List of seven main cereals and millets:- 1. Wheat 2. Maize 3. Rice 4. Barley 5. Oats 6. Sorghum 7. Pearlmillet.
1. Wheat (Hindi – Gehun):
Triticum aestivum L. emend. Thall.
Gramineae or Poaceae
1. It is a cereal crop of family Gramineae.
2. It is the most common food plant.
3. The plant attains a height of 2-5 feet.
4. The inflorescence is a spike of spikelets. The spikelets are borne of a zigzag axis.
5. The fruit is a caryopsis.
6. Each grain consists of an outer husk, the aleurone layer containing protein, the endosperm having starch, and the embryo.
7. Wheat flour is used for making bread, biscuits, cakes, pastry and other similar articles. Wheat is also used in the manufacture of beer and other alcoholic beverages.
8. Fruit contains a single endospermic seed which contains many minerals, including Mg, Mn, Cu, Fe and Zn.
9. Wheat straw is used as a fodder for catties and for seating the chairs, mattings, hats, etc.
10. Wheat straw pulp is used for preparing writing-, printing- and wrapping paper, and straw board.
11. In India, wheat is grown mainly in Punjab, U.P., Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Bihar.
12. Important wheat-producing countries are U.S.A., Russia, Australia, China, India, etc.
2. Maize (Hindi – Makai):
Zea mays L.
Gramineae or Poaceae.
1. It is an annual cereal, attaining a height of 3 to 15 feet.
2. It is the largest amongst the cereals.
3. The stem is jointed, the leaves are large and the aerial prop roots are present in addition to the well-developed fibrous root, system.
4. Flowers are of two types, i.e., terminal tassel bearing the male flowers and cob or ear bearing the female or pistillate flowers (Fig. 71).
5. Styles are long and silky.
6. Cob is covered by large number of leafy bracts.
7. The fruit is a caryopsis consisting of hull (6%), protein or aleurone layer (8 to 14%), endosperm (70%) and embryo (11%).
8. Grains are used by man as well as animals for food.
9. Corn flakes, com starch, com syrup, com oil, dextrins and industrial alcohols are some of the maize products.
3. Rice (Hindi – Chaval or Dbari):
Oryza sativa L.
Gramineae or Poaceae
1. Rice is the chief cereal used as staple food in most of the parts of the world.
2. Its fruit is a caryopsis.
3. It is an annual grass which grows luxuriantly in deep waters.
4. The inflorescence is a long panicle with ovate or oblong spikelets.
5. Caryopsis is oblong and angular. It remains tightly enclosed in lemma and palea.
6. Grains contain a large amount of starch, fat and proteins.
7. It is also used in the preparation of many alcoholic beverages.
8. Hats are prepared from the fibres obtained from its stem.
9. Paper, mats and boards are also prepared from rice.
10. Rice-bran oil is used for soaps, cosmetics and also as an anticorrosion oil.
11. Rice husk is used for making activated carbon, sodium silicate and silicon, and also as fuel, packing material and animal feed.
12. West Bengal, Bihar and U.P. are the chief rice- producing Indian states.
4. Barley (Hindi – Jaun):
Hordeum vulgare (L.) emund. Bowden.
1. Barley is cultivated widely as a food crop in France, Turkey, China, Japan, former USSR, Rumania, U.S.A., India and several other Asian countries.
2. In India, it is cultivated In Rajasthan, U.P., M.P., Bihar, Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, J. & K. and West Bengal.
3. It is used as- a food either in the form of flour for chapaties or in the form of sattu.
4. Throughout the world it is used for malting and brewing purposes in the preparation of beer.
5. It is also used for feeding livestock’s and horses.
6. Barley malt contains the enzyme amylase which is essential for conversion of starch into sugar.
7. Barley malt is also used for the production of distilled beverages, such as whisky and spirits.
8. Malted milk concentrates, candies, infant foods and several pharmaceutical preparations are also prepared from barley.
5. Oat (Hindi – Jai):
Avena sativa L.
1. Oats are cultivated widely in USA, former USSR, Canada, Germany, France, Britain, Poland and several Asian countries including India.
2. Avena sterilis var. culta is grown widely in several parts of India including Punjab, western U P., M.P., Maharashtra and West Bengal for fodder purposes.
3. Plant varies from 2 to 5 ft in height, and the inflorescence is a one-sided or spreading panicle. The inflorescence contains over six dozen spikelets. Each spikelet is two to many-flowered.
4. Oats have a high percentage of fat, protein and minerals.
5. It constitutes a good food for muscle building.
6. It is does not provide a good bread flour because its protein material does not occur in the form of gluten.
7. It is widely used for cakes, biscuits and breakfast foods.
6. Sorghum (Hindi – Joar or Jowar):
Sorghum vulgare Pers.
1. It is widely cultivated in China, India, USA, and several other countries of Asia and Africa.
2. In India, it is cultivated in M.P., U.P., Punjab, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh.
3. Its Inflorescence is a dense head or panicle, and the grains are small and round.
4. Its stem and leaves are used as fodder and grains as food.
5. Its grains are also used as a raw material in malting industry.
6. Industrial alcohol, acetone arid starch are also prepared from its grains.
7. Sorghum is also used, to some extent, in making whisky, beer and an edible oil.
8. Its seeds are a favourite poultry feed.
7. Pearlmillet (Hindi – Bajra):
Pennisetum typhoides (Burm.) Stapf. & C.E. Hubb.
1. It is grown in India, Egypt, Africa, etc. as a rainy season crop.
2. In India, it is cultivated in Punjab, U.P., Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Rajas than and Andhra Pradesh.
3. Its stem and leaves are used as fodder while its grains are edible and furnish an important food for lower classes.
4. Plant are tall, reaching 6 to 15 ft. in height, and each contains 3-8 compact cylindrical spikes that bear round edible grains.
5. Millet’s flour is very nutritious and is used widely for bread making and cakes.