Reitz, Louis P. Crops Research Division, Agricultural Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Beltsville, Maryland.
Last reviewed:January 2021
- Food products
- Nutritional value
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
Any member of the grass family (Poaceae or Gramineae) that produces edible grains usable as food by humans and livestock. Cereals are important cultivated crops. Common cereals include rice, wheat, barley, oats, maize (corn), sorghum, rye, and certain millets. Triticale is a cereal derived from the crossing of wheat and rye and then doubling the number of chromosomes in the hybrid. Occasionally, grains from other grasses [for example, teff (Eragrostis tef); see illustration] are used for food. Cereals are summer or winter annuals. Corn, rice, and wheat are the most important cereals. Today, as in ancient times, cereals provide more food for human consumption than any other crops. See also: Barley; Corn; Cyperales; Domestication; Grain crops; Grass crops; Millet; Oats; Poales; Rice; Rye; Sorghum; Triticale; Wheat
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