Cereals, grains or cereal grains, are grasses cultivated for the edible components of their fruit seeds (botanically, a type of fruit called a caryopsis) - the endocarp, germ and bran. Cereal grains are grown in greater quantities and provide more food energy worldwide than any other type of crop; they are therefore staple crops. In their natural form (as in whole grain), they are a rich source of vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, fats and oils, and protein.
Wheat (Triticum spp. ) is a grass, originally from the Fertile Crescent region of the Near East, but now cultivated worldwide. In 2007 world production of wheat was 607 million tons, making it the third most-produced cereal after maize (784 million tons) and rice (651 million tons).
Proso millet (Panicum miliaceum) is also known as common millet, hog millet or white millet. Both the wild ancestor and the location of domestication of proso millet are unknown, but it first appears as a crop in both Transcaucasia and China about 7,000 years ago, suggesting that it may have been domesticated independently in each area. It is still extensively cultivated in India, Russia, Ukraine, the Middle East, Turkey and Romania. In the United States, proso is mainly grown for birdseed.
Finger millet (Eleusine coracana, Amharic ዳጉሳ "Dagusa" or ቶኩሶ tōkūsō), also known as African millet or Ragi ರಾಗಿ in Kannada), is an annual plant widely grown as a cereal in the arid areas of Africa and Asia. Finger millet is originally native to the Ethiopian Highlands and was introduced into India approximately 4000 years ago. It is very adaptable to higher elevations and is grown in the Himalaya up to 2,300 metres in elevation.
Oats redirects here. It may mean either the common cereal oat discussed here, or any cultivated or wild species of the genus Avena. The common oat (Avena sativa) is a species of cereal grain grown for its seed, which is known by the same name (usually in the plural, unlike other grains). While oats are suitable for human consumption as oatmeal and rolled oats, one of the most common uses is as livestock feed.
Rye (Secale cereale) is a grass grown extensively as a grain and as a forage crop. It is a member of the wheat tribe and is closely related to barley and wheat. Rye grain is used for flour, rye bread, rye beer, some whiskies, some vodkas, and animal fodder. It can also be eaten whole, either as boiled rye berries, or by being rolled, similar to rolled oats. Rye is a cereal grain and should not be confused with ryegrass, which is used for lawns, pasture, and hay for livestock.
Sorghum is a genus of numerous species of grasses, some of which are raised for grain and many of which are used as fodder plants either cultivated or as part of pasture. The plants are cultivated in warmer climates worldwide. Species are native to tropical and subtropical regions of all continents in addition to the South West Pacific and Australasia. Sorghum is in the subfamily Panicoideae and the tribe Andropogoneae.
Einkorn wheat (from German Einkorn, literally "single grain") can refer either to the wild species of wheat, Triticum boeoticum (the spelling baeoticum is also common), or to the domesticated form, Triticum monococcum. The wild and domesticated forms are either considered separate species, as here, or as subspecies of T. monococcum. Einkorn is a diploid species of hulled wheat, with tough glumes that tightly enclose the grains.
Winter wheat is a type of cereal that is planted from September to December in the Northern Hemisphere. Winter wheat sprouts before freezing occurs, then becomes dormant until the soil warms in the spring. Winter wheat needs a few weeks of cold before being able to flower, however persistent snow cover might be disadvantageous. It is ready to be harvested by early July. Hard winter wheats have a higher gluten protein content than other wheats.
Teff or taf (Eragrostis tef Trotter), Amharic ጤፍ ṭēff, Tigrinya ጣፍ ṭaff) is an annual grass, a species of lovegrass native to the northern Ethiopian Highlands of Northeast Africa. It has an attractive nutrition profile, being high in dietary fiber and iron and providing protein and calcium. Some people consider it to have a sour taste. It is similar to millet and quinoa in cooking, but the seed is much smaller, and thus cooks using less fuel.
Triticale (× Triticosecale) is a hybrid of wheat (Triticum) and rye (Secale) first bred in laboratories during the late 19th century. The grain was originally bred in Scotland and Sweden. Commercially available triticale is almost always a 2nd generation hybrid, i.e. a cross between two kinds of triticale (primary triticales). As a rule, triticale combines the high yield potential and good grain quality of wheat with the disease and environmental tolerance (including soil conditions) of rye.
