The Wheat Grain
Wheat is a worldwide staple food
The many species of wheat make up the genus Triticum, part of the Poaceae or Gramineae family, which includes other cereals like corn, barley, rice, and rye. Cereals are grasses cultivated for the edible components of their grain, botanically, a type of fruit called a caryopsis, which, when ground, forms the basis of our diet.
Soft wheat grows everywhere, except in tropical areas. The flowering plant produces spikes, and its seeds are called kernels or grains. Depending on the cultivar or agricultural variety, the shape of the grain, its starch content, protein content, and color vary. The wheat spikes or ears attached to the plant, as found in nature, cannot be ground by the mills. At the time of harvesting, the modern harvesters combine four separate harvesting operations into a single process. These operations are reaping, threshing, gathering, and winnowing. After this stage, the grain is ready to enter the mill, where it is checked and cleaned several times before grinding.