An interesting Fact About Grain: 
Grain crops are also known as cereal crops. This comes from the Greek goddess of farming, Ceres. The use of wheat dates back 75,000 years.

Grains are the seed heads of grass plants. Over time, certain species of grasses were found to produce seeds that people preferred over others. Major grain categories in the world are wheat, rice, corn, barley, oats, and rye. A kernel of wheat is composed of 3 main parts: 83% of the kernel is the starchy interior called the endosperm; 14.5% of the kernel is the protective seed coat called bran; and 2.5% of the kernel is the part of the seed that will germinate a new plant called the embryo.

Wheat, Barley and oat are the most common grain crops in the UK. Oats and barley are used mainly as animal feed, but it is also used for molting and baking. Wheat is used both for human consumption and livestock feed. Smaller amounts of rye, linseed sunflowers, lavender and now even lupins are also grown. Dry field peas, one of the pulse crops are used for both human and animal consumption.

Wheat Nutrients


Complex Carbohydrate — Wheat flour is a good source of complex carbohydrate, the most efficient source of energy available to the human body.

Fiber — Fiber is the indigestible carbohydrate in food which acts like a broom to sweep our the digestive tract. One slice of whole wheat bread contains 1.5 grams of dietary fiber; one slice of white bread contains 0.5 grams.


Wheat foods are moderate sources of incomplete protein. This means that while wheat and other cereal grains may contain all eight of the amino acids necessary for good health, not all eight are found at adequate levels. However, combining wheat or other cereal grains with animal proteins or legumes makes the grain protein complete. Within the cereal group, wheat contains more protein than rice or corn.


Fats account for 2 to 23 percent of wheat foods, although wheat alone contains very little fat. Most often, the fat content in wheat foods results from fat added in production, such as the oil or shortening found in many baked or fried wheat foods. Bread and pasta products are low-fat foods because the by weight, is wheat flour.

Other Vitamins And Minerals

Thiamine — One of the essential B-vitamins needed daily for good appetite, digestion and healthy nerves. Wheat foods are a good source of thiamine.

Niacin — A B-vitamin essential for the efficient use of protein by the body. Wheat foods are a good source of niacin.

Iron — Vital to nutritional. Wheat foods are a reliable source of iron for normal dietary needs.

Zinc — Important for skin healing and growth properties. Wheat foods are a good source of zinc.

Riboflavin — Essential for growth and good vision. Wheat foods are a fair source of riboflavin.

Trace Minerals — Wheat foods are a good source of selenium and magnesium, nutrients essential to good health.

Wheat Flours

All-purpose Flour

All-purpose flour is the finely ground endosperm of the wheat kernel separated from the bran and germ during the milling process. All-purpose flour is made from hard wheat’s or a combination of soft and hard wheat from which the home baker can make a complete range of satisfactory baked products such as yeast breads, cakes, cookies, pastries and noodles.

Enriched All-purpose Flour has iron and B-vitamins added in amounts equal to or exceeding that of whole wheat flour.

Bleached Enriched All-purpose Flour is treated with chlorine to mature the flour, condition the gluten and improve the baking quality. The chlorine evaporates and does not destroy the nutrients but does reduce the risk of spoilage or contamination.

Unbleached Enriched All-purpose Flour is bleached by oxygen in the air during an aging process and is off-white in color. Nutritionally, bleached and unbleached flour are the same.

Bread Flour

Bread flour, from the endosperm of the wheat kernel, is milled primarily for commercial bakers but is also available at retail outlets. Although similar to all-purpose flour, it has a greater gluten strength and generally is used for yeast breads.

Self-Rising Flour

Self-rising flour is an all-purpose flour with salt and leavening added. One cup of self-rising flour contains 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Self-rising flour can be substituted for all-purpose flour in a recipe by reducing salt and baking powder according to those proportions.

Whole Wheat Flour

Whole wheat flour is a course-textured flour ground from the entire wheat kernel and thus contains the bran, germ and endosperm. The presence of bran reduces gluten development. Baked products made from whole wheat flour tend to be heavier and denser than those made from white flour.

Other Flours

Cake Flour – Milled from soft wheat. Especially suitable for cakes, cookies, crackers and pastries. Low in protein and gluten.

Pastry Flour – Milled from a soft, low gluten wheat. Comparable in protein but lower in starch than cake flour.

Gluten Flour – Used by bakers in combination with flours having a low protein content because it improves the baking quality and produces gluten bread of high protein content.

Semolina– Coarsely ground endosperm of durum wheat. High in protein. Used in high quality pasta products.

Durum Flour – Byproduct of semolina production. Used to make commercial noodles.

Farina – Coarsely ground endosperm of hard wheat’s. Prime ingredient in many breakfast cereals. Also used in the production of inexpensive pasta.


The wheat kernel, sometimes called the wheat berry, is the seed from which the wheat plant grows. Each tiny seed contains three distinct parts that are separated during the milling process to produce flour. The kernel of wheat is a storehouse of nutrients essential to the human diet.


..About 83 percent of the kernel weight. It is the source of white flour. The endosperm contains the greatest share of the protein in the whole kernel, carbohydrates, iron as well as many B-complex vitamins, such as riboflavin, niacin, and thiamine.


