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Oats redirects here. It may mean either the common cereal oat discussed here, or any cultivated or wild species of the genus Avena.
Oat
Oat plants with inflorescences
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Monocots
(unranked): Commelinids
Order: Poales
Family: Poaceae
Genus: Avena
Species: A. sativa
Binomial name
Avena sativa
L. (1753)
Oats in SK near harvest time

The common oat (Avena sativa) is a species of cereal grain grown for its seed, which is known by the same name (usually in the plural, unlike other grains). While oats are suitable for human consumption as oatmeal and rolled oats, one of the most common uses is as livestock feed. Oats make up a large part of the diet of horses and are regularly fed to cattle as well. Oats are also used in some brands of dog and chicken feed.

Contents

Origin

The wild ancestor of Avena sativa and the closely-related minor crop, A. byzantina, is the hexaploid wild oat A. sterilis. Genetic evidence shows that the ancestral forms of A. sterilis grow in the Fertile Crescent of the Near East. Domesticated oats appear relatively late, and far from the Near East, in Bronze Age Europe. Oats, like rye, are usually considered a secondary crop, i.e. derived from a weed of the primary cereal domesticates wheat and barley. As these cereals spread westwards into cooler, wetter areas, this may have favoured the oat weed component, leading to its eventual domestication.[1]

Cultivation

Top Ten Oats Producers — 2005
(million metric ton)
 Russia 5.1
 Canada 3.3
 United States 1.7
 Poland 1.3
 Finland 1.2
 Australia 1.1
 Germany 1.0
 Belarus 0.8
 China 0.8
 Ukraine 0.8
World Total 24.6
Source: FAO
Worldwide oat yield
Oat output in 2005

Oats are grown throughout the temperate zones. They have a lower summer heat requirement and greater tolerance of rain than other cereals like wheat, rye or barley, so are particularly important in areas with cool, wet summers such as Northwest Europe, even being grown successfully in Iceland. Oats are an annual plant, and can be planted either in autumn (for late summer harvest) or in the spring (for early autumn harvest).

Historical attitudes towards oats vary. Oat bread was first manufactured in England, where the first oat bread factory was established in 1899. In Scotland they were, and still are, held in high esteem, as a mainstay of the national diet. The English lexicographer Samuel Johnson, famously wrote in A Dictionary of the English Language that the oat was a grain, which in England is generally given to horses, but in Scotland supports the people, to which the Scottish riposte is "and England has the finest horses, and Scotland the finest men".

Uses

Closeup of oat florets (small flowers)

Oats have numerous uses in food; most commonly, they are rolled or crushed into oatmeal, or ground into fine oat flour. Oatmeal is chiefly eaten as porridge, but may also be used in a variety of baked goods, such as oatcakes, oatmeal cookies, and oat bread. Oats are also an ingredient in many cold cereals, in particular muesli and granola. Oats may also be consumed raw, and cookies with raw oats are becoming popular.

Oats are also occasionally used in several different drinks. In Britain, it is used for brewing beer. Oatmeal stout is one variety brewed using a percentage of oats for the wort. The more rarely used Oat Malt is produced by the Thomas Fawcett & Sons Maltings and was used in the Maclay Oat Malt Stout before Maclays Brewery ceased independent brewing operations. A cold, sweet drink made of ground oats and milk is a popular refreshment throughout Latin America. Oatmeal caudle, made of ale and oatmeal with spices was a traditional British drink and a favorite of Oliver Cromwell.[2][3]

In Scotland a dish called Sowans was made by soaking the husks from oats for a week so that the fine, floury part of the meal remained as sediment to be strained off, boiled and eaten (Gauldie 1981). Oats are also widely used there as a thickener in soups, as barley or rice might be used in other countries.

Oats are also commonly used as feed for horses - as plain whole or rolled oats or as part of a blended food pellet. Cattle are also fed oats, either whole, or ground into a coarse flour using a roller mill, burr mill, or hammer mill.

Oat straw is prized by cattle and horse producers as bedding, due to its soft, relatively dust-free, and absorbent nature. The straw can also be used for making corn dollies. Tied in a muslin bag, oat straw was used to soften bath-water.

