Oat

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Oat
Avena sativa L.jpg
Oat plants with inflorescences
Scientific classification Red Pencil Icon.png
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Monocots
Clade: Commelinids
Order: Poales
Family: Poaceae
Subfamily: Pooideae
Genus: Avena
Species:
A. sativa
Binomial name
Avena sativa
L. (1753)

The oat (Avena sativa), sometimes called the common oat, is a species of cereal grain grown for its seed, which is known by the same name (usually in the plural, unlike other cereals and pseudocereals). While oats are suitable for human consumption as oatmeal and rolled oats, one of the most common uses is as livestock feed. Oats are a nutrient-rich food associated with lower blood cholesterol when consumed regularly. [1]

In biology, a species ( ) is the basic unit of classification and a taxonomic rank of an organism, as well as a unit of biodiversity. A species is often defined as the largest group of organisms in which any two individuals of the appropriate sexes or mating types can produce fertile offspring, typically by sexual reproduction. Other ways of defining species include their karyotype, DNA sequence, morphology, behaviour or ecological niche. In addition, paleontologists use the concept of the chronospecies since fossil reproduction cannot be examined. While these definitions may seem adequate, when looked at more closely they represent problematic species concepts. For example, the boundaries between closely related species become unclear with hybridisation, in a species complex of hundreds of similar microspecies, and in a ring species. Also, among organisms that reproduce only asexually, the concept of a reproductive species breaks down, and each clone is potentially a microspecies.

Cereal Grass of which the fruits are used as grain, or said fruits

A cereal is any grass cultivated for the edible components of its grain, composed of the endosperm, germ, and bran. The term may also refer to the resulting grain itself. Cereal grain crops are grown in greater quantities and provide more food energy worldwide than any other type of crop and are therefore staple crops. Edible grains from other plant families, such as buckwheat (Polygonaceae), quinoa (Amaranthaceae) and chia (Lamiaceae), are referred to as pseudocereals.

Oatmeal oatmeal porridge

Oatmeal is a type of coarse flour made of hulled oat grains – groats – that have either been milled (ground), steel-cut, or rolled. Ground oats are also called "white oats". Steel-cut oats are known as "coarse oatmeal" or "Irish oatmeal" or "pinhead oats". Rolled oats can be either thick or thin, and may be "old-fashioned", or "quick", or "instant". The term "oatmeal" is also used in the U.S. and parts of Canada as another word for an oat-based porridge popular in such countries made from either ground, steel-cut, or rolled oats.

Contents

Avenins present in oats (proteins similar to gliadin from wheat) can trigger celiac disease in a small proportion of people. [2] [3] Also, oat products are frequently contaminated by other gluten-containing grains, mainly wheat and barley. [3] [4] [5]

Gliadin is a class of proteins present in wheat and several other cereals within the grass genus Triticum. Gliadins, which are a component of gluten, are essential for giving bread the ability to rise properly during baking. Gliadins and glutenins are the two main components of the gluten fraction of the wheat seed. This gluten is found in products such as wheat flour. Gluten is split about evenly between the gliadins and glutenins, although there are variations found in different sources.

Wheat Cereal grain

Wheat is a grass widely cultivated for its seed, a cereal grain which is a worldwide staple food. The many species of wheat together make up the genus Triticum; the most widely grown is common wheat.

Coeliac disease long term autoimmune disorder causing intolerance to gluten

Coeliac disease or celiac disease is a long-term autoimmune disorder that primarily affects the small intestine. Classic symptoms include gastrointestinal problems such as chronic diarrhoea, abdominal distention, malabsorption, loss of appetite and among children failure to grow normally. This often begins between six months and two years of age. Non-classic symptoms are more common, especially in people older than two years. There may be mild or absent gastrointestinal symptoms, a wide number of symptoms involving any part of the body or no obvious symptoms. Coeliac disease was first described in childhood; however, it may develop at any age. It is associated with other autoimmune diseases, such as diabetes mellitus type 1 and thyroiditis, among others.

