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Cereals are an important and economic source of energy. Hundred grams of cereals supply 340 kilo calories of energy. Cereals are also a significant source of proteins (8 - 11 percent) in the diets of people whose staple food is cereals.
However, cereal protein is incomplete as it lacks an essential amino acid, lysine. This lack is made up when cereals are eaten along with other protein foods such as dhals, pulses and milk.
Wheat flour contains glutelin and gliadin as proteins which are commonly known as gluten. The strength of the wheat flour is based on the quality of gluten used.
Whole grains chiefly furnish starch, proteins, minerals, B -Vitamins and fibre.
Refined cereals lose part of the protein, minerals, and B - Complex vitamins in milling. They contain a little more starch than whole cereals.
Whole grains contain more vitamins, minerals and fibre than refined grain and are valuable dietary sources of iron, phosphorus, thiamine and fibre.
Cereals form the staple food of the human race. In India wheat, rice, maize (corn), oats, jowar, ragi and bajra are the common cereals and millets used.
STRUCTURE OF RICE AND WHEAT
The overall structure of all cereal grains is basically similar. Rice grains resemble wheat but is smaller than that of wheat. It is flattened laterally and has no ventral furrow.
Wheat cereal grains are composed of an outer bran coat, a germ and a starchy endosperm.
Source: Sumati Mudambi, R and Shalini, M. Rao 1989 Food Science. New Age International (P) Publishers Ltd, Chennai.
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