The word cereal is derived from ceres, the Roman Goddess of grain. The common cereal crops are rice, wheat, corn, oats and rye. The term cereal is not limited to these but also flours, meals, breads and alimentary pastes or pasta. Cereal science is a study concerned with all technical aspects of cereal. It is the study the nature of the cereals and the changes that occurs naturally and as a result of handling and processing.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Cereal in History

Cereal in History
The first recorded farming communities in the ninth millennium BC were found in the region between the Tigris and Euphrates rives in what is now called Iraq.

These farmers were quite sophisticated and were in their way the founders of cereal technology. They grew wheat and other cereal grains (as well as keeping livestock) and used quite complicated irrigation systems to maintain their crops.

The studies shows comparing ancient human remains (and foodstuffs that surrounded them) form all parts of the globe show that farming practices did not start from one community and spread; instead, these ancient farming communities began independently.

Record shows that from 2300 to 1750 BC, wheat, barley, and rice were grown by inhabitants of northern India. In all these ancient societies cereals continued to be among the preferred crops right through to the Egyptians and on to the modern farms of time.

Records for Mexico and Central America show that the population was still predominantly made up of nomadic hunters, and a few cultivated crops made only a small contribution to their survival. Amaranth, a pseudocereal, was cultivated first (from 7000 to 5000 BC), but by around 2500 BC maize was first domesticated.

Later still, around AD 250 to 1600, maize was hybridized to increase the yields by Maya-Aztec civilization. These people were excellent farmers, who developed methods for tilling dry soil to retain moisture and also built the irrigation canal and made artificial gardens that floated on water.

The people of Inca Empire lived in the inhospitable Andes in around AD 1200. They cultivated maize on terraces with intricate irrigation and drainage systems.

They used stone hoes and digging sticks with a footrest for pushing the end into the soil. They fertilized their land and built stone food stores and granaries. The pseudocereal quinoa was another staple food of ancient Incas and is to have originated around Lake Titicaca.
Cereal in History
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