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 the ancestral forms of A. sterilis grew in the Fertile Crescent of the Near East. [6] Oats are usually considered a secondary crop, i.e., derived from a weed of the primary cereal domesticates, then spreading westward into cooler, wetter areas favorable for oats, eventually leading to their domestication in regions of the Middle East and Europe. [6]

Polyploidy chromosomal constitution of a cell containing multiples of the normal number of chromosomes

Polyploidy is the state of a cell or organism having more than two paired (homologous) sets of chromosomes. Most species whose cells have nuclei (eukaryotes) are diploid, meaning they have two sets of chromosomes—one set inherited from each parent. However, polyploidy is found in some organisms and is especially common in plants. In addition, polyploidy occurs in some tissues of animals that are otherwise diploid, such as human muscle tissues. This is known as endopolyploidy. Species whose cells do not have nuclei, that is, prokaryotes, may be polyploid, as seen in the large bacterium Epulopiscium fishelsoni. Hence ploidy is defined with respect to a cell. Most eukaryotes have diploid somatic cells, but produce haploid gametes by meiosis. A monoploid has only one set of chromosomes, and the term is usually only applied to cells or organisms that are normally diploid. Males of bees and other Hymenoptera, for example, are monoploid. Unlike animals, plants and multicellular algae have life cycles with two alternating multicellular generations. The gametophyte generation is haploid, and produces gametes by mitosis, the sporophyte generation is diploid and produces spores by meiosis.

<i>Avena sterilis</i> species of plant

Avena sterilis is a species of grass weed, and its seeds are edible.

Heredity passing of traits to offspring from its parents or ancestor

Heredity is the passing on of traits from parents to their offspring, either through asexual reproduction or sexual reproduction, the offspring cells or organisms acquire the genetic information of their parents. Through heredity, variations between individuals can accumulate and cause species to evolve by natural selection. The study of heredity in biology is genetics.

Cultivation

Oats production - 2016
Tonnes
Flag of Europe.svg  European Union
7,925,991
Flag of Russia.svg  Russia
4,761,365
Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg  Canada
3,018,100
Flag of Poland.svg  Poland
1,358,079
Flag of Australia (converted).svg  Australia
1,299,680
Flag of Finland.svg  Finland
1,037,400
Flag of the United States.svg  United States
940,130
World
22,991,780
United Nations, Food and Agriculture Organization, Statistics Division [7]

Oats are best grown in temperate regions. They have a lower summer heat requirement and greater tolerance of rain than other cereals, such as wheat, rye or barley, so they are particularly important in areas with cool, wet summers, such as Northwest Europe and even 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).

Rye species of plant

Rye is a grass grown extensively as a grain, a cover crop and a forage crop. It is a member of the wheat tribe (Triticeae) and is closely related to barley and wheat (Triticum). Rye grain is used for flour, bread, beer, crisp bread, some whiskeys, some vodkas, and animal fodder. It can also be eaten whole, either as boiled rye berries or by being rolled, similar to rolled oats.

Annual plant Plant that completes its life cycle within one year, and then dies

An annual plant is a plant that completes its life cycle, from germination to the production of seeds, within one year, and then dies. Summer annuals germinate during spring or early summer and mature by autumn of the same year. Winter annuals germinate during the autumn and mature during the spring or summer of the following calendar year.

Worldwide oat production OatsYield.png
Worldwide oat production

Production

In 2016, global production of oats was 23 million tonnes, led by the European Union with 35% of the world total, followed by Russia with 21% of the total, Canada with 13% of the total (table). Other substantial producers were Poland, Australia, and Finland, each with over one million tonnes. [7]

Tonne Metric unit of mass

The tonne, commonly referred to as the metric ton in the United States and Canada, is a non-SI metric unit of mass equal to 1,000 kilograms or one megagram. It is equivalent to approximately 2,204.6 pounds, 1.102 short tons (US) or 0.984 long tons (UK). Although not part of the SI, the tonne is accepted for use with SI units and prefixes by the International Committee for Weights and Measures.

