Cereals are grasses grown for their edible seeds and comprise a major portion of the food crops in the world. An estimated 2.1 billion metric tons of cereals are produced annually (20). Cereals include wheat (Triticum aestivum L.), rice (Oryza sativa L.), maize (Zea mays L. subsp. mays), barley (Hordeum vulgare L.), oat (Avena sativa L.), rye (Secale cereale L.), grain sorghum [Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench], proso (Panicum miliaceum L.), millet (Pennisetum spp.), teff [Eragrostis tef (Zuccagni) Trotter], and Job's tears (Coix lacryma-jobi L.). Buckwheat (Fagopyrum esculentum Moench), amaranth (Amaranthus hypochondriacus L.), and quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa Willd.), while technically not cereals, are generally treated as such by the food processing industry. With the exception of rice, which is largely consumed directly as a cooked grain, cereals used as human food are typically processed into an extremely diverse range of products. Literally hundreds of thousands of foods include cereals as a major component. The nutritional composition of these foods is significantly modified by the amount, type, and condition of the cereal grains present.
Analysis of Food Cereal Products