Cereals and cereal products are significant and important human food resources and livestock feeds worldwide. Cereal grains and legumes are food staples in many, if not most, countries and cultures and are the raw materials of many of our foods and certain beverages. The main cereal grains used for foods include corn (maize), wheat, barley, rice, oats, rye, millet, and sorghum. Soybeans are not a cereal product, but rather, are legumes or a pulse, but are often considered with cereals because of their importance as a food source. Examples of cereal products that are derived from cereal grains include wheat, rye, and oat flours and semolina, cornmeal, corn grits, doughs, breads, breakfast cereals, pasta, snack foods, dry mixes, cakes, pastries, and tortillas. In addition, cereal products are used as ingredients in numerous products, such as batters and coatings, thickeners, and sweeteners, processed meats, infant foods, confectionary products, and beverages such as beer. Because of their extensive use as human foods and livestock feeds, the microbiological and chemical safety of cereal grains and cereal products is a very important area.
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