Russia transcontinental country in Eastern Europe and Northern Asia

Russia, officially the Russian Federation, is a transcontinental country in Eastern Europe and North Asia. At 17,125,200 square kilometres (6,612,100 sq mi), Russia is by a considerable margin the largest country in the world by area, covering more than one-eighth of the Earth's inhabited land area, and the ninth most populous, with about 146.77 million people as of 2019, including Crimea. About 77% of the population live in the western, European part of the country. Russia's capital, Moscow, is one of the largest cities in the world and the second largest city in Europe; other major cities include Saint Petersburg, Novosibirsk, Yekaterinburg and Nizhny Novgorod. Extending across the entirety of Northern Asia and much of Eastern Europe, Russia spans eleven time zones and incorporates a wide range of environments and landforms. From northwest to southeast, Russia shares land borders with Norway, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland, Belarus, Ukraine, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, China, Mongolia and North Korea. It shares maritime borders with Japan by the Sea of Okhotsk and the U.S. state of Alaska across the Bering Strait. However, Russia recognises two more countries that border it, Abkhazia and South Ossetia, both of which are internationally recognized as parts of Georgia.

Canada Country in North America

Canada is a country in the northern part of North America. Its ten provinces and three territories extend from the Atlantic to the Pacific and northward into the Arctic Ocean, covering 9.98 million square kilometres, making it the world's second-largest country by total area. Canada's southern border with the United States, stretching some 8,891 kilometres (5,525 mi), is the world's longest bi-national land border. Its capital is Ottawa, and its three largest metropolitan areas are Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver. As a whole, Canada is sparsely populated, the majority of its land area being dominated by forest and tundra. Consequently, its population is highly urbanized, with over 80 percent of its inhabitants concentrated in large and medium-sized cities, with 70% of citizens residing within 100 kilometres (62 mi) of the southern border. Canada's climate varies widely across its vast area, ranging from arctic weather in the north, to hot summers in the southern regions, with four distinct seasons.

Uses

Closeup of oat florets (small flowers) Avena-sativa.jpg
Closeup of oat florets (small flowers)

Oats have numerous uses in foods; 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.

Rolled oats food

Rolled oats are a type of lightly processed whole-grain food. Traditionally, they are made from oat groats that have been dehusked and steamed, before being rolled into flat flakes under heavy rollers and then stabilized by being lightly toasted.

Flour powder which is made by grinding cereal grains

Flour is a powder made by grinding raw grains, roots, beans, nuts or seeds. It is used to make many different foods. Cereal flour is the main ingredient of bread, which is a staple food for most cultures. Wheat flour is one of the most important ingredients in Oceanic, European, South American, North American, Middle Eastern, North Indian and North African cultures, and is the defining ingredient in their styles of breads and pastries.

Porridge Food

Porridge is a food commonly eaten as a breakfast cereal dish, made by boiling ground, crushed or chopped starchy plants—typically grain—in water or milk. It is often cooked or served with added flavorings such as sugar, honey, fruit or syrup to make a sweet cereal or mixed with spices or vegetables to make a savoury dish. It is usually served hot in a bowl.

Historical attitudes towards oats have varied. Oat bread was first manufactured in Britain, 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.

In Scotland, a dish was made by soaking the husks from oats for a week, so the fine, floury part of the meal remained as sediment to be strained off, boiled and eaten. [8] 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 when extra carbohydrates and the subsequent boost in energy are required. The oat hull may be crushed ("rolled" or "crimped") for the horse to more easily digest the grain,[ citation needed ] or may be fed whole. They may be given alone 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 forage is commonly used to feed all kinds of ruminants, as pasture, straw, hay or silage. [9]

Winter oats may be grown as an off-season groundcover and ploughed under in the spring as a green fertilizer, or harvested in early summer. They also can be used for pasture; they can be grazed a while, then allowed to head out for grain production, or grazed continuously until other pastures are ready. [10]

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.

