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FOOD COMMODITIES: Cereal, Pulses, Herbs and Spices

catering craft practiceS

CEREALS AND GRAINS

Cereal is a broad term or collective name for those plants belonging to the grass family. The seeds they produce are known as grains. Some of the common cereals are rice, corn, millet, barley, oats, wheat, etc. Cereals are the staple foods in most parts of the world.

 

NUTRITIVE VALUE OF CEREALS

  1. Carbohydrates: Cereals are energy-giving foods and carbohydrate is present in them in form of starch.
  2. Protein: Whole cereal grains supply a significant amount of second-class protein.
  3. Fat: Cereals have very low fat content which is present in the germ. The fat content is between 1-3% unlike refined cereals which have none.
  4. Vitamins and Minerals: Vitamins and minerals are very low and can be found in the aleurone, germ and scutellum layers. The yellow maize is rich in carotene (Vit. A).

 

EVALUATION

  1. Mention six different cereals known to you.
  2. List and discuss the food value of cereals.

 

PULSES AND LEGUMES

Legumes refer to the edible seeds of leguminous plants. They are type of plants whose seeds grow in pods.

Legumes used for food can be divided into:

  1. PULSES: These are dried edible seeds of cultivated legumes e.g. beans, peas, lentils, etc.
  2. OIL SEEDS: They are legumes grown and used for their oil content e.g. groundnuts, soyabeans, cotton seeds, melon seeds, etc.

 

NUTRITIVE VALUE OF LEGUMES

  1. Protein: Legumes are very good source of protein, although they are second-class proteins. Soya beans however have a complete protein and are very good for vegetarians.
  2. Carbohydrates: They contain little quantities of carbohydrate.
  3. Vitamins and Minerals: They contain vitamins B-complex and vitamin C. Minerals such as iron and calcium are also present.
  4. Fats and oil: The oil-seeds contain a good amount of oil.

 

EVALUATION

  1. List the two groups of legumes with examples.
  2. Discuss the nutritive value of legumes.

 

NUTS

Nuts are the reproductive kernel (seeds) of the plant or tree from which they come. They are in the family of legumes known as oil seeds. Nuts are perishable and may easily become rancid or infested with insects.

 

FOOD VALUE OF NUTS

Nuts are highly nutritious because of their protein, fat and mineral salts. They are of considerable importance to vegetarians who use nuts in place of meat, it is therefore a food which builds, repairs and provides energy. Nuts are difficult to digest.

 

Storage

  • Nuts should be kept in a dry, well ventilated store.
  • Nuts without shells whether ground, nibbled flaked or whole, are kept in air tight container.
  • There should be no sign of mildew before storage.

 

Quality and purchasing points

  • Nuts should be of good size.
  • They should be heavy for their size
  • There must be no sign of mildew.

 

USES

  1. Nuts are used as a dessert, as a main ingredient to vegetarian dishes, also for decorating and flavouring.
  2. Brazil nuts: are served with fresh fruits as dessert and are also used in confectionary.
  3. Chestnuts: Stuffing for turkey, chestnuts flour for soup
  4. Coconut: is used in desiccated form for curry preparations in cakes and for decorating cakes, such as Madeleine.
  5. Walnuts: are used as dessert in salads and for decorating cakes and sweet dishes. They are also pickled.
  6. Peanuts and Cashew: These are salted and used in cocktail bars.

EVALUATION

  1. List four types of nuts.
  2. Mention the uses of any three.

 

HERBS AND SPICES

Herbs are the leaves of plants while spices are derived from the roots, seeds, bud or bark of plants. They contain volatile essential oils which give them their characteristics flavour and aroma. If kept too long or exposed to air, they become stale, loosing their flavour and aroma.

 

CLASSIFICATION OF HERBS AND SPICES

  1. Natural: They are those used directly as derived from the plants without subjecting them to industrial processing. Examples are:
NAMES(English)    Yoruba     Hausa      Igbo
African lemon tea Ewe tea         – Achara oyinbo
Bitter leaf Ewuro Shiwaka Onugbu
Tea bush Efirin         – Nchaawu
African nutmeg Ariwo Gujiyamiya Ehuru
African black pepper Iyere         – Uziza
Locust beans Iru Dawadawa Ogiri
Ginger and garlic Ayu        –      –
Mustard seeds        –        –      –
Basil        –        –      –
Bay leaves        –        –      –
Parsley        –       –      –
Rosemary        –       –      –
Moringa leaves        –       –     –
Lovage        –       –      –

 

  1. Artificial: They are produced industrially after some processing. Examples are:

–  Thyme

–  Nutmeg

–  Curry

–  Cinnamon, etc.

 

EVALUATION

  1. Differentiate between herbs and spices.
  2. List and explain the classification of herbs and spices.

 

FLAVOURINGS AND COLOURINGS

They are food additives added to food to improve flavour, aroma, colour, etc. Some of the herbs and spices also serve as either flavouring or colouring. They are also classified into two; natural and artificial.

 

FLAVOURINGS

Natural Artificial
Ginger

Cinnamon

Nutmeg

Pepper

Rosemary

Sesame

Onions

Dried okra

Orange peel

Dry crayfish

Iru (fermented locust beans)

Ogiri (fermented melon), etc

Curry powder

Thyme

Vinegar

Monosodium glutamate e.g. maggi, knorr, etc.

 

COLOURINGS

Natural Artificial
Carotene

Chlorophyll

Carotenoids

Turmeric

Jellies

Anthocyanin

Coal tars

Dyes of different colours e.g. those used in ice cream

Caramel (from burnt sugar)

Colour enhancer

 

GENERAL EVALUATION QUESTIONS

  1. Draw a cereal and label the parts.
  2. List and discuss the classification of legumes.
  3. Differentiate between herbs and spices.
  4. Write five culinary words and their meanings.
  5. State three functions of Catering establishment.

 

READING ASSIGNMENT

Cereals, Legumes, Herbs and Spices:

Catering Craft Practice for SSS 1-3 by Aminu S. N. Bariki. Pages 63-72.

Basic Catering for SSS 1-3 by Olorunda and Omotayo. Pages 81-83.

 

WEEKEND ASSIGNMENT

  1. Which of these is an oil seed? A. Brown bean B. Kidney bear C. Groundnut D. Lentil
  2. Herbs are usually obtained from ____. A. seeds of plant B.  leaves of plant C.  bark of plant D.  root of plant
  3. Which of these is a natural flavouring? A. Ginger B. Vanilla C. Turmeric D. Curry
  4. Cereals are very rich ____. A. protein B.  phosphorus C.  water D. carbohydrate
  5. Which of these vitamins is readily available in yellow maize? A. Vit. A B. Vit. B C. C D.  Vit. D

 

THEORY

  1. Mention three uses of nuts.
  2. List four natural herbs/spices.

 

See also

METHODS OF COOKING – DRY HEAT, Baking, Roasting & Grilling

METHODS OF COOKING: Stewing, Frying, advantages & disadvantages

METHODS OF COOKING: Boiling, Poaching & Steaming

COOKING OF FOODS

FLOUR COOKERY: Types of flour, Raising Agents & Flour mixtures

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