Oat extract can also be used to soothe skin conditions, as in skin lotions. It is the principal ingredient for the Aveeno line of products.[4]

Health

Oats are generally considered "healthy", or a health food, being touted commercially as nutritious. The discovery of the healthy cholesterol-lowering properties has led to wider appreciation of oats as human food.

Oat grains in their husks
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Soluble fiber

Oat bran is the outer casing of the oat. Its consumption is believed to lower LDL ("bad") cholesterol, and possibly to reduce the risk of heart disease.

Oats contain more soluble fiber than any other grain, resulting in slower digestion and an extended sensation of fullness.[citation needed] One type of soluble fibre, beta-glucans, has proven to help lower cholesterol.

After reports of research finding that dietary oats can help lower cholesterol,[citation needed] an "oat bran craze" swept the U.S. in the late 1980s, peaking in 1989, when potato chips with added oat bran were marketed. The food fad was short-lived and faded by the early 1990s. The popularity of oatmeal and other oat products again increased after the January 1998 decision by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) when it issued its final rule allowing a health claim to be made on the labels of foods containing soluble fiber from whole oats (oat bran, oat flour and rolled oats), noting that 3.00 grams of soluble fiber daily from these foods, in conjunction with a diet low in saturated fat, cholesterol, and fat may reduce the risk of heart disease. In order to qualify for the health claim, the whole oat-containing food must provide at least 0.75 grams of soluble fiber per serving. The soluble fiber in whole oats comprises a class of polysaccharides known as beta-D-glucan.

Beta-D-glucans, usually referred to as beta-glucans, comprise a class of non-digestible polysaccharides widely found in nature in sources such as grains, barley, yeast, bacteria, algae and mushrooms. In oats, barley and other cereal grains, they are located primarily in the endosperm cell wall.

Oat beta-glucan is a soluble fiber. It is a viscous polysaccharide made up of units of the monosaccharide D-glucose. Oat beta-glucan is composed of mixed-linkage polysaccharides. This means that the bonds between the D-glucose or D-glucopyranosyl units are either beta-1, 3 linkages or beta-1, 4 linkages. This type of beta-glucan is also referred to as a mixed-linkage (1→3), (1→4)-beta-D-glucan. The (1→3)-linkages break up the uniform structure of the beta-D-glucan molecule and make it soluble and flexible. In comparison, the non-digestible polysaccharide cellulose is also a beta-glucan but is non-soluble. The reason that it is non-soluble is that cellulose consists only of (1→4)-beta-D-linkages. The percentages of beta-glucan in the various whole oat products are: oat bran, greater than 5.5% and up to 23.0%; rolled oats, about 4%; whole oat flour about 4%.

Oats, after corn (maize), have the highest lipid content of any cereal, e.g., greater than 10 percent for oats and as high as 17 percent for some maize cultivars compared to about 2–3 percent for wheat and most other cereals. The polar lipid content of oats (about 8–17% glycolipid and 10–20% phospholipid or a total of about 33%) is greater than that of other cereals since much of the lipid fraction is contained within the endosperm.

Protein

Oats
Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
Energy 1,628 kJ (389 kcal)
Carbohydrates 66 g
Dietary fiber 11 g
Fat 7 g
Protein 17 g
Pantothenic acid (B5) 1.3 mg (26%)
Folate (Vit. B9) 56 μg (14%)
Iron 5 mg (40%)
Magnesium 177 mg (48%)
β-glucan (soluble fiber)  4 g
Percentages are relative to US recommendations for adults.
Source: USDA Nutrient database

Oat is the only cereal containing a globulin or legume-like protein, avenalin, as the major (80%) storage protein. Globulins are characterized by water solubility. The more typical cereal proteins, such as gluten and zein, are prolamines (prolamins). The minor protein of oat is a prolamine; avenin.

Oat protein is nearly equivalent in quality to soy protein, which has been shown by the World Health Organization to be equal to meat, milk, and egg protein[5] The protein content of the hull-less oat kernel (groat) ranges from 12–24%, the highest among cereals.