Oats are also occasionally used in several different drinks. In Britain, they are sometimes 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 called avena 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 favourite of Oliver Cromwell. [11] [12]

Oat extracts can also be used to soothe skin conditions, and are popular for their emollient properties in cosmetics. [13]

Oat grass has been used traditionally for medicinal purposes, including to help balance the menstrual cycle, treat dysmenorrhoea and for osteoporosis and urinary tract infections. [14]

Steamed oat noodles and rolls made from youmian. Oatnoodles.jpg
Steamed oat noodles and rolls made from youmian.

In China, particularly in western Inner Mongolia and Shanxi province, oat ( Avena nuda ) flour called youmian is processed into noodles or thin-walled rolls, and is consumed as staple food.[ citation needed ]

Health

Nutrient profile

Oats
Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
Energy 1,628 kJ (389 kcal)
66.3 g
Dietary fiber 11.6 g
Fat
6.9 g
Saturated 1.21 g
Monounsaturated 2.18 g
Polyunsaturated 2.54 g
16.9 g
Vitamins Quantity%DV
Thiamine (B1)
66%
0.763 mg
Riboflavin (B2)
12%
0.139 mg
Niacin (B3)
6%
0.961 mg
Pantothenic acid (B5)
27%
1.349 mg
Vitamin B6
9%
0.12 mg
Folate (B9)
14%
56 μg
Minerals Quantity%DV
Calcium
5%
54 mg
Iron
38%
5 mg
Magnesium
50%
177 mg
Manganese
233%
4.9 mg
Phosphorus
75%
523 mg
Potassium
9%
429 mg
Sodium
0%
2 mg
Zinc
42%
4 mg
Other constituentsQuantity
β-glucan (soluble fibre)  4 g

Percentages are roughly approximated using US recommendations for adults.

Oats are generally considered healthful due to their rich content of several essential nutrients (table). In a 100 gram serving, oats provide 389 kilocalories (1,630  kJ ) and are an excellent source (20% or more of the Daily Value, DV) of protein (34% DV), dietary fiber (44% DV), several B vitamins and numerous dietary minerals, especially manganese (233% DV) (table). Oats are 66% carbohydrates, including 11% dietary fiber and 4% beta-glucans, 7% fat and 17% protein (table).[ citation needed ]

The established property of their cholesterol-lowering effects [1] has led to acceptance of oats as a health food. [15]

Oat grains in their husks Haverkorrels Avena sativa.jpg
Oat grains in their husks
A sample of oat bran Salvado de avena.jpg
A sample of oat bran

Soluble fiber

Oat bran is the outer casing of the oat. Its daily consumption over weeks lowers LDL and total cholesterol, possibly reducing the risk of heart disease. [1] [16]

One type of soluble fiber, beta-glucans, has been proven to lower cholesterol. [1]

After reports of research finding that dietary oats can help lower cholesterol, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a final rule [17] that allows food companies to make health claims on food labels of foods that contain soluble fiber from whole oats (oat bran, oat flour and rolled oats), noting that 3.0 grams of soluble fiber daily from these foods may reduce the risk of heart disease. To qualify for the health claim, the food that contains the oats must provide at least 0.75 grams of soluble fiber per serving. [17]

Beta-D-glucans, usually referred to as beta-glucans, comprise a class of indigestible 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. The oat beta-glucan health claim applies to oat bran, rolled oats, whole oat flour and oatrim, a soluble fraction of alpha-amylase hydrolyzed oat bran or whole oat flour. [17]

Oat beta-glucan is a viscous polysaccharide made up of units of the monosaccharide D-glucose. Oat beta-glucan is composed of mixed-linkage polysaccharides. This means 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 indigestible polysaccharide cellulose is also a beta-glucan, but is not soluble because of its (1→4)-beta-D-linkages.[ citation needed ] The percentages of beta-glucan in the various whole oat products are: oat bran, having from 5.5% to 23.0%; rolled oats, about 4%; and whole oat flour about 4%.

