Cereal grains have been the principal component of human diet for thousands of years and have played a major role in shaping human civilization. Around the world, rice, wheat, and maize, and to a lesser extent, sorghum and millets, are important staples critical to daily survival of billions of people. More than 50% of world daily caloric intake is derived directly from cereal grain consumption. Most of the grain used for human food is milled to remove the bran (pericarp) and germ, primarily to meet sensory expectations of consumers. The milling process strips the grains of important nutrients beneficial to health, including dietary fiber, phenolics, vitamins and minerals. Thus, even though ample evidence exists on the health benefits of whole grain consumption, challenges remain to developing food products that contain significant quantities of whole grain components and meet consumer expectations. This book presents some of the latest research endeavors that aim to improve our understanding of how the chemistry of various grain components can be manipulated to improve contribution of cereals to human health.
Most of the topics are based on the Cereal Grains Symposium, at the 2011 American Chemical Society held in Anaheim, CA, March 27-31.