Buckwheat refers to plants in two genera of the dicot family Polygonaceae: the Eurasian genus Fagopyrum, and the North American genus Eriogonum. The crop plant, common buckwheat, is Fagopyrum esculentum. Tartary buckwheat (F. tataricum Gaertn. ) or "bitter buckwheat" is also used as a crop, but it is much less common. Despite the common name and the grain-like use of the crop, buckwheat is not a cereal or grass. It is called a pseudocereal to emphasize that it is not related to wheat.
The oats (Avena) are a genus of 10-15 species of true grasses. They are native to Europe, Asia and northwest Africa. One species is widely cultivated elsewhere, and several have become naturalized in many parts of the world. All oats have edible seeds, though they are small and hard to harvest in most species.
Emmer wheat (Triticum dicoccum), also known as farro especially in Italy, is a low yielding, awned wheat. It was one of the first crops domesticated in the Near East. It was widely cultivated in the ancient world, but is now a relict crop in mountainous regions of Europe and Asia.
Thatching is the craft of building a roof with dry vegetation such as straw, water reed, sedge, rushes and heather, layering the vegetation so as to shed water away from the inner roof. It is a very old roofing method and has been used in both tropical and temperate climates. Thatch is still employed by builders in developing countries, usually with low-cost, local vegetation.
The Zadoks scale is a cereal development scale proposed by the Dutch phytopathologist Jan C. Zadoks that is widely used in cereal research and agriculture. Knowing the stages of development of a crop is critical in many management decisions that growers make. They are represented on a scale from 10 to 92. For example, in some countries, nitrogen and herbicide applications must be completed during the tillering stage.
Bran is the hard outer layer of grain and consists of combined aleurone and pericarp. Along with germ, it is an integral part of whole grains, and is often produced as a by-product of milling in the production of refined grains. When bran is removed from grains, the latter lose a portion of their nutritional value. Bran is present in and may be milled from any cereal grain, including rice, corn (maize), wheat, oats, barley, and millet.
Spelt (Triticum spelta) is a hexaploid species of wheat. Spelt was an important staple in parts of Europe from the Bronze Age to medieval times; it now survives as a relict crop in Central Europe and has found a new market as a health food. Spelt is sometimes considered a subspecies of the closely related species common wheat (T. aestivum), in which case its botanical name is considered to be Triticum aestivum subsp. spelta.
Sweet sorghum is any of the many varieties of sorghum which have a high sugar content. Sweet sorghum will thrive under drier and warmer conditions than many other crops and is grown primarily for forage, silage, and sugar production. African slaves introduced the crop, which then was known as "Guinea corn," into the United States in the early part of the 17th century. Sweet sorghum has been widely cultivated in the U.S.
Groats are the hulled grains of various cereals, such as oats, wheat, barley, or buckwheat (which is actually a pseudocereal). It is a traditional ingredient commonly used in Eastern European cooking. Groats from oats are a good source of avenanthramote.
The germ of a cereal is the reproductive part that germinates to grow into a plant; it is the embryo of the seed. Along with bran, germ is often a by-product of the milling that produces refined grain products. Cereal grains and their components, such as wheat germ, rice bran, and maize may be used as a source from which vegetable oil is extracted, or used directly as a food ingredient. The germ is retained as an integral part of whole grain foods.
Job's Tears (Coix lacryma-jobi), Coixseed, adlay, or adlai, is a tall grain-bearing tropical plant of the family Poaceae (grass family) native to East Asia and peninsular Malaysia but elsewhere cultivated in gardens as an annual. It has been naturalized in the southern United States and the New World tropics. In its native environment it is grown in higher areas where rice and corn do not grow well.
Wholegrains are cereal grains that contain bran and germ as well as the endosperm, in contrast to refined grains, which retain only the endosperm. Wholegrains can generally be sprouted while processed grains generally will not sprout. Wholemeal products are made from wholegrain flour.