What is meant by wheat?
Wheat is a cereal grain. People often eat it in the form of bread. It is a type of grass whose fruit is the "head of wheat" with edible seeds. It was first cultivated in the Levant, a region of the Middle East. It has higher protein content than other large grains such as corn or rice.
Uses of Wheat
Wheat flour is used to make foods, including bread, crumpets, muffins, noodles, pasta, biscuits, cakes, pastries, cereal, bars, sweet and savory snack foods. Wheat is the widely-cultivated cereal crop globally, with Australia being the eighth largest producer and fourth largest exporter of wheat in the world.
There are various types of wheat, the two main types being eaten in Australia, namely bread wheat and durum wheat. The durum type is used to make pasta, while the other type is used to make other wheat-based foods. Bread wheat in Australia is usually white and not red in color, which is typical of most bread wheat grown in the Northern Hemisphere. Bread wheat has been described as "hard" or "soft" according to its protein content. Hard wheat is high in protein whereas soft wheat is low in protein, which can be used to make 'cake flour' for sweet biscuits and cakes. In addition to bread wheat and durum, other types of wheat include spelt, emmer, einkorn, and kamut. These varieties of wheat are commonly known as 'ancient' grains and are increasingly being used in the preparation of wheat-based foods.
- Spelt: is greater in protein than common wheat and can be used in place of ordinary wheat in most recipes. Spelt contains gluten and should not be used by people who need to avoid gluten as a result of medically-diagnosed celiac disease.
- Emmer: known as ‘farro’ or ‘grano farro’, is staging a comeback as a gourmet ingredient, with good amounts of antioxidants.
- Einkorn: is appreciated for having high protein content and the highest level of lutein among wheat species.
- Kamut: It is heirloom grain originating from Egypt which is higher in protein and contains more vitamin E than common wheat.
Main culinary uses of wheat:
Culinary applications of wheat include:
- Flaked, puffed, and extruded wheat: All three forms are commonly used to make breakfast cereals and cereal breakfast bars.
- Wheat bran: It is added to biscuits, cakes, muffins, and bread to increase dietary fiber content. Wheat bran is also used in the preparation of some breakfast pulses.
- Wheat germ: It can be added to bread, pastries, cakes, and biscuits or sprinkled on yogurt, breakfast cereals, or fruit dishes.
- Semolina: Mainly used for making pasta, it's the preferred type of wheat for pasta. It is also cooked in milk to make semolina pudding or fried golden-brown and then added a lot of sugar to make halva, as is eaten in the Middle East. In Greece, semolina is used in baked cakes.
- Cous cous: Widely used in North Africa, cous cous is made from semolina grain sprinkled with a little salt water and made into small pellets that are steamed and then dried. Instant couscouses are available in Australia that only need to soak in hot water for 5 minutes.
- Burghul: It is made by parboiling wheat, drying it, and then coarsely grinding it. It can be steamed or boiled and used in a wide range of dishes, such as tabouleh, kofta, or kibbeh.
- Wheat starch: It's used as ‘cornflour’ or converted to glucose, dextrose and other sugars for use in confectionery and other manufactured foods.
How to Choose Good Quality Wheat
There are basically two aspects to the quality of wheat. The most important thing is physical quality, which means freedom from foreign matter, soundness of wheat, and cleanliness. The second is processing quality, which means it is suitable for a variety of uses. These aspects should be considered when choosing good-quality wheat. However, wheat is classified according to its protein content and endosperm composition. The way the grain breaks down during milling depends on the structure of the endosperm. The structure of the endosperm may or may not be clear. The mealy or vitreous characters are hereditary but are not affected by the atmosphere. The vitreous grains are translucent and shiny under strong light, whereas the fair grains are faded and look dark under similar conditions. Wheat varieties are mainly classified as soft or hard and weak or strong. Vitreous wheat is strong and hard in nature while mealy wheat is weak and soft but the association is not invincible. Hardness is related to the degree of adhesion between protein and starch. Softness and hardness are those in which the endosperm breaks down while milling. Global wheat is classified as hard, medium, and soft, beyond its hardness. The strength of wheat is related to its baking quality. Strong wheat can be used to create good crumb structure, large bread volume, and high-quality keeping properties. This type of wheat is rich in protein. Hard wheat is used to make the flour that we use in our lives and to make bread. Weak wheat, in contrast, is low in protein and can only produce small loaves of bread with a thick crust. This type of wheat is great for making cakes and biscuits but they are unbearable for making bread.
What country is the largest producer of wheat?
As the world's largest producer of wheat, China plays an important role in shaping grain market dynamics across the world. Around 126 million metric tons of wheat is produced by the country per year, on a land area of 24 million hectares (comparable to the size of the entire country of Algeria)!
How much is wheat per pound?
Wheat seed costs appear to be stable compared to a year ago. The average seed price per seed currently ranges from $12.50 to $12.95. However, the cost of seeds varies (whether public or private) and depends on the amount of seed purchased.
Name: Muzammil. Revised Date: 07-08-2020