Oats and Its Food Application Breige Flynn106435793
The oat species is part of a genus Avena, within the tribe (or subfamily)
of the grass family
According to Matz (1969) there are 12species or subspecies of
including the Common Oat (
), the Red Oat(
) and the Naked Oat (
). This report will concentrate mainly onthe Common Oat and its food application, with some references to the Red and Nakedoat species.
1.1 Backround and Origin of Oats
Archaeological evidence suggests that wild oats first appeared, along with rye, as aweed amongst other crops such as barley in early Greece. As a cultivated crop, oatsare only found on a large scale in the most northerly regions of Western Europe(Moore-Coyler, 1995). Historical evidence of this is recorded by the Roman historianPliny, who wrote that ‘Germanic peoples ate oats as porridge’ in the first century A.D.(Matz, 1969). Oats were brought to Britain during the Roman invasion, as a foodsource for the Roman cavalry (Moore-Coyler, 1995). According to Matz (1969) andMoore-Coyler (1995) oats were introduced to North America by early colonists.
1.2 Oat Production and Growth in Modern World
Oats rank sixth place in the world cereal production, after wheat, maize (corn), rice, barley and sorghum. The primary use of the oat grain is for livestock feed, accountingfor roughly 74% of its total use in 1990-91 (Hoffman, 1995). The largest share of thecrop world wide is grown in Russia and the Ukraine, followed by the United States,Germany, Poland, Argentina, Canada and the United Kingdom (Caldwell
2000). A significant amount of out grain is produced on smaller, more remote farmsaround the world, including the Himalayan region. These oats never enter thecommercial market place and instead are consumed on-farm (Stevens
Oats grow in cool, moist climates and are sensitive to hot and dry weather. Oat canadapt too many different soil types and productivity increases on acidic soils than anyother small grains (Hoffman, 1995). A small percentage of seeds can germinate attemperatures near to freezing point, however the vast majority of oat varieties do notwithstand subzero temperatures for long periods of time in the absence of snow cover 3