A report on Maize

Plant fragments dated to 4200 BC found in the Guilá Naquitz Cave in Oaxaca, Mexico, showed maize had already been domesticated from teosinte.
Cultivation of maize in an illustration from the 16th c. Florentine Codex
Ancient Mesoamerican relief, National Museum of Anthropology of Mexico
Many small male flowers make up the male inflorescence, called the tassel.
Zea mays 'Ottofile giallo Tortonese` – MHNT
Zea mays "strawberry"—MHNT
Zea mays "Oaxacan Green" MHNT
Variegated maize ears
Multicolored corn kernels (CSIRO)
Exotic varieties of maize are collected to add genetic diversity when selectively breeding new domestic strains
Teosinte (top), maize-teosinte hybrid (middle), maize (bottom)
Stucco head of the Maya maize god, 550–850 AD
Seedlings three weeks after sowing
Young stalks
Mature plants showing ears
Mature maize ears
Harvesting maize, Jones County, Iowa
Harvesting maize, Rantasalmi, South Savonia, Finland
Hand-picking harvest of maize in Myanmar
Production of maize (2019)
Semi-peeled corn on the cob
Poster showing a woman serving muffins, pancakes, and grits, with canisters on the table labeled corn meal, grits, and hominy, US Food Administration, 1918
Mexican tamales made with corn meal
Boiled corn on a white plate
Farm-based maize silage digester located near Neumünster in Germany, 2007. Green inflatable biogas holder is shown on top of the digester.
Children playing in a maize kernel box
Female inflorescence, with young silk
Mature silk
Stalks, ears and silk
Male flowers
Full-grown maize plants
Mature maize ear on a stalk
Maize kernels
Maize plant diagram
Ear of maize with irregular rows of kernels
With white and yellow kernels

Maize (Zea mays subsp.

- Maize

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Wheat

14 links

Grass widely cultivated for its seed, a cereal grain which is a worldwide staple food.

Grass widely cultivated for its seed, a cereal grain which is a worldwide staple food.

Spikelets of a hulled wheat, einkorn
Woman harvesting wheat, Raise district, Madhya Pradesh, India
The smaller grain of wheat on the left, larger kernels of rye next, and triticale on the right – triticale grain is significantly larger than wheat.
Wheat harvest on the Palouse, Idaho, United States
Sheaved and stooked wheat
Traditional wheat sheafing machine
Left: Naked wheat, Bread wheat Triticum aestivum; Right: Hulled wheat, Einkorn, Triticum monococcum. Note how the einkorn ear breaks down into intact spikelets.
Sack of wheat grains
Model of a wheat grain, Botanical Museum Greifswald
Wheat is used in a wide variety of foods.
A map of worldwide wheat production.
Production of wheat (2019)
Wheat prices in England, 1264-1996
Wheat spikelet with the three anthers sticking out
Rust-affected wheat seedlings
Green wheat a month before harvest
Young wheat crop in a field near Solapur, Maharashtra, India
Wheat crop near Solapur, India
alt=Wheat Farm in Behbahan, Iran|Wheat farm in Behbahan, Iran
A combine harvester threshes the wheat, crushes the chaff, then blows chaff across the field. The combine loads the threshed wheat onto a truck or trailer while moving
Two tractors deploying a sealed storage method for newly harvested wheat.
Map depicting acreage devoted to wheat in Ohio, 1923
Wheatfield near Weethalle, NSW
Annual agricultural production of wheat, measured in tonnes in 2014.<ref>{{cite web|title=Wheat production|url=https://ourworldindata.org/grapher/wheat-production|website=Our World in Data|access-date=5 March 2020}}</ref>
Average wheat yields, measured in tonnes per hectare in 2014.<ref>{{cite web|title=Wheat yields|url=https://ourworldindata.org/grapher/wheat-yields|website=Our World in Data|access-date=5 March 2020}}</ref>

In 2020, world production of wheat was 761 e6t, making it the second most-produced cereal after maize.

A mixture of brown, white, and red indica rice, also containing wild rice, Zizania species

Rice

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Seed of the grass species Oryza sativa or less commonly Oryza glaberrima (African rice).

Seed of the grass species Oryza sativa or less commonly Oryza glaberrima (African rice).