Coeliac disease

Coeliac disease, or celiac disease, from Greek "koiliakos", meaning "bowel-related", is a disease often associated with ingestion of wheat, or more specifically a group of proteins labelled prolamines, or more commonly, gluten. Oats lack many of the prolamines found in wheat; however, oats do contain avenin.[6] Avenin is a prolamine that is toxic to the intestinal submucosa and can trigger a reaction in some celiacs.[7]

Although oats do contain avenin, there are several studies suggesting that oats can be a part of a gluten-free diet if it is pure. The first such study was published in 1995.[8] A follow-up study indicated that it is safe to use oats even in a longer period.[9]

Additionally, oats are frequently processed near wheat, barley and other grains, such that they become contaminated with other glutens. Because of this, the FAO's Codex Alimentarius Commission officially lists them as a crop containing gluten. Oats from Ireland and Scotland, where less wheat is grown, are less likely to be contaminated in this way.[citation needed]

Oats are part of a gluten-free diet in, for example, Finland and Sweden. In both of these countries there are "pure oat" products on the market.

Agronomy

Oats are sown in the spring or early summer, as soon as the soil can be worked. An early start is crucial to good yields as oats will go dormant during the summer heat. In warmer areas, oats are sown in late summer or early fall. Oats are cold-tolerant and will be unaffected by late frosts or snow.

Seeding rates

Typically about 125 to 175 kg/hectare (between 2.75 and 3.25 bushels per acre) are sown, either broadcast, drilled, or planted using an air seeder. Lower rates are used when underseeding with a legume. Somewhat higher rates can be used on the best soils, or where there are problems with weeds. Excessive sowing rates will lead to problems with lodging and may reduce yields.

Winter oats may be grown as an off-season groundcover and plowed under in the spring as a green fertilizer, grazed as winter forage, or harvested in early summer.

Fertilizer requirements

Oats remove substantial amounts of nitrogen from the soil. They also remove phosphorus in the form of P2O5 at the rate of 0.25 pound per bushel per acre (1 bushel = 38 pounds at 12% moisture);[citation needed] Phosphate is thus applied at a rate of 30 to 40 kg/ha, or 30 to 40 lb/acre. Oats remove potash (K2O) at a rate of 0.19 pound per bushel per acre, which causes it to use 15–30 kg/ha, or 13–27 lb/acre. Usually 50–100 kg/ha (45–90 pounds per acre) of nitrogen in the form of urea or anhydrous ammonia is sufficient, as oats uses about 1 pound per bushel per acre. A sufficient amount of nitrogen is particularly important for plant height and hence straw quality and yield. When the prior-year crop was a legume, or where ample manure is applied, nitrogen rates can be reduced somewhat.

Weed control

The vigorous growth habit of oats will tend to choke out most weeds. A few tall broadleaf weeds, such as ragweed, goosegrass, wild mustard and buttonweed (velvetleaf), can occasionally be a problem as they complicate harvest and reduce yields. These can be controlled with a modest application of a broadleaf herbicide such as 2,4-D while the weeds are still small.

Pests and diseases

Oats are relatively free from diseases and pests, with the exception being leaf diseases, such as leaf rust and stem rust. A few Lepidoptera caterpillars feed on the plants—e.g. rustic shoulder-knot and Setaceous Hebrew Character—but these rarely become a major pest. See also List of oats diseases.

Harvesting

Harvesting of oats in Jølster, Norway ca. 1890.
(Photo: Axel Lindahl/Norwegian Museum of Cultural History)

Modern harvest technique is a matter of available equipment, local tradition, and priorities. Farmers seeking the highest yield from their crop time their harvest so that the kernels have reached 35% moisture, or when the greenest kernels are just turning cream-color. They then harvest by swathing, cutting the plants at about 10 cm (4 inches) above ground, and putting the swathed plants into windrows with the grain all oriented the same way. They leave the windrows to dry in the sun for several days before combining them using a pickup header. Finally, they bale the straw.

Oats can also be left standing until completely ripe and then combined with a grain head. This will lead to greater field losses as the grain falls from the heads and to harvesting losses as the grain is threshed out by the reel. Without a draper head, there will also be somewhat more age to the straw since it will not be properly oriented as it enters the throat of the combine. Overall yield loss is 10–15% compared to proper swathing.

