What does grasping grain mean


English: Cereal, Grain, Corn
French: C r ale
Italian: Cereal
Spanish: Cereales

Table of Contents

© Frank Massholder / foodlexicon.org

The term Grain is a collective name for agriculturally cultivated, annual plant species that come from the grass family (bot .: Poaceae) and bear solitary fruits. The fruits are called Grains denotes and represents the main source of food for humans and animals worldwide. The term grain is derived from the old high German word gitregidi from; Which means something like Yield, possession or what is worn.


Today there are seven economically important types of grain, most of which are found in the temperate and warm regions of the world. Barley, oats, rye, wheat (spelled, einkorn, emmer, kamut, durum wheat, soft wheat) and triticale are mainly grown in the temperate zones, millet, maize and rice in the warm zones of the earth. Buckwheat is sometimes referred to as a grain because of its fruits and uses. Buckwheat does not belong to the grass group, but to the knotweed family (bot .: Polygonaceae) and, strictly speaking, is a pseudograin. This also includes amaranth and quinoa.

Differentiation from grain
Summer cereals - winter cereals
Hulled grain - naked grain

In Central Europe, grain is sown in both spring and autumn. Depending on the time of sowing, cereals are divided into summer cereals and winter cereals. Winter cereals (winter rye, winter wheat, winter barley and winter oats) require a frost period as a vegetation phase. Like summer cereals, it is harvested from July onwards in summer. Summer cereals (oats, maize and spring barley) ripen much faster than winter cereals and therefore do not need to be brought to the fields until spring.

In most cereal species, the glumes (for example husk wheat) or cover and palea (for example barley, oats, millet or rice) are grown together. That is why you get individual ears of wheat when threshing. One speaks here also of the husk grain. in the other species, the bare grains fall out of the hard husks during threshing (for example bare wheat, rye, maize and so-called bare cultivated forms of oats and barley). These types of grain are known as naked grain. As a result of peeling, also known as peeling in mills, around 20% of the processed grains lose their ability to germinate. To avoid this loss was made Sprout grain cereals (Oats and barley) that grows without a husk and is capable of germination up to 100%. Sprout grain is a brand name in health food stores. It refers to the naked grain wheat and rye, which are characterized by a particularly good germination capacity.

The history of grain and grain cultivation

According to archaeological finds, grain was already in the 9th millennium. B.C. grown in the Middle East. This goes hand in hand with the beginning of the settling down of people. Accordingly, people were able to grow wheat and barley with firm ears and large grains for the first time. In the 5th millennium, barley and wheat reached B.C. today's Central Europe. At that time, oats and rye were still wild herbs that were only grown later as crops. Until well into the Middle Ages, grain cultivation in Central Europe was used exclusively for self-sufficiency. Only from the 14th century A.D. with the introduction of the ox- or horse-driven plow and the scythe it was possible to grow grain as a surplus product.

Today the cultivation of grain represents the most important basic foodstuff for the developing countries. In Central Europe and the USA a considerable part (60 - 70%) of the harvest is used as fodder. Grain cultivation accounts for the largest share of all agricultural products worldwide.

Grain processing

Grain is usually not consumed raw, but processed into grain products, which in turn are processed into a variety of other products. In addition, cereal grains are used in the brewery and distillery or for the production of coffee substitutes. The seedlings of the cereal grains are used to produce nutritionally valuable grain oils (see edible oils).


Matured cereal grains contain an average of 12% water, 11% protein, 2% fat, 2.5 fiber and 70% starch. In addition, cereal grains contain the minerals iron, potassium, manganese, phosphorus and zinc as well as vitamins E, B.1 and B2. The proportion of the individual nutrients is strongly dependent on the nutrient composition of the soil on which it grows. In addition, the nutritional content of the individual grains differs.

