Seed oats ( Avena sativa )
Seed oats is an annual herbaceous plant that reaches heights of growth of 0.6 to 1.5 meters.
This panicle grass has a 15 to 30 cm long, omnidirectional panicle (inflorescence), which in turn has branched panicles that slope gently downwards. At the top, the panicles have spikelets with two to three flowers, of which usually only two are fertile. Oats are self-pollinators . The spindle-shaped grains at maturity with the kurzbegrannten lemma and the palea firmly adherent. The husks surround the actual grain.
The number of chromosomes is 2n = 42.
The seed oats are predominantly annual and a summer crop. As with all types of grain , stalks that have fallen down due to storms etc. straighten up again due to their stronger growth below. The growth process is initiated negatively gravitropically, i.e. triggered by gravity.
In terms of flower biology, it is the "long-dust filament type" with wind pollination . The homogamous , self-fertile flowers do not open until the afternoon, and in the event of drought, in adaptation to the steppe climate, not until 6 p.m. In wet weather the flowers remain closed, i.e. cleistogamous and self-pollination occurs .
In the seed oats, the mostly two- to three-flowered spikelets do not disintegrate at maturity. The awns are missing in the upper blossoms or possibly also in all blossoms . In the wild oat species, the dispersal unit ( diaspore ) is the caryopsis surrounded by the adhering husks . Because of the air between the husks, these spindle-shaped structures have a low specific weight. There are many ways for them to spread: The fruits can be spread out by the wind (e.g. as a trolley), or as rain sprouts, or by means of the hygroscopic awns as Velcro fruits. The hair awns cause the grains to perform jumping motions even what a self-propagation allows as Bodenkriecher. The fruits can also bury themselves in the animal's hide or in the ground; such boreholes are at the same time growth-inhibiting structures, as they are typical for arid regions. In addition, a processing spread and such as water-based are possible. Fruit ripening is from August to October.
Oats prefer a temperate climate with high rainfall. It is grown in the low mountain ranges, in the foothills of the Alps and in the coastal regions. Its demands on the soil are low. Oats are grown as summer grain and harvested from mid-August. Among the cereal types, oats are considered to be the "fruit of recovery" because many cereal pests do not multiply in them.
In Germany today, most of the harvest is used as animal feed. Oats are increasingly being used again in human nutrition due to changed consumption habits. The changed consumption habits with the focus on human nutrition are shifting the focus back to mycotoxin contamination in the harvested product. For example, ergot with its highly poisonous and pregnancy-endangering toxins has to be paid more attention again, but it is not a typical phenomenon in oats.
From a nutritional point of view, oats are the highest quality grain that is grown in Central Europe . The oat kernels are only peeled, i.e. H. the outer shell, which is indigestible for humans, is removed. The remaining oat kernel is not peeled, i.e. H. the outer edge layers, fruit and seed peel, as well as the seedling are preserved. So it is a whole grain product. These components of the oat kernel contain vitamins, minerals and fiber. There are a variety of products made from oats for human consumption: from oat groats to oat flakes and oat bran to oatmeal, cereals and beverages. Due to its low gluten content, oat flour can only be used to a limited extent for making bread, but it is partially suitable for a gluten-free diet for people with celiac disease. An oat content of 20 to 30 percent in bread is possible. In some regions, whiskey is made from oats . In the Middle Ages , oat beer was a popular drink. Oats are fed to horses , cattle or poultry as feed . The high proportion of crude fiber makes the grain unsuitable for pig feed.
The largest oat producers
The following table gives an overview of the 20 largest producers of oats worldwide, who produced a total of 89.5% of the harvest.
(in t )
|6th||People's Republic of China||1,004,592||16||Romania||383,722|
The total cultivation area for oats worldwide was around 9.8 million hectares in 2018, of which 140,400 hectares in Germany, 21,452 in Austria and 1,629 hectares in Switzerland. In 2018 the average yield per hectare worldwide was 23.4 dt / ha, in Germany 41.1 dt / ha, in Austria 34.8 dt / ha and in Switzerland 50.7 dt / ha.
Canada was the largest exporter of oats in 2017. The amount was 1,545,050 tons, which made up 55% of the total export volume worldwide. Finland followed in second place with 319,145 t and Sweden in third place with 269,865 t. Other European exporters are Poland, France, Denmark and Germany.
The composition of oats naturally fluctuates, both depending on the type of oat and the environmental conditions (soil, climate) as well as the cultivation technique (fertilization, plant protection).