Fat

Oats, after corn (maize), have the highest lipid content of any cereal, i.e. greater than 10% for oats and as high as 17% for some maize cultivars compared to about 2–3% for wheat and most other cereals.[ citation needed ] 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.[ citation needed ]

Protein

Oats are the only cereal containing a globulin or legume-like protein, avenalin, as the major (80%) storage protein. [18] Globulins are characterised by solubility in dilute saline as opposed to the more typical cereal proteins, such as gluten and zein, the prolamines (prolamins). The minor protein of oat is a prolamine, avenin.

Oat protein is nearly equivalent in quality to soy protein, which World Health Organization research has shown to be equal to meat, milk and egg protein. [19] The protein content of the hull-less oat kernel (groat) ranges from 12 to 24%, the highest among cereals.

Celiac disease

Celiac disease (coeliac disease) is a permanent intolerance to certain gluten proteins in genetically predisposed people, having a prevalence of about 1% in the developed world. [20] Gluten is present in wheat, barley, rye, oat, and all their species and hybrids [2] [20] and contains hundreds of proteins, with high contents of prolamins. [21]

Oat prolamins, named avenins, are similar to gliadins found in wheat, hordeins in barley, and secalins in rye, which are collectively named gluten. [2] Avenins toxicity in celiac people depends on the oat cultivar consumed because of prolamin genes, protein amino acid sequences, and the immunoreactivities of toxic prolamins which vary among oat varieties. [3] [4] [22] Also, oats products are frequently cross-contaminated with other gluten-containing cereals during grain harvesting, transport, storage or processing. [4] [22] [23] Pure oats contain less than 20 parts per million of gluten from wheat, barley, rye, or any of their hybrids. [3] [4]

Use of pure oats in a gluten-free diet offers improved nutritional value from the rich content of oat protein, vitamins, minerals, fiber, and lipids, [4] [24] but remains controversial because a small proportion of people with celiac disease react to pure oats. [3] [25] Some cultivars of pure oat could be a safe part of a gluten-free diet, requiring knowledge of the oat variety used in food products for a gluten-free diet. [3] [4] Determining whether oat consumption is safe is critical because people with poorly controlled celiac disease may develop multiple severe health complications, including cancers. [26]

Use of pure oat products is an option, with the assessment of a health professional, [3] when the celiac person has been on a gluten-free diet for at least 6 months and all celiac symptoms have disappeared clinically. [3] [27] Celiac disease may relapse in few cases with the consumption of pure oats. [28] Screening with serum antibodies for celiac disease is not sensitive enough to detect people who react to pure oats and the absence of digestive symptoms is not an accurate indicator of intestinal recovery because up to 50% of people with active celiac disease have no digestive symptoms. [28] [29] [30] The lifelong follow-up of celiac people who choose to consume oats may require periodic performance of intestinal biopsies. [26] The long-term effects of pure oats consumption are still unclear [26] [27] and further well-designed studies identifying the cultivars used are needed before making final recommendations for a gluten-free diet. [23] [24]

Agronomy

Noire d'Epinal, an ancient oat variety. 2013 07 13 Avoine noire d'Epinal.JPG
Noire d'Epinal, an ancient oat variety.
Oats in Saskatchewan near harvest time SK-OatAvena-sativa.JPG
Oats in Saskatchewan near harvest time

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

Seeding rates

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

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 (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, which causes it to use 15–30 kg/ha, or 13–27 lb/acre. Usually, 50–100 kg/ha (45–90 lb/ac) of nitrogen in the form of urea or anhydrous ammonia is sufficient, as oats use about one pound per bushel. 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 of oats tends to choke out most weeds. A few tall broadleaf weeds, such as ragweed, goosegrass, wild mustard, and buttonweed (velvetleaf), occasionally create 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. However, Puccinia coronata var. avenae is a pathogen that can greatly reduce crop yields. [31] A few lepidopteran caterpillars feed on the plants—e.g. rustic shoulder-knot and setaceous Hebrew character moths, but these rarely become a major pest. See also List of oat diseases.

