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ARS Home » Plains Area » Manhattan, Kansas » Center for Grain and Animal Health Research » Grain Quality and Structure Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #184014


item Chung, Okkyung
item Park, Seok Ho

Submitted to: Encyclopedia of Agriculture
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/23/2006
Publication Date: 4/15/2006
Citation: Seibel, W., Chung, O.K., Weipert, D., Park, S. 2006. Cereals and cereal products. Encyclopedia of Agriculture.

Interpretive Summary: Cereals are the oldest cultivated plants and have been grown since prehistoric times. The population of each continent prefers to cultivate cereal varieties adapted to the climate and this has formed the eating habits of the people living there. Wheat and rye originated in the Near East and have spread throughout Europe from where they were taken to, North America. Asia is the cradle of rice and barley, Africa is the native land of millet and sorghum, and South and Central America gave birth to maize. Cereals also have made possible permanent settlements of humans through the production and storage of food instead of hunting and gathering. Among all edible plants, the cereals provide the most nutritive and therefore, the most important food sources for people over longer times. Both the ability of cereals to adapt to a variety of soils and climate conditions and the selective work of humans over the centuries have established cereals as the basis for living in many regions of the earth.

Technical Abstract: This chapter of encyclopedia covers major cereals (wheat, rice, maize, sorghum, barley, millet, oat and triticale) and pseudo cereals (buckwheat, amaranth and quinoa) in production, nutritional, and technological properties. Breeding, cultivation, and handling were discussed with respect to production, cereal structure and composition. Major constituents (starches, proteins, pentosans and lipids) and secondary constituents (cellolulose, beta-glucan, lignins, lignans, vitamins, tannins, phytates and minerals) were explained in relation to nutritional and technological aspects. Standards, such as test weight, 1000 kernel weight, besatz, dockage, foreign material and sprout damage, in grain trade were discussed. The major and special usages of those cereals in food and feed were included, and processing (dry milling, dehulling, wet milling, and extrusion) methods were discussed in relation to final cereal products. Economy and outlook of cereals were covered.