Information per 100 g edible portion, peeled, whole grain (1 mg = 1000 µg):
It also contains phytosterols , alkaloids , avenanthramides (secondary plant substances), silica and linoleic acid . It contains the highest mineral and fat content of all common types of grain. The high iron content is comparable to many types of meat. Mention should also be made of the approximately 4.5 percent high content of β-glucan , a soluble dietary fiber that can be used to lower the cholesterol level.
The oat kernels are tightly enclosed by the husks . They cannot be separated from each other by threshing. If oats are to be used for human consumption, after cleaning and sieving the oat kernels, the husks are first removed in a peeling mill with an "impact peeler" and then separated with a "vertical sifter". The remaining oat kernels are then kilned, which deactivates the fat-splitting enzymes in oats. This prevents oat products from going rancid due to the relatively high fat content of around seven percent and thus extends their shelf life. During the kiln the oat starch is partially open and the oat products are characterized digestible and better digestible. A typical nutty aroma also develops in the kiln. The oat kernels are then prepared for further processing by steaming and drying.
There are different oat products. Oat flakes are available in three variants: The hearty oat flakes or large leaf flakes are rolled from the whole kernels. For tender oat flakes or small leaf flakes, the oat kernels are first cut into small pieces - the so-called grits . The small pieces are then rolled into delicate flakes. But the grits are also sold as an independent product. Oat flakes are used in almost every ready-to-eat muesli mix, in crunchy mueslis and in oat mueslis. There are also soluble oat flakes, which are made from oat flour using a special process. Oatmeal is created when the groats are finely ground like a classic grain mill. Oat bran consists largely of the outer layers and the seedling of the oat grain and is offered as semolina or as soluble flakes. Oat bran semolina are the coarser parts that remain when the outer layers and seedling of the grain are coarsely ground and sifted. Soluble oat bran flakes are made from ground oat bran semolina in a special process.
Oat cereals are processed products made from oats that are produced in different manufacturing processes: For extruded cereal products, a water-containing dough made from wholegrain oat flour and other ingredients is pressed under pressure into a compression screw (" extruder ", comparable to a meat grinder). When pressing, the dough can be shaped differently by using dies. When it emerges, the water evaporates and the product solidifies. This is how long-lasting, crispy products are obtained in various shapes. Whole oat kernels are exposed to steam and pressure for puffed cereal products. Due to a sudden drop in pressure, the water contained evaporates and the starch is transformed. The grains puff up and solidify.
When used as feed grain, the husks can stay on the grain.
Because of its diverse uses and effects, the seed oats was selected as Medicinal Plant of the Year 2017 by a working group at the University of Würzburg .
The following nutrients should be emphasized:
- the ten percent fiber content, u. a. with beta-glucans
- the quality of the carbohydrates
- the protein composition
- the unsaturated fatty acids (75 percent of the total fat content)
- certain vitamins and minerals
Beta- glucans (e.g. cellulose and lichenine , specific polysaccharides of the cell wall of all sweet grasses and cereals ) are the key substances in the nutritional effects of oats. These dietary fibers are found in oat kernels mainly in the outer layer of the endosperm, the subaleuron layer. Beta-glucans make up almost half of the total fiber content in oats. 100 grams of oatmeal contain around 4.5 grams of beta-glucans. Due to the higher total fiber content, the beta-glucan content in oat bran is higher at 8.1 grams per 100 grams. The chemical-physical properties of the oat beta-glucans lead to a number of physiological effects on the digestive tract and metabolism. The focus is on positive effects on cholesterol and blood sugar levels. The ability of oat beta-glucans to bind bile acids leads to the excretion of cholesterol, which leads to a lowering of both total and LDL cholesterol levels. This can protect the blood vessels from harmful deposits. Oat beta-glucans form a viscous consistency in the stomach and small intestine, which results in a slower absorption of the nutrients from the gel-like mass. This leads to a less pronounced and time-delayed increase in blood glucose levels. Scientific studies lead to the conclusion that a high consumption of dietary fiber u. a. can reduce the risk of high blood pressure, dyslipidemia and coronary artery disease.
Other effects of beta-glucan are the positive effects on the digestive function. The viscous substance from the soluble fiber protects the intestinal wall from external stimuli and calms the sensitive stomach. The insoluble fiber has a regulating effect on digestive activity.
Oats are a popular food in infant and toddler nutrition. Oats are also used for gastrointestinal complaints. The particular digestibility and easy digestibility of oat protein and fat play a major role here.