Harvesting

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

Harvest techniques are a matter of available equipment, local tradition, and priorities. Farmers seeking the highest yield from their crops time their harvest so the kernels have reached 35% moisture, or when the greenest kernels are just turning cream-colour. They then harvest by swathing, cutting the plants at about 10 cm (3.9 in) 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 causes 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 is also more damage to the straw, since it is not properly oriented as it enters the combine's throat. 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 combining, the oats are transported to the farmyard using a grain truck, semi, or road train, where they are augered or conveyed into a bin for storage. Sometimes, when there is not enough bin space, they are augered into portable grain rings, or piled on the ground. Oats can be safely stored at 12-14% moisture; at higher moisture levels, they must be aerated or dried.

Yield and quality

In the United States, No.1 oats weigh 42 pounds per US bushel (541 kg/m3); No.3 oats must weigh at least 38 lb/US bu (489 kg/m3). If over 36 lb/US bu (463 kg/m3), they are graded as No.4 and oats under 36 lb/US bu (463 kg/m3) are graded as "light weight".

Oat seeds Avena sativa 004.JPG
Oat seeds

In Canada, No.1 oats weigh 42.64 lb/US bu (549 kg/m3); No.2 oats must weigh 40.18 lb/US bu (517 kg/m3); No.3 oats must weigh at least 38.54 lb/US bu (496 kg/m3) and if oats are lighter than 36.08 lb/US bu (464 kg/m3) they do not make No.4 oats and have no grade. [32]

Note, however, that oats are bought and sold and yields are figured, on the basis of a bushel equal to 32 pounds (14.5 kg or 412 kg/m3) in the United States and a bushel equal to 34 pounds (15.4 kg or 438 kg/m3) in Canada. "Bright oats" were sold on the basis of a bushel equal to 48 pounds (21.8 kg or 618 kg/m3) in the United States.

Yields range from 60 to 80 US bushels per acre (5.2–7.0 m3/ha) on marginal land, to 100 to 150 US bushels per acre (8.7–13.1 m3/ha) 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

Porridge oats before cooking Porridge oats.JPG
Porridge oats before cooking

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

Centrifugal acceleration is used to separate the outer hull from the inner oat groat. Oats are fed by gravity onto the centre of a horizontally spinning stone, which accelerates them towards the outer ring. Groats and hulls 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 fibre, or used as a biomass fuel.

Kilning

The unsized oat groats pass through a heat and moisture treatment to balance moisture, but mainly to stabilize them. Oat groats are high in fat (lipids) and once removed from their protective hulls and exposed to air, enzymatic (lipase) activity begins to break down the fat into free fatty acids, ultimately causing an off-flavour or rancidity. Oats begin to show signs of enzymatic rancidity within four days of being dehulled if not stabilized. This process is primarily done in food-grade plants, not in feed-grade plants. Groats are not considered raw if they have gone through this process; the heat disrupts the germ and they cannot sprout.

Sizing of groats

Many whole oat groats break 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 three groups (coarse, regular, fine), and then stored. "Steel cut" refers to all sized or cut groats. When not enough broken groats are available to size for further processing, whole oat groats are sent to a cutting unit with steel blades that evenly cut groats into the three sizes above.

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. After rolling, the oats are then toasted to make rolled oats. Oat flakes, also known as rolled oats, have many different sizes, thicknesses and other characteristics depending on the size of oat groats 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 in thickness from 0.36 mm to 1.00 mm.

