dietary fiber and some minerals.
In terms of nutrition, Wheat Germ offers a higher concentration of vitamins and proteins, making it a valuable supplement for health-conscious diets. Wheat Bran is primarily valued for its high dietary fiber content, aiding in digestion and gut health.
Wheat Germ is often used in small quantities due to its dense nutrient profile and distinct flavor. Wheat Bran, being more fibrous and less flavorful, is used more for its texture and fiber benefits in baking and cereal products.
The processing of wheat often involves removing both Wheat Germ and Wheat Bran to produce refined flour. However, both are sought after for their health benefits in whole wheat and multi-grain products.
Wheat Germ can turn rancid quickly due to its high oil content, requiring refrigeration for storage. Wheat Bran is more shelf-stable, making it a convenient dietary fiber source for everyday use.

Comparison Chart

Part of Wheat Kernel

Embryo or core
Outer layer or shell

Nutrient Profile

Rich in vitamins, minerals, protein
High in dietary fiber, some minerals

Usage in Cooking

Used in small amounts for nutrients
Used for fiber, texture in baking


Requires refrigeration due to oils
Shelf-stable, longer-lasting

Health Benefits

Supports overall nutrition
Aids in digestion, gut health

Wheat Germ and Wheat Bran Definitions

Wheat Germ

Embryo of Wheat.
Wheat germ, being the embryo of the wheat kernel, is rich in essential nutrients.

Wheat Bran

Outer Shell.
He added wheat bran, the outer shell of wheat, to his bread recipe for extra fiber.

Wheat Germ

Nutrient Core.
Wheat germ, the nutrient core of the wheat kernel, is a powerhouse of vitamins.

Wheat Bran

Digestive Aid.
To improve her digestion, she incorporated wheat bran into her diet.

Wheat Germ

Protein Source.
For vegetarians, wheat germ is an excellent protein source.

Wheat Bran

Nutritional Boost.
Adding wheat bran to cereals gives a nutritional boost, especially in fiber.

Wheat Germ

Wheat germ, known for being vitamin-rich, enhances the nutrition of baked goods.

Wheat Bran

Baking Ingredient.
Wheat bran is a popular baking ingredient for its texture and health benefits.

Wheat Germ

She sprinkled wheat germ over her yogurt as a health supplement.

Wheat Bran

Fiber Layer.
Wheat bran, the fiber layer of the wheat kernel, is great for digestive health.


What are the benefits of wheat bran?

It aids in digestion and provides dietary fiber.

What is wheat bran?

Wheat bran is the hard outer layer of the wheat kernel, high in fiber.

What is wheat germ?

Wheat germ is the nutrient-rich core of the wheat kernel.

Why is wheat germ beneficial?

It's high in vitamins, minerals, and protein.

Can wheat germ be eaten raw?

Yes, it can be eaten raw or added to foods.

Can wheat bran go bad?

It's more shelf-stable but can go bad if stored improperly.

How does wheat bran enhance food?

It adds fiber and texture, particularly to baked goods.

How should wheat germ be stored?

Store it in a cool, dry place or refrigerate to prevent rancidity.

Is wheat germ good for weight loss?

It can be part of a balanced diet, but moderation is key due to its calorie content.

Is wheat bran allergenic?

Like wheat germ, it contains gluten and can be allergenic.

Does wheat germ contain gluten?

Yes, it contains gluten as it's derived from wheat.

How can I incorporate wheat bran into my diet?

Add it to cereals, yogurt, or use in baking.

Is wheat bran flavorful?

It's less flavorful, more valued for its texture and fiber.

Can wheat bran help in weight loss?

Yes, its high fiber content can aid in feeling fuller, longer.

What minerals are found in wheat bran?

It contains minerals like iron and magnesium.

Is wheat bran gluten-free?

No, it's not gluten-free as it comes from wheat.

Are there any allergens in wheat germ?

Those with wheat or gluten allergies should avoid it.

What vitamins are in wheat germ?

It's particularly rich in Vitamin E and B vitamins.

Can I use wheat germ in baking?

Yes, it can be added to breads and pastries for nutrition.

Does wheat germ have a strong flavor?

It has a distinct, nutty flavor.
About Author
Written by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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