Wheat (Triticum aestivum)

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 (T. aestivum).
The archaeological record suggests that wheat was first cultivated in the



Local names: Hindi: Gehun Kannada: Godhi Manipuri: Gehun Marathi: Gehun Sanskrit: Arupa, Bahudugdha, Godhuma Tamil: Godumai, Godumbaiyarisi Telugu: Godumalu Urdu: Gehun

Wheat is the world`s most important crop. It is grown primarily for human consumption. Wheat belongs to the genus  Triticum.

Nutritive value

Though wheat is a good source of energy containing 75-80% TDN, it is rarely used for livestock feeding  in India due its higher cost and higher demand    for


human consumption. Only damaged wheat is   used

Fig.  1.4  Wheat grain


for feeding animals. Grain of wheat is highly variable in composition. Depending upon the variety, crude protein content ranges from 8-14%. Wheat is superior to maize in protein content and quality.  Lysine, threonine and methionine are the major limiting amino acids    in wheat grain. Climate, soil fertility and variety influence the protein content. The most important protein present in the endosperm is a prolamin and a glutelin. The mixture of protein present in the endosperm is often referred as gluten. The amino acid composition   of these two proteins differs, glutenin containing about three times as much lysine as that present in gliadin. All glutens possess the property of elasticity. Glutens form dough which traps the gases produced during fermentation. Finely ground wheat forms a pasty mass       in the mouth and rumen and this may lead to digestive upsets. Newly harvested wheat is apparently more harmful in this respect than wheat which has been stored for some time. When wheat grain is fed in large amounts, because of the rapid fermentation of the grain    in rumen, animal is more prone to lactic   acidosis.

Deleterious factor

There are no significant toxins in wheat. It is not normally infected with mycotoxin producing fungi, so mycotoxins are not of concern unless the grain is improperly stored. Occasionally   it may be infected with  ergot.