Oat bran milling

This process takes the oat groats through several roll stands to 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 is sent back to the grinding unit until it is ground fine enough to be whole oat flour. This method is used often in India and other countries. In India, whole grain oat flour (jai) is used to make Indian bread known as jarobra in Himachal Pradesh.

Preparation at home

Oat flour can be ground for small scale use by pulsing rolled oats or old-fashioned (not quick) oats in a food processor or spice mill. [33] [34]

Naming

In Scottish English, oats may be referred to as corn. [35] (In the English language, the major staple grain of the local area is often referred to as "corn". [36] In the US, "corn" originates from "Indian corn" and refers to what others call "maize" or "sweetcorn".) [36]

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) and December (Z). [37]

See also

Oat products and derivatives

Major oat businesses

Related Research Articles

Gluten protein composite found in wheat and related grains, including barley and rye

Gluten is a group of proteins, called prolamins and glutelins, which occur with starch in the endosperm of various cereal grains. This protein complex comprises 75–85% of the total protein in bread wheat. It is found in related wheat species and hybrids, such as spelt, khorasan, emmer, einkorn, and triticale); barley, rye, and oats as well as products derived from these grains such as breads and malts. Glutens, especially Triticeae glutens, have unique viscoelastic and adhesive properties, which give dough its elasticity, helping it rise and keep its shape and often leaving the final product with a chewy texture. These properties and its relative low cost are the reasons why gluten is so widely demanded by the food industry and for non-food uses.

Buckwheat species of plant

Buckwheat, or common buckwheat, is a plant cultivated for its grain-like seeds and as a cover crop. A related and more bitter species, Fagopyrum tataricum, is a domesticated food plant common in Asia and Central and Eastern Europe. Despite the name, buckwheat is not related to wheat, as it is not a grass. Instead, buckwheat is related to sorrel, knotweed, and rhubarb. Because its seeds are rich in complex carbohydrates, it is referred to as a pseudocereal.

Breakfast cereal Food made from grain

Breakfast cereal, or cereal, is a breakfast food made from processed cereal grains and often eaten for breakfast, primarily in Western societies. It is most often mixed with milk, but can also be eaten with yogurt or fruit. Some companies promote their products for the health benefits from eating oat-based and high-fiber cereals. In the United States, cereals are often fortified with vitamins but can also lack many of the vitamins needed for a healthy breakfast. A significant proportion of cereals are made with high sugar content. Many breakfast cereals are produced via extrusion. The breakfast cereal industry has gross profit margins of 40–45%, 90% penetration in some markets, and steady and continued growth throughout its history. The number of different types of breakfast cereals in the U.S. has grown from 160 (1970) to 340 (1998); forecasted trend for 2012 was 4,945 (2012). In this highly competitive market, breakfast cereal companies have developed cereals in an ever-increasing number of flavors. Although many plain wheat and oat based cereals exist, other flavors are sweet. Some of the most popular brands include freeze-dried fruit and others are flavored like dessert or candy.

Gluten-free diet diet that excludes gluten

A gluten-free diet (GFD) is a diet that strictly excludes gluten, which is a mixture of proteins found in wheat, as well as barley, rye, and oats. The inclusion of oats in a gluten-free diet remains controversial, and may depend on the oat cultivar and the frequent cross-contamination with other gluten-containing cereals.

Groat (grain) hulled kernels of various cereal grains

Groats are the hulled kernels of various cereal grains, such as oat, wheat, rye, and barley. Groats are whole grains that include the cereal germ and fiber-rich bran portion of the grain, as well as the endosperm.

Whole grain cereal grain that contains the germ, endosperm, and bran

A whole grain, also called a wholegrain, is a grain of any cereal and pseudocereal that contains the endosperm, germ, and bran, in contrast to refined grains, which retain only the endosperm.