In the context of diabetes therapy and diet for diabetics, the delayed rise in blood sugar levels and the resulting lower levels of insulin play an important role. Therefore, when it comes to foods containing carbohydrates, products with a low glycemic index and especially whole grains such as B. oatmeal or oat bran, can be selected. Doctors, diabetologists and diabetes advisors sometimes use the so-called "oat days". This is a special oat-based diet that is consumed for two to a maximum of three days. It represents a special and very intensive form of dietary intervention in the treatment of insulin resistance in type 2 diabetes mellitus. The aim is to use a simple method to improve blood sugar levels, reduce insulin resistance and thus increase insulin sensitivity. This means that less insulin is required to process the glucose. Scientific studies and practical experience confirm the reduction in insulin intake after this application.
Allergy and celiac disease
For many allergy sufferers and those affected by celiac disease and chronic inflammatory bowel diseases ( Crohn's disease , ulcerative colitis , irritable bowel syndrome , short bowel syndrome ), only gliadin is incompatible , but not any other gluten . Those affected in this way must therefore avoid the classic grains ( wheat , triticale , rye and their botanical precursors), but may be able to tolerate oats and oat products depending on their sensitivity. However, it must be ensured here that the oats have not been mixed with wheat flour etc. during the food technology treatment process.
In 2004, the results of a clinical study in children with celiac disease were published. They had either been on a gluten-free diet or a gluten-free diet with 25–50 g of oats per day for over a year. It was found that small amounts of oats in the gluten-free diet neither prevent the healing of the small intestinal mucosa nor the regulation of the immune system. Some countries (e.g. Canada, Sweden) have approved the consumption of gluten-free oats up to a daily amount of 50 g. Other studies have shown that a small number of people with celiac disease react negatively to gluten-free oats. The German Celiac Disease Society therefore advises those affected not to consume oats.
The use of oat herbs and oat straw in naturopathy
In naturopathy, the green oatweed (Herba avenae) and the oat straw (Stramentum avenae) are used. Stramentum avenae is mainly used for oat straw baths. These are supposed to help with skin injuries and relieve itching. The oat herb is used as a tea. Popular areas of application include nervous sleep disorders , urinary gravel and rheumatic diseases. Some anxiety medications contain oat extracts. For the avenanthramides contained in Avena sativa , irritation-relieving, anti-inflammatory and antipruritic effects could be described.
Some cosmetics contain oats to soothe dry and irritated skin, and hair care products to strengthen the hair structure are also on the market.
The EU regulation on nutrition and health claims stipulates that ready-to-eat foods containing at least one gram of oat beta- glucan per serving may be advertised as having a cholesterol-lowering effect. To do this, they must be told that a total of three grams of oat beta-glucan is required per day. With four tablespoons of oat bran (40 grams) you get 3.2 grams of beta-glucan. With Health Claims Regulation (too German about "health claims Regulation"), the Regulation (EC) no. 1924/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 December 2006 on nutrition and health claims made on foods designated. Here and in the list for nutrition and health claims, 222 of them have been specified and published in the “Article 13 List”. It stipulates which health claims can be used in advertising and on prepackaged items.
Possible health claims could be:
|Nutrient / substance / food||Information (VO 432/2012)||Conditions for use (VO 432/2012)|
|Beta glucans||"Beta-glucans help maintain normal cholesterol levels in the blood"||“The information may only be used for foods that contain at least 1 g beta-glucans from oats, oat bran, barley or barley bran or from mixtures of these cereals per given portion. In order for the claim to be permissible, consumers must be informed that the positive effect is obtained with a daily intake of 3 g beta-glucans from oats, oat bran, barley or barley bran or from mixtures of these cereals. "|
|Beta-glucans from oats and barley||"The inclusion of beta-glucans from oats or barley as part of a meal helps reduce the rise in blood sugar levels after the meal"||“The claim may only be used for foods that contain at least 4 g beta-glucans from oats or barley per 30 g available carbohydrates in a given portion as part of the meal. In order for the claim to be admissible, consumers must be informed that the positive effect occurs when beta-glucans from oats or barley are included as part of the meal. "|
|Oat grain fiber||"Oat grain fiber helps increase stool volume"||"The claim may only be used for foods that have a high content of this dietary fiber in accordance with the claim HIGH FIBER CONTENT listed in the annex to Regulation (EC) No. 1924/2006."|
As further German-language trivial names for the oat as a plant or for its seed, the following names are or were used, sometimes only regionally:
In Carinthia , the name flag oat has been passed down for the subspecies Avena sativa var. Orientalis . For the subspecies Avena sativa var.vulgaris the common names are Biven / Biwen ( East Friesland ), Evena / Evina ( Middle High German ), Flöder ( Graubünden ), Habaro / Haberr / Habir ( Old High German ), Habbern / Haberen / Hafern / Haffern (Middle High German), Haber (Middle High German; Switzerland , Austria, Southern Germany), Haffer