Thursday, February 24, 2011

Oats for human consumption

Oats offer impressive levels of iron and manganese and also supply good quantities of copper, folacin, vitamin E and zinc.

Oats can be purchase in several forms: oat bran, oats goats, rolled oats.

The purpose of oat milling is to produce flakes of oatmeal. Because oats have a high oil content they are unstable in storage, especially when they have been ground, allowing exposure to air and to enzymes present in grain tissues.

For this reason it is necessary to inactivate enzymes, notably lipase by killing before milling. Lipase resides in the outer tissues of the grain and it is thus those tissues that need to be heated.

The first references in the use of oats are by Hippocrates 460-360 BC, Dieusches 400 BC, Dioscorides in 1st century AD and Galen 130 – 2000 AD.

All refer to their medicinal uses rather than for food.

It was not until the 19th century that oats became accepted in England as a staple breakfast food.

This followed improved milling and stabilization technology. And by the development of improved packaging of branded products and associated sales promotion.

Oats are used mainly as a hot or cold breakfast cereal food, as well as being an important component of many infant foods.

Soluble fiber in oats products has been shown to lower cholesterol, which can lower the risk of coronary heart disease. In fact, in the United States, food products made from rolled oats, oat bran and oat flour that contain enough soluble fiber and are low in fat can make legal claims that they may reduce the risk of heart disease.

Oats typical grown in cool environments. The highest yields are had in the United Kingdom, where cool, moist summers make the ideal climate for oats.

Today, oats are popular in North America because they provide a healthy meal that is very, very quick to prepare and require very little cooking skill.
Oats for human consumption

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