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A cereal is any grass cultivated for the edible

components of its grain (botanically, a type of fruit


called a caryopsis), composed of the endosperm, germ,
and bran. Cereal grains are grown in greater quantities
and provide more food energy worldwide than any other
type of crop;[1] they are therefore staple crops. Some
plants often referred to as cereals, like buckwheat and
quinoa, are considered instead pseudocereals, since they
are not grasses, however they are still considered grains.
In their natural form (as in whole grain), they are a rich source of vitamins, minerals,
carbohydrates, fats, oils, and protein. When refined by the removal of the bran and germ, the
remaining endosperm is mostly carbohydrate. In some developing nations, grain in the form of
rice, wheat, millet, or maize constitutes a majority of daily sustenance. In developed nations,
cereal consumption is moderate and varied but still substantial.
The word cereal derives from Ceres, the name of the Roman goddess of harvest and agriculture.
Wheat (Triticum spp.)[1][2] is a cereal grain,
(botanically, a type of fruit called a caryopsis)[3]
originally from the Levant region of the Near East but
now cultivated worldwide. In 2013, world production
of wheat was 713 million tons, making it the third
most-produced cereal after maize (1,016 million tons)
and rice (745 million tons).[4] Wheat was the second
most-produced cereal in 2009; world production in that
year was 682 million tons, after maize (817 million
tons), and with rice as a close third (679 million tons).
[5]
This grain is grown on more land area than any other commercial food. [citation needed] World trade
in wheat is greater than for all other crops combined.[6] Globally, wheat is the leading source of
vegetable protein in human food, having a higher protein content than the other major cereals
maize (corn) and rice.[7] In terms of total production tonnages used for food, it is currently second
to rice as the main human food crop and ahead of maize, after allowing for maize's more
extensive use in animal feeds.[citation needed] The archaeological record suggests that this first
occurred in the regions known as the Fertile Crescent
Barley (Hordeum vulgare L.), a member of the grass
family, is a major cereal grain grown in temperate climates
globally. It was one of the first cultivated grains,
particularly in Eurasia as early as 13,000 years ago. Barley
has also been used as animal fodder, as a source of
fermentable material for beer and certain distilled
beverages, and as a component of various health foods. It
is used in soups and stews, and in barley bread of various
cultures. Barley grains are commonly made into malt in a traditional and ancient method of
preparation.

Rice is the seed of the grass species Oryza sativa (Asian rice) or Oryza
glaberrima (African rice). As a cereal grain, it is the most widely
consumed staple food for a large part of the world's human population,
especially in Asia. It is the agricultural commodity with the third-highest
worldwide production, after sugarcane and maize, according to 2012
FAOSTAT data.

Millets are a group of highly variable small-seeded grasses,


widely grown around the world as cereal crops or grains for
fodder and human food. Millets are important crops in the
semiarid tropics of Asia and Africa (especially in India,
Mali, Nigeria, and Niger), with 97% of millet production in
developing countries.[1] The crop is favored due to its
productivity and short growing season under dry, hightemperature conditions.