Wheat is a grain that belongs to the family Poaceae (family of grasses). It is believed to have originated in southwestern Asia and been consumed for more than 12,000 years. Some of the earliest remains of the crop have been found in Syria, Jordan and Turkey.
The world production of wheat in 2014 was 729 million tons, making it the third most-produced cereal after corn and rice. Wheat is grown in more land area than any other commercial food. It is the leading source of vegetal protein in human food globally.
Uses of Wheat
Wheat is mainly used as human food, although it is also useful as livestock feed. It is nutritious, concentrated, easily stored and transported, and easily processed into different types of food. It is cultivated for the grain, used either whole or ground. Fine ground is the source of flour for the world’s bread making. Wheat contains gluten protein, which enables leavened dough to rise by forming minute gas cells that hold carbon dioxide during fermentation. This process produces light textured bread.
Wheat grain is also the source of alcoholic beverages such as beer, also in industrial alcohol made into synthetic rubber and explosives. Many different types of products are derived from the wheat grain; this includes bulgur, wheat bran, wheat germ, wheat germ oil and pasta.
Facts about Wheat
- There are six classifications of wheat: hard red winter, hard red spring, soft red winter, durum (hard), hard white and soft white.
- Hard wheat is used for making bread and all-purpose flour.
- Soft wheat is for cakes, pastries, crackers, muffins and biscuits.
- Currently, there is no GMO wheat in commercial production.
- A bushel of wheat yields 42 one-and-a-half pound commercial loaves of white bread OR about 90 one-pound loaves of whole wheat bread.
Wheat is in fact the most important food grain in the world, and therefore an essential component of the world’s commodity trading network. It is the staple food of millions of people all across the world, and has been ever since people developed advanced agricultural techniques thousands of years ago.
The most special feature of the wheat commodity must surely be its worldwide prominence as a foodstuff. Despite the massive yields of it as a crop, the market never becomes saturated. You can trade wheat as a commodity or trade wheat futures.
Wheat commodities can be guaranteed to have a buyer somewhere. While wheat futures are standardized, exchange-traded contracts in which the contract buyer agrees to take delivery, from a seller, a specific quantity of wheat at a predetermined price on a future delivery date.