Historical harvest methods involved cutting with a scythe or sickle, and threshing under the feet of cattle. Late 19th and early 20th century harvesting was performed using a binder. Oats were gathered into shocks and then collected and run through a stationary threshing machine.

Storage

After it is combined, the oats are transported to the farm-yard using a grain truck, semi, or road train, where it is augered or conveyed into a bin for storage. Sometimes, when there is not enough bin-space, it is augered into portable grain rings, or piled on the ground. Oats can be safely stored at 12% moisture; at higher moisture levels, it must be aerated, or dried.

Yield and quality

In the United States, No.1 oats weighs 42 lb per bushel; No.3 oats must weigh at least 38 lb/bu. If it weighs over 36 lb/bu, it is a No.4, and anything under 36 lb/bu is graded as "light weight". A Canadian bushel of oats, however, is 34 lb.

Note, however, that oats are bought and sold, and yields are figured, on the basis of a bushel equal;lb in the United States. Yields range from 60 to 80 bushels on marginal land, to 100 to 150 bushels per acre on high-producing land. The average production is 100 bushels per acre, or 3.5 tonnes per hectare.

Straw yields are variable, ranging from one to three tonnes per hectare, mainly due to available nutrients, and the variety used (some are short-strawed, meant specifically for straight-combining).

Processing

Oats processing is a relatively simple process:

Cleaning and sizing

Upon delivery to the milling plant, chaff, rocks, other grains, and other foreign material are removed from the oats.

Dehulling

Separation of the outer hull from the inner oat groat is effected by means of centripetal acceleration. Oats are fed by gravity onto the center of a horizontally spinning stone which accelerates them towards the outer ring. Groat and hull are separated on impact with this ring. The lighter oat hulls are then aspirated away while the denser oat groats are taken to the next step of processing. Oat hulls can be used as feed, processed further into insoluble oat fiber, or used as a biomass fuel.

Kilning

The unsized oat groats will then pass through a heat and moisture treatment to balance moisture, but mainly to stabilize the groat. Oat groats are high in fat (lipids) and once exposed from their protective hull, enzymatic (lipase) activity begins to break down the fat into free fatty acids, ultimately causing an off flavor or rancidity. Oats will begin to show signs of enzymatic rancidity within 4 days of being dehulled and not stabilized. This process is primarily done in food grade plants, not in feed grade plants. An oat groat is not considered a raw oat groat if it has gone through this process: the heat has disrupted the germ, and the oat groat will not sprout.

Sizing of groats

Many whole oat groats are broken during the dehulling process, leaving the following types of groats to be sized and separated for further processing: Whole oat groats, coarse steel cut groats, steel cut groats and fine steel cut groats. Groats are sized and separated using screens, shakers and indent screens. After the whole oat groats are separated, the remaining broken groats get sized again into the 3 groups (coarse, regular, fine), and then stored. The term steel cut is referred to all sized or cut groats. When there are not enough broken to size for further processing, then whole oat groats get sent to a cutting unit with steel blades that will evenly cut the groats into the three sizes as discussed earlier.

Final processing

Three methods are used to make the finished product:

Flaking

This process uses two large smooth or corrugated rolls spinning at the same speed in opposite directions at a controlled distance. Oat flakes, also known as rolled oats, have many different sizes, thicknesses and other characteristics depending on the size of oat groat passed between the rolls. Typically the three sizes of steel cut oats are used to make instant, baby and quick rolled oats, whereas whole oat groats are used to make regular, medium and thick rolled oats. Oat flakes range from a thickness of 0.36 mm to 1.00 mm.

Oat bran milling

This process takes the oat groats through several roll stands that flatten and separate the bran from the flour (endosperm). The two separate products (flour and bran) get sifted through a gyrating sifter screen to further separate them. The final products are oat bran and debranned oat flour.

Whole flour milling

This process takes oat groats straight to a grinding unit (stone or hammer mill) and then over sifter screens to separate the coarse flour and final whole oat flour. The coarser flour gets sent back to the grinding unit until it's ground fine enough to be whole oat flour. This method is used very much in India and other countries.

