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Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Wheat a major cereal

The major cereals are wheat, corn, rice, barley, sorghum, millet, oats, and rye. They are grown on nearly 60% of the cultivated area in the world. The three most important food crops in the world are rice, wheat, and maize (corn).

Wheat is a major cereal crop in many parts of the world. It belongs to the Triticum family, of which there are many thousands of species. Wheat is a staple source of nutrients for around 40% of the world’s population. The cultivation of wheat reaches far back into history.

Wheat was one of the first domesticated food crops and for 8000 years has been the main food of the major civilizations of Europe, West Asia and North Africa. This is likely because of wheat’s agronomic adaptability, ease of grain storage and ease of converting grain into flour for making many different foods.

Wheat is grown in a wider range of environments, from relatively limited water availability to high water availability. In addition, wheat can withstand a wide temperature range, and is thus widely produced in the temperate regions both in the winter and spring. Wheat is also commonly grown in warmer regions; however, higher temperatures during flowering and grain filling can significantly depress wheat yield.

Most of the wheat produced is used for human consumption and because of its unique properties, a large range of ingredients and foods are produced, including wheat germ, spelt (a coarse type of wheat), couscous, cracked wheat or bulgur and wheat starch.

Wheat is the most important source of carbohydrate in a majority of countries, and, globally, it is the leading source of vegetal protein in human food, having a protein content of about 13%, which is relatively high compared to other major cereals.

Wheat, eaten as a whole grain, is also a source of micronutrients and dietary fibre, it contains minerals, vitamins and fats (lipids), and with a small amount of animal or legume protein added is highly nutritious.
Wheat a major cereal

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