Hordein is a prolamin glycoprotein, present in barley and some other cereals, together with gliadin and other glycoproteins coming under the general name of gluten.

Prolamins are a group of plant storage proteins having a high proline content. They are found in plants, mainly in the seeds of cereal grains such as wheat (gliadin), barley (hordein), rye (secalin), corn (zein), sorghum (kafirin), and oats (avenin). They are characterised by a high glutamine and proline content, and are generally soluble only in strong alcohol [70-80%] solutions, light acids, and alkaline solution. They do not coagulate in heat. They hydrolyse into prolin and ammonia. Some prolamins, notably gliadin, and similar proteins found in the tribe Triticeae may induce coeliac disease in genetically predisposed individuals.

Wheat allergy allergy involving a FOODON:00001141

Wheat allergy is an allergy to wheat which typically presents itself as a food allergy, but can also be a contact allergy resulting from occupational exposure. Like all allergies, wheat allergy involves immunoglobulin E and mast cell response. Typically the allergy is limited to the seed storage proteins of wheat. Some reactions are restricted to wheat proteins, while others can react across many varieties of seeds and other plant tissues. Wheat allergy is rare. Prevalence in adults was found to be 0.21% in a 2012 study in Japan.

Beta-glucan class of chemical compounds

β-Glucans (beta-glucans) comprise a group of β-D-glucose polysaccharides naturally occurring in the cell walls of cereals, bacteria, and fungi, with significantly differing physicochemical properties dependent on source. Typically, β-glucans form a linear backbone with 1–3 β-glycosidic bonds but vary with respect to molecular mass, solubility, viscosity, branching structure, and gelation properties, causing diverse physiological effects in animals.

Triticeae glutens

Gluten is the seed storage protein in mature wheat seeds. It is the sticky substance in bread wheat which allows dough to rise and retain its shape during baking. The same, or very similar, proteins are also found in related grasses within the tribe Triticeae. Seed glutens of some non-Triticeae plants have similar properties, but none can perform on a par with those of the Triticeae taxa, particularly the Triticum species. What distinguishes bread wheat from these other grass seeds is the quantity of these proteins and the level of subcomponents, with bread wheat having the highest protein content and a complex mixture of proteins derived from three grass species.

Gluten-related disorders set of diseases caused by gluten ingestion

Gluten-related disorders is the term for the diseases triggered by gluten, including celiac disease (CD), non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS), gluten ataxia, dermatitis herpetiformis (DH) and wheat allergy. The umbrella category has also been referred to as gluten intolerance, though a multi-disciplinary physician-led study, based in part on the 2011 International Coeliac Disease Symposium, concluded that the use of these terms should be avoided due to a lack of specificity.

Anti-gliadin antibodies are produced in response to gliadin, a prolamin found in wheat. In bread wheat it is encoded by three different alleles, AA, BB, and DD. These alleles can produce slightly different gliadins, which can cause the body to produce different antibodies. Some of these antibodies can detect proteins in specific grass taxa such as Triticeae, while others react sporadically with certain species in those taxa, or over many taxonomically defined grass tribes.

Oat sensitivity represents a sensitivity to the proteins found in oats, Avena sativa. Sensitivity to oats can manifest as a result of allergy to oat seed storage proteins either inhaled or ingested. A more complex condition affects individuals who have gluten-sensitive enteropathy in which there is an autoimmune response to avenin, the glutinous protein in oats similar to the gluten within wheat. Sensitivity to oat foods can also result from their frequent contamination by wheat, barley, or rye particles.

Oat beta-glucan

Oat β-glucans are water-soluble β-glucans derived from the endosperm of oat kernels known for their dietary contribution as components of soluble fiber. Due to their property to lower cholesterol and potentially reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases, oat β-glucans have been assigned a qualified health claim by the European Food Safety Authority and the US Food and Drug Administration.

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