A mixture of brown, white, and red indica rice, also containing wild rice, Zizania species
Oryza sativa with small wind-pollinated flowers
Cooked brown rice from Bhutan
Jumli Marshi, brown rice from Nepal
Rice can come in many shapes, colors and sizes.
Single grain of rice under handmade microscope
Oryza sativa, commonly known as Asian rice
Unmilled to milled Japanese rice, from left to right, brown rice, rice with germ, white rice
Tteumul, water from the washing of rice
-Rice processing- A: Rice with chaff B: Brown rice C: Rice with germ D: White rice with bran residue E: Musenmai (Japanese: 無洗米), "Polished and ready to boil rice", literally, non-wash rice (1): Chaff (2): Bran (3): Bran residue (4): Cereal germ (5): Endosperm
Worldwide rice production
Production of rice (2019)
Burning of rice residues after harvest, to quickly prepare the land for wheat planting, around Sangrur, Punjab, India.
Rice combine harvester Katori-city, Chiba Prefecture, Japan
After the harvest, rice straw is gathered in the traditional way from small paddy fields in Mae Wang District, Chiang Mai Province, Thailand
Drying rice in Peravoor, India
Work by the International Center for Tropical Agriculture to measure the greenhouse gas emissions of rice production.
Chinese rice grasshopper (Oxya chinensis) Borneo, Malaysia
Chloroxylon is used for pest management in organic rice cultivation in Chhattisgarh, India.
Rice seed collection from IRRI
Ancient statue of Dewi Sri from Java (c. 9th century)
Hainanese chicken rice in Singapore
Annual per capita rice supply (2019)

It is the agricultural commodity with the third-highest worldwide production, after sugarcane and maize.

Structure of the amylose molecule

Starch

11 links

Polymeric carbohydrate consisting of numerous glucose units joined by glycosidic bonds.

Polymeric carbohydrate consisting of numerous glucose units joined by glycosidic bonds.

Structure of the amylose molecule
Structure of the amylopectin molecule
Starch mill at Ballydugan (Northern Ireland), built in 1792
West Philadelphia Starch works at Philadelphia (Pennsylvania), 1850
Faultless Starch Company at Kansas City
potato starch granules in cells of the potato
starch in endosperm in embryonic phase of maize seed
Corn starch, 800x magnified, under polarized light, showing characteristic extinction cross
Rice starch seen on light microscope. Characteristic for the rice starch is that starch granules have an angular outline and some of them are attached to each other and form larger granules
Granules of wheat starch, stained with iodine, photographed through a light microscope
Sago starch extraction from palm stems
Glucose syrup
Karo corn syrup advert 1917
Niagara corn starch advert 1880s
Pacific Laundry and Cooking Starch advert 1904
Starch adhesive
Gentleman with starched ruff in 1560
Kingsford Oswego Starch advertising, 1885
Rice starch for ironing

Worldwide, it is the most common carbohydrate in human diets, and is contained in large amounts in staple foods such as wheat, potatoes, maize (corn), rice, and cassava (manioc).

Cornmeal

Cornmeal

9 links

Cornmeal
Southern Africa's Nshima cornmeal (top right corner), served with three relishes.
Grindstones inside Mingus Mill, in the Great Smoky Mountains of North Carolina. Corn is placed in a hopper (top right) which slowly feeds it into the grindstone (center). The grindstone grinds the corn into cornmeal, and empties it into a bucket (lower left). The grindstones are turned by the mill's water-powered turbine.
A corn muffin

Cornmeal is a meal (coarse flour) ground from dried corn.

An 1836 lithograph of tortilla production in rural Mexico

Nixtamalization

9 links

An 1836 lithograph of tortilla production in rural Mexico
Dried, treated maize sold in Oaxaca, Mexico (US quarter and Mexican peso shown for scale)
Dry maize, untreated (left) and boiled in lime (right). In this case, typical of El Salvador, a pound of maize (454 g) is boiled with a tablespoon of lime (15 mL) for 15 minutes, left to stand for a few hours, and washed with fresh water. The hulls are removed, and the kernels ground into masa. Exact methods vary by use and region.
Flowchart of the nixtamalization process.

Nixtamalization is a process for the preparation of corn, or other grain, in which the grain is soaked and cooked in an alkaline solution, usually limewater (but sometimes aqueous alkali metal carbonates ), washed, and then hulled.

Various cereals and their products

Cereal

10 links

Any grass cultivated for the edible components of its grain , composed of the endosperm, germ, and bran.

Any grass cultivated for the edible components of its grain , composed of the endosperm, germ, and bran.