Naming

In Scottish English oats may be referred to as corn.[10]

Oats futures

Oats futures are traded on the Chicago Board of Trade and have delivery dates in March (H), May (K), July (N), September (U), December (Z).[11]

See also

References

  1. ^ Zhou, X., Jellen, E.N., Murphy, J.P. 1999. Progenitor germplasm of domesticated hexaploid oat. Crop science 39: 1208–1214
  2. ^ The Compleat Housewife, p. 169, Eliza Smith, 1739
  3. ^ Food in Early Modern Europe, Ken Albala, Greenwood Publishing Group, 2003, ISBN 0313319626
  4. ^ "AVEENO Skin Care Products". Aveeno.com. http://www.aveeno.com/about-aveeno.jsp. Retrieved 2009-08-10. 
  5. ^ Lasztity, Radomir (1999). The Chemistry of Cereal Proteins. Akademiai Kiado (English). ISBN 978-0849327636. 
  6. ^ Rottmann LH (2006-09-26). "On the Use of Oats in the Gluten-Free Diet". Celiac Sprue Association/United States of America, Inc. (CSA). http://www.csaceliacs.org/library/useofoats.php. Retrieved 2006-10-31. 
  7. ^ "Info on Oats". Celiac Sprue Association/United States of America, Inc. (CSA). 2006-09-26. http://www.csaceliacs.org/InfoonOats.php. Retrieved 2007-09-29. 
  8. ^ Janatuinen, E et al. (1995-10-19). "A Comparison of Diets with and without Oats in Adults with Celiac Disease". New England Journal of Medicine. http://content.nejm.org/cgi/content/abstract/333/16/1033. 
  9. ^ Janatuinen, E.K., Kemppainen, T.A., Julkunen, R.J.K., Kosma, V-M., Mäki, M., Heikkinen, M. and Uusitupa, M.I. (2002) No harm from five year ingestion of oats in celiac disease, Gut, 50, 332–335
  10. ^ Partridge, Eric; Janet Whitcut (ed.) (1995). Usage and Abusage: A Guide to Good English (1st American ed. ed.). New York: W.W. Norton, 1995. pp. 82. ISBN 0393037614. http://books.google.com/books?id=icnKIlILT4oC&pg=PA82&vq=corn&source=gbs_search_r&cad=1_1&sig=gDb63y1bG3c40htw8rMw_1_v4GI. 
  11. ^ List of Commodity Delivery Dates on Wikinvest

Further reading

  • Gauldie, Enid (1981). The Scottish Miller 1700–1900. Pub. John Donald. ISBN 0-85976-067-7.

External links


1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

OAT (0. Eng. ate; the word is not found in cognate languages; it may be allied with Fr. eitel, knot, nodule, cf. Gr. o150s swelling), a cereal (Avena sativa) belonging to the tribe Avenece of the order Gramineae or grasses. The genus Avena contains about fifty species mostly dispersed through the temperate regions of the Old World. The spikelets form a loose panicle,)(Ix. 30 a familiar in the cultivated oat (fig. I), the flowering glume having its dorsal rib prolonged into an awn (fig. 2), which is in some species twisted and bent near the base.

The origin of the cultivated oat is generally believed to be A. fatua, or "wild oat," or some similar species, of which several exist in southern Europe and western Asia. Professor J. Buckman succeeded in raising "the potato-oat type" and "the white Tatarian oat" from grain of this species. A. strigosa, Schreb, "the bristle-pointed oat," is the origin of the Scotch oat, according to Buckman. The white and black varieties of this species were cultivated in England and Scotland from remote times, and are still grown as a crop in Orkney and Shetland. A. strigosa is probably only a variety of the cultivated oat. The "naked oat," A. nuda, was found by Bunge in waste ground about Peking; it was identified by the botanist Lindley with the pilcorn of the old agriculture, and we see from Rogers 1 that it was in cultivation in England in the 13th century. Both this and the "common otes," A. vesca, are described by Gerard.' Parkinson tells us that in his time (early in the 17th century) the naked oat was sown in sundry places, but "nothing so frequent" as the common sort. The chief differences between A. fatua and A. saliva, are, that in the former the chaff-scales which adhere to the grain are thick and hairy, and in the latter they are not so coarse and are hairless. The wild oat, moreover, has a long stiff awn, usually twisted near the base. In the cultivated oat it may be wanting, and if present it is not so stiff and is seldom bent. The grain is very small and worthless it the one, but larger and full in the other. There are now n- ,y varieties of the cultivated oat included under two principr races - common FIG. 2. - Spikelet of Oat, A. FIG. 3. - Spikelet of Wild Oat, sativa, with two fertile florets, A. fatua, glumes hairy and long and one terminal, rudimentary. pointed, awn twisted at base.