..About 14 1/2 percent of the kernel weight. Bran is included in whole wheat flour and is also available separately. Of the nutrients in whole wheat, the bran contains a small amount of protein, larger quantities of the B-complex vitamins listed above, trace minerals, and indigestible cellulose material also called dietary flour.


..About 2 1/2 percent of the kernel weight. The germ is the embryo or sprouting section of the seed, usually separated because of the fat that limits the keeping quality of flour. Of the nutrients in whole wheat, the germ contains minimal quantities of protein, but a greater share of B-complex vitamins and trace minerals. Wheat germ can be purchased separately and is included in whole wheat flour.

Wheat Kernel 


*100 Grams Edible Portion


Fat grams
Carbo- hydrategrams
White Bread 267 8.28 3.92 48.82
Whole Wheat Bread 245 9.62 4.36 45.41
Cookie, Chocolate Chip 463 5.00 26.81 64.08
Doughnut 419 5.10 23.07 48.97
English Muffin 237 7.91 1.94 45.94
Crackers, Cheese 538 9.13 32.68 51.95
Pasta, dry (368) 12.80 1.60 75.10

*100 gram equal 3.5 ounces
Parentheses ( ) denote calculated values

(Hordeum vulgare)
This cereal grass was known to Greeks, Romans, Chinese, and Egyptians and was cultivated as early as any grain on earth. Although it had become the chief bread material in Europe by the 16th century, its notoriously low gluten and elasticity made it welcome for filling the belly, but it never brought much joy as a bread or baked in any way.
The decoction of barley water so ridiculed in the Mary Poppins movie was actually a masterstroke of medical wizardry on the part of the ancient Greek doctor Hippocrates. He prescribed it for many ailments, sometimes with the grain, sometimes as a filtered liquid. It’s easily made: just boil 2 teaspoons of pearl barley (its other form is hulled barley) in a 5 or so cups of water. When the barley is completely cooked, remove from the heat, let sit a minute, then strain, pressing the solids well.
Perhaps its greatest claim to fame is its transformation into beer, begun by first malting the grains that is moistening them, letting them sprout, then roasting them.

Through plant breeding, scientists develop new varieties which are higher yielding and have more disease resistance. Farmers who specialize in seed production multiply seed of these varieties for commercial farmers to plant. Farmers prepare the fields for planting. Farmers plant in the spring and harvest in August and September. They also plant winter crops in September or October. Which are harvested in late July and early August.

Before planting a crop, farmers prepare their fields for seeding. This may entail cultivating the soil, usually applying fertilizers and then seeding the crop using a seed drill. If required, herbicides for weed control are used.

When the crop ripens, it is harvested. Wheat, for example, is ready to be harvested when it is about 1m high and the color changes from green to golden and the grain is around 15 percent mousture. A head of wheat contains 30 to 65 kernels of grain. A combine is used to separate the seeds from the chaff and straw. Harvested grain is stored in granaries and may require drying or cooling to do so safely. It is important to maintain specific moisture levels and temperatures in grain to ensure that it does not become mouldy.

From the farm, most of the grain is taken to grain stores where it is cleaned and graded ready for sale. Wheat is graded based on the type of wheat, moisture content, foreign materials, disease or weather damage.

Wheat and barley are exported. Feed growers have a number of different marketing channels.

Most of the wheat eaten by people is milled, which means it is ground into flour. The process of milling involves cleaning the wheat and removing all foreign materials. The wheat is then conditioned by adding moisture so that the bran can be removed easily. Finally, the grain is milled by passing it through large rollers to grind the wheat. For white flour the bran is sifted out. Because the bran contains many nutrients, when it is removed flour loses much of its nutritive value. In UK the enrichment of white flour by replacing these nutrients has been required by law. In the last few years, an increasing amount of wheat is milled into whole wheat flour rather than white. Barley and oats are usually processed into animal feed. Barley is also malted for use in beer making.

Ground grain is called flour. The most common type of flour in the UK is wheat flour. This is used to make bread, pizza dough, and pastries. A special kind of hard wheat, called durum wheat, is used to make pasta. We also eat whole grains when we eat porridge, such as oatmeal. High quality barley is malted (sprouted and dried) and used to make beer. Dried field peas are used in such dishes as pea soup.

Grains are also used for animal feed. There are feed mills throughout UK that make livestock feed. Many livestock farmers also mill their own feed.

Grains are a good source of carbohydrates and protein for us and for other animals. In wheat, the endosperm contains starch, the bran contain minerals and vitamins, and the embryo contains protein, fat and vitamins.

Taking care of the soil is very important for crop growers. Special seeding methods can help prevent erosion of top soil from wind and water. Traditionally, the stubble from the previous year’s crop was destroyed and the field was cultivated until a smooth seed bed was prepared. To prevent erosion of topsoil and to save on costs, however, farmers are using different methods. Some farmers turn the stubble from the previous year back into the ground. The roots help hold the top soil in place. Wheat roots can penetrate the soil to a depth of 1m. Other farmers use a special seeding technique called minimum or no-till and plant this year’s crop into the stubble of last year’s crop. This is done by a machine which cuts a slice in the ground, drops in a seed, and covers the seed. This also saves energy and labour because it reduces the number of times that the farmer has to work the field.

Grain growers
Seed growers
Dock workers
Feedmill workers
Grain inspectors
Pesticide dealers
Fertilizer dealers
Flour mill workers
Bakery employees
Ship crew members
Animal nutritionists at feedmills

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