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Any grass yielding starchy seeds suitable for food. The most commonly cultivated cereals are wheat, rice, rye, oats, barley, corn, and sorghum. As human food, cereals are usually marketed in raw grain form or as ingredients of food products. As animal feed, they are consumed mainly by livestock and poultry, which are eventually rendered as meat, dairy, and poultry products for human consumption. They also are used industrially in the production of a wide range of substances, such as glucose, adhesives, oils, and alcohols. Measured in acres planted, wheat is the world's most widely grown cereal crop; rice is the second, but more corn is harvested than either. Grains are generally rich in carbohydrates and energy value but comparatively low in protein and naturally deficient in calcium and vitamin A. Breads are usually enriched to compensate for any nutritional deficiencies in the cereal used. Though often consumed in the areas where grown, cereal and cereal by-products are also major commodities in international trade.
Variants of CEREAL
cereal or grain
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on cereal, visit Britannica.com.