(After Buckman.) oat or panicled oats with a spreading panicle, A. sativa proper, and Tatarian oats or banner oats which has sometimes been regarded as a distinct species, A. orientalis, with contracted one-sided panicles. With regard to the antiquity of the oat, A. de Candolle 3 observes that it was not cultivated by the Hebrews, the Egyptians, the ancient Greeks and the Romans. Central Europe appears to be the locality where it was cultivated, earliest, at least in Europe, for grains have been found among 1 Rarer Kinds of Grain, ii. 173.

Herball, p. 68 (1597).

3 Origin of Cultivated Plants, p. 373.

the remains of the Swiss lake-dwellings perhaps not earlier than the bronze age, while Pliny alludes to bread made of it by the ancient Germans. Pickering also records Galen's observations (De Alim. Fac. i. 14), that it was abundant in Asia Minor, especially Mysia, where it was made into bread as well as given to horses.

Besides the use of the straw when cut up and mixed with other food for fodder, the oat grain constitutes an important food for both man and beast. The oat grain (excepting the naked oat), like that of barley, is closely invested by the husk. Oatmeal is made from the kiln-dried grain from which the husks have been removed; and the form of the food is the well-known "porridge." In Ireland, where it is sometimes mixed with Indian-corn meal, it is called "stirabout." Groats or grits are the whole kernel from which the husk is removed. Their use is for gruel, which used to be consumed as an ordinary drink in the 17th century at the coffee-houses in London. The meal can be baked into "cake" or biscuit, as the Passover cake of the Jews; but it cannot be made into loaves in consequence of the great difficulty in rupturing the starch grains, unless the temperature be raised to a considerable height. With regard to the nutritive value of oatmeal, as compared with that of wheat flour, it contains a higher percentage of albuminoids than any other grain, viz. 12.6 - that of wheat being Io 8 - and less of starch, 58.4 as against 66.3 in wheat. It has rather more sugar, viz. 5.4 - wheat having 4.2 - and a good deal more fat, viz. 5.6, as against 2.0 in flour. Lastly, salts amount to 3. o % in oat, but are only I 7 in wheat. Its nutritive value, therefore, is higher than that of ordinary seconds flour.


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Simple English

Oat
File:Avena sativa
Oat plants with inflorescences
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Liliopsida
Order: Poales
Family: Poaceae
Genus: Avena
Species: A. sativa
Binomial name
Avena sativa
L. (1753)

Oats (Avena sativa) are a type of cereal grain. People use them as food for themselves and other animals, for example, chickens and horses. Oatmeal is made from oats. Oat straw is used as bedding for animals.

Porridge is made only from whole grain oats. It forms an excellent part of a balanced diet for the following reasons:

  1. Oats are rich in both soluble and insoluble fiber.
  2. Oats are a place to get energy. As a rich place to get complex carbohydrates, they provides a slow release of energy over the morning – in that way they reduce the desire to eat ‘quick energy release’ sugar-based foods.
  3. Oats are also a good place to get protein.
  4. Oats are low in unsaturated fat and contain no cholesterol.
  5. Oats are also a good place to get vitamin B1.

