CHARACTERISTICS OF RYE
Common name: Rye.
In Spanish: "Centeno".
Scientific name: Secale cereale L.
Habitat: Although its origin is unclear, it is believed that this plant comes from Anatolia (modern Turkey) and was introduced into Europe by the Romans about 2000 years ago.
BOTANICAL FEATURES OF RYE
General aspect of the plant
Caryopsis. Whole and divided.
Rye is an annual plant of the grass family (such as millet or barley)It is, after wheat, the most important bakery cereal. This is because its gluten is capable of forming a "network" which helps to capture the gas formed during fermentation of bread, making it more spongy.
The rye plant is generally between 60 to 80 centimeters and 1 meter tall (or more than 1.8 meters tall some varieties)
Its stem (1) is long, flexible, hollow, rod-shaped with structural nodes (typical of grasses). (2)
This stem stands of fasciculate roots, (7) such as in other cereals, though much more developed. It can reach 2 meters deep, allowing it to grow in extreme climates wich makes it a very rustic plant. Other cereals present shallower rooting, as in the case of oats (103-134cm deep) and wheat (134-164cm). For this reason, rye is much more resistant to dry climates.
Its leaves (3) narrow, lanceolate or glabrous, grow alternately on the stem. They are bluish-green.
Like other grasses, its inflorescence is a long, thin spike (4), which can range from 10 to 15cm, comprising spikelets distributed along a spinal column or shaft, which is joined directly (without stem).
Rye flowers are hermaphrodite (5) and consist of three stamens and an ovary, hairy at the apex. Rye only bears three flowers, of which only two are fertile.
Composition of rye
Noted for its nutritional content, the grain of this plant, has traditionally been used for the production of bread and as a food grain.
Rye grain composition
- Carbohydrates are the major components of the grain, like in all cereals. Rye is a good food source of complex carbohydrates, providing 69.76 g per 100 g, so it contains a little more than wheat. Of these carbohydrates, we have to consider rye is rich in pentosans, substances responsible for the viscosity of the mass of rye flour very suitable for making bread.
- Protein: The main protein content is gluten, so it's not a cereal suitable for people allergic to gluten.
- Vitamins: Like all grains and foods high in carbohydrates, rye contains lot of vitamin B that helps the body's absorption of carbohydrates, and enhances its beneficial effect on the nervous system. These vitamins are predominant in whole grains, and most of them disappear in the refining process (eg, white rice).
Intesteresting link: Comparing rye flour and wheat flower
They differ by their resistance to the types of climates, their productivity and, in some cases, because of their protein content.
Among the most important varieties we can consider:
Rye cultivation has declined significantly over the years, perhaps because it has always been considered cereal of poor and cold regions.
There are cultures where rye is cultivated with wheat, constituting the "meslin". Such crops are also used in some areas to increase productivity in hostile climates, as rye protects wheat from the extreme cold, and the grinding of both flours favours the breading process in a greater degree than when making bread singly from rye flour.
The current world producers of rye are: Russia, Poland, Germany, Belarus and Ukraine. they are mainly countries with cold climates where this plant is perfectly suited.
More information about rye in the listing above
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This material is for informational purposes only. In case of doubt, consult the doctor.