Various cereals and their products
Threshing of grain in ancient Egypt
Roman harvesting machine
A wheat field in Dorset, England
Wheat Field in Behbahan, Iran
Cereal grain seeds from left to right, top to bottom: wheat, spelt, barley, oat.
Threshing; Tacuinum Sanitatis, 14th century
Worldwide rice production
A map of worldwide wheat production.

In some developing countries, grain in the form of rice, wheat, millet, or maize constitutes a majority of daily sustenance.

Unprocessed seeds of spelt, a historically important staple food

Staple food

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Food that is eaten often and in such quantities that it constitutes a dominant portion of a standard diet for a given person or group of people, supplying a large fraction of energy needs and generally forming a significant proportion of the intake of other nutrients as well.

Food that is eaten often and in such quantities that it constitutes a dominant portion of a standard diet for a given person or group of people, supplying a large fraction of energy needs and generally forming a significant proportion of the intake of other nutrients as well.

Unprocessed seeds of spelt, a historically important staple food
White rice, boiled
Bread made from wheat flour
Pasta
Couscous
Maize (corn)
Edamame (green soybeans)
Kidney beans
Sorghum seeds and popped sorghum
Millet grains
Amaranth (left) and common wheat berries
Colored quinoa
Cassava roots
Chinese yams
Sweet potato salad
Ulluco tubers
Oca tubers
Taro roots
Potatoes
Plantain and banana

Staple foods are derived either from vegetables or animal products, and common staples include cereals (such as rice, wheat, maize, millet, and sorghum), starchy tubers or root vegetables (such as potatoes, cassava, sweet potatoes, yams, or taro), meat, fish, eggs, milk, and cheese, and dried legumes such as lentils and other beans.

Three different kinds of wheat and rye flour. From left to right: wheat flour Type 550 (all purpose flour), wheat flour Type 1050 (first clear flour), rye flour Type 1150

Flour

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Powder made by grinding raw grains, roots, beans, nuts, or seeds.

Powder made by grinding raw grains, roots, beans, nuts, or seeds.

Three different kinds of wheat and rye flour. From left to right: wheat flour Type 550 (all purpose flour), wheat flour Type 1050 (first clear flour), rye flour Type 1150
All-purpose flour
Cassava flour (left) and corn flour (right) in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo. These flours are basic ingredients for the cuisine of Central Africa.
Kinako
A field of unripe wheat
A Walz set of roller mills.
Flour being stored in large cloth sacks
A variety of types of flour and cereals sold at a bazaar in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan

Corn flour has been important in Mesoamerican cuisine since ancient times and remains a staple in the Americas.

Potato

9 links

Starchy tuber of the plant Solanum tuberosum and is a root vegetable native to the Americas.

Starchy tuber of the plant Solanum tuberosum and is a root vegetable native to the Americas.

Flowers of a potato plant
Potato plants
Potatoes in an Oklahoma garden
Russet potatoes
A thin section of a potato under light microscopy. It has been treated with an iodine based dye that binds to starch, turning it purple, showing the high starch content.
Potatoes with different pigmentation
Production of potatoes (2019)
Global production of potatoes in 2008
Potatoes from North India
'Early Rose' variety seed tuber with sprouts
Potato fruit, which is not edible
Potato planting
Potato field in Fort Fairfield, Maine
Potatoes grown in a tall bag are common in gardens as they minimize the amount of digging required at harvest
A potato infected by late blight
A modern potato harvester
Potato transportation to cold storage in India
Potato farming in India
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Papa rellena
Baked potato with sour cream and chives
German Bauernfrühstück ("farmer's breakfast")
Cepelinai
French fries served with a hamburger
Poutine, a Canadian dish of fried potatoes, cheese curds, and gravy
The Potato Eaters by Van Gogh, 1885 (Van Gogh Museum)
The Potato Harvest by Jean-François Millet, 1855 (Walters Art Museum)

As of 2014, potatoes were the world's fourth-largest food crop after maize (corn), wheat, and rice.

Sweet corn

7 links

Sweet corn (Zea mays convar.

Sweet corn (Zea mays convar.

Loose kernels of sweet corn
Young sweet corn
The same rows of corn 41 days later at maturity
Overripe sweet corn
Cut white sweet corn. "Shoepeg" is a popular cultivar from the 1900s.
Cooking turns yellow sweet corn golden

rugosa), also called sugar corn and pole corn, is a variety of maize grown for human consumption with a high sugar content.