An overview of the ingredients of grain

Nutrients and calories from cereals

Overview of nutrients and calories in cereals (mean values ​​in 100 g of edible portion)
Type of grainEnergy content (kcal / kJ)Protein (g)Fat (g)Carbohydrates (g)
Whole grain of wheat306/127911,401,8061,00
Rye grain (whole)296/12399,501,7060,70
Oat grain (peeled)377/141012,607,1055,70
Barley grain (whole)315/131610,602,1063,30
Corn kernel (whole)331/13859,203,8065,00
Millet grain (peeled)354/147910,603,9069,00
Grain of rice (peeled)347/14547,802,2074,10
Buckwheat (peeled)52/2193,500,308,90
Quinoa grain (whole)338/141514,805,0058,50
Amaranth (whole)54/2261,500,2011,60

Minerals from cereals

Overview of grain minerals (mean values ​​in 100 g edible portion)
Type of grainSodium (mg)Potassium (mg)Calcium (mg)Phosphorus (mg)Magnesium (mg)Iron (mg)
Whole grain of wheat8,00381,0033,00341,0097,003,30
Rye grain (whole)4,00510,0037,00336,0091,002,80
Oat grain (peeled)8,00355,0080,00342,00129,005,80
Barley grain (whole)18,00444,0038,00342,00114,002,80
Corn kernel (whole)6,00294,008,00213,000,001,70
Millet grain (peeled)3,00173,0010,00275,00123,006,90
Grain of rice (peeled)10,00238,0016,00282,00119,003,20
Buckwheat (peeled)2,00392,0021,00254,00142,003,50
Quinoa grain (whole)10,00804,0080,00328,00276,008,00
Amaranth (whole)25,00484,00214,00582,00308,009,00

Vitamins from cereals

Overview of cereal vitamins (mean values ​​in 100 g edible portion)
Type of grainVitamin E (mg)vitamin B1 (mg)vitamin B2 (mg)Niacin (mg)
Whole grain of wheat1,400,460,115,10
Rye grain (whole)2,000,350,171,80
Oat grain (peeled)0,800,670,172,40
Barley grain (whole)0,600,430,184,80
Corn kernel (whole)2,900,300,121,20
Millet grain (peeled)0,400,430,111,80
Grain of rice (peeled)0,700,410,095,20
Buckwheat (peeled)0,800,240,152,90
Quinoa grain (whole)0,000,170,000,50
Amaranth (whole)0,000,800,191,10

Structure of a cereal grain

The shell, endosperm and seedling are the three main components of a cereal grain. The shell makes up about 14% of the grain mass. From the outside in, a grain of cereal is divided into fruit peel, seed peel, aleurone layer, endosperm and seedling.

  • The Fruit bowl consists of the outer skin of the fruit, the Endocarp as well as the inner fruit peel, the Epicarp and the epidermis, the epidermis. The fruit peel is fused with the seed peel and is particularly rich in fiber and minerals.
  • The Seed coat consists of the Episperm and the actual seed coat of the Testa. The seed coat is particularly rich in protein and contains minerals.
  • The Aleurone layer consists of cube-shaped cells that contain high-quality protein, fat, vitamins, minerals, fiber and enzymes.
  • The Endosperm consists mainly of cells that contain so-called starch grains, i.e. carbohydrates. The endosperm also contains protein and little fat and minerals. With 83% it represents the main mass of the cereal grain.
  • The Seedling contains a lot of protein and has a high content of essential amino acids. The fat contained in the seedling has a high proportion of unsaturated fatty acids, vitamins and minerals. Overall, the sprout contains many more vitamins and minerals than the endosperm. This is why cold-pressed grain germ oil is particularly valuable from a nutritional point of view. The seedling takes up an average of 3% of the grain mass. Only the maize seedling is slightly larger with 12% of the grain mass.

Grain storage

Grain can be stored in the household for up to 2 years. The grains of grain should be stored dry, but not airtight. An ideal storage location prevents direct sunlight on the grain and enables a constant storage temperature. Raw grain must be examined for natural pollutants and cleaned. Above all, the ergot must be removed and the grain regularly checked for mold formation. These mushrooms are poisonous and mainly form when grains are stored too moist and warm. In addition, grain can be attacked by mites. A mite infestation can be recognized by an unpleasant, sweet smell. The pollution of grain by heavy metals or pesticides can (so far) be assessed as low. Mostly it is below the legally permitted maximum amounts.

Grain processing

With the exception of grain sprouts, raw grain is usually not consumed. Grain is first processed into grain products such as barley, semolina, groats, bran, flour or starch. Countless cereal products are made from these cereal products or serve as an indispensable ingredient for all kinds of dishes.

Summary and brief information

  • Bread is made from grain
  • Grain is roasted
  • Food is classified in cereals
  • Buckwheat is not a grain
  • Oats and wheat are the most commonly grown cereals
  • Corn is the most commonly grown grain
  • Grain is conditionally suitable for the protein-reduced diet


  • The Brockhaus Diet: Eat healthy - live consciously. Brockhaus, 2011 »