Contents

Origin

The wild ancestor of Avena sativa and the similar minor crop, A. byzantina, is the hexaploid wild oat A. sterilis. Science of DNA shows that the ancestor forms of A. sterilis grew in the Fertile Crescent of the Near East. Domesticated oats appear later. They are also far from the Near East, in Bronze Age Europe. Oats are like rye. They are normally thought as a less important crop, i.e. coming from a weed out of the main cereals wheat and barley. As these cereals spread into cooler, wetter places, this may have favored the oat weed. This quickly leads to its common use.[1]

Cultivation

Top Ten Oats Producers — 2005
(million metric ton)
File:Flag of Russia (bordered).svg 5.1
3.3
1.7
File:Flag of Poland (bordered).svg 1.3
File:Flag of Finland (bordered).svg 1.2
1.1
1.0
0.8
File:Flag of the People' 0.8
0.8
World Total 24.6
Source: FAO


Oats are grown all over temperate places. They have a lower summer heat need and are able to survive more rain than other cereals like wheat, rye or barley. Oats are an annual plant, and can be planted either in autumn (for late summer harvest) or in the spring (for early autumn harvest).

Historical attitudes towards oats are very different. Oat bread was first made in England, where the first oat bread factory was made in 1899. In Scotland, are well liked, as a good part of the national diet. The English writer Samuel Johnson, famously wrote in A Dictionary of the English Language that the oat was a grain, which in England is generally given to horses, but in Scotland supports the people. Which the Scottish quickly said back "and England has the best horses, and Scotland the best men."

Uses

Oats have many uses in food. Most of the time they are rolled or crushed into oatmeal, or ground into oat flour. Oatmeal is also eaten as porridge, but may also be used in many of baked goods, such as oat cakes, oatmeal cookies, and oat bread. Oats are also an substance used in many cold cereals, in particular muesli and granola. Without cooking, oats may also be taken as food.

Oats are also sometimes used in drinks. In Britain, it is used for making beer. Oatmeal stout is one of many beers using some oats. A cold, sweet drink made of ground oats and milk is a well liked drink in Latin America. 'Oatmeal caudle', made of ale and oatmeal with spices was a usual British drink and well-liked by Oliver Cromwell.[2][3]

In Scotland a dish called Sowans was made by putting the husks from oats in water for a week so that the fine, dusty part of the meal remained at the bottom to be strained off, boiled and taken as food (Gauldie 1981). Oats are also widely used there as a thickener in soups, as barley or rice might be used in other countries.

Oats are also commonly used as feed for horses - as whole or rolled oats or as part of food bits. Cattle are also fed oats, either whole, or ground into a flour using a mill.

Oat straw is prized by cattle and horse makers as bedding, because its soft, almost dust-free, and takes in liquid. The straw can also be used for making corn dollies. Tied in a cotton bag, oat straw was used to soften bath-water.

Things take out of oatscan also be used to make pain less sharp in the skin, as in skin lotions. It is the main substance in the Aveeno line of products.[4]

Health

s]] Oats are mostly thought as "healthy" food. The finding of the healthy cholesterol-lowering properties has led to more liking of oats as human food.

Protein

Oat is the only cereal having a globulin or legume-like protein, avenalin, as the major (80%) storage protein.[5] Globulins can be taken up by weak salt water. The more common cereal proteins are gluten and zein. The minor protein of oat is avenin.

Oat protein is almost the same in quality as soy bean protein, which has been shown by the World Health Organization to be equal to meat, milk, and egg protein.[6] The amount of protein of the hull-less oat kernel ranges from 12–24%, which is the highest among cereals.

References

  1. Zhou, X., Jellen, E.N., Murphy, J.P. 1999. Progenitor germplasm of domesticated hexaploid oat. Crop science 39: 1208–1214
  2. The Compleat Housewife, p. 169, Eliza Smith, 1739
  3. Food in Early Modern Europe, Ken Albala, Greenwood Publishing Group, 2003, ISBN 0313319626
  4. "AVEENO Skin Care Products". Aveeno.com. http://www.aveeno.com/about-aveeno.jsp. Retrieved 2009-08-10. 
  5. http://www.plantcell.org/cgi/reprint/7/7/945.pdf
  6. Lasztity, Radomir (1999). The Chemistry of Cereal Proteins. Akademiai Kiado (English). ISBN 978-0849327636. 

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