Wheat grain is a staple food used to make flour for leavened, flat and steamed breads, biscuits, cookies, cakes, breakfast cereal, pasta, noodles, couscous and for fermentation to make beer, other alcoholic beverages, or biofuel. The whole grain can be milled to leave just the endosperm for white flour. The by-products of this are bran and germ. The whole grain is a concentrated source of vitamins, minerals, and protein, while the refined grain is mostly starch.
There are six wheat classifications: 1) hard red winter, 2) hard red spring, 3) soft red winter, 4) durum (hard), 5) Hard white, 6) soft white wheat. The hard wheats have the most amount of gluten and are used for making bread, rolls and all-purpose flour. The soft wheats are used for making flat bread, cakes, pastries, crackers, muffins, and biscuits.
Wheat was a key factor enabling the emergence of city-based societies at the start of Earth civilization as it was one of the first crops that could be easily cultivated on a large scale and yielded a harvest that provided long-term storage of food. Wheat contributed to the emergence of city-states in Earth’s Fertile Crescent.
Because of its cultivation and storage advantages along with its nutritional value, wheat was invariably one of the first crops grown by new colonies during the Second Exodus.
Modern Uses of WheatEdit
Wheat is the second most-produced cereal; after maize (corn) and with rice as a close third. This grain is grown on more land area than any other commercial food. Trade in wheat is greater than for all other crops combined. Wheat is the leading source of vegetable protein in human foods, having a higher protein content than other major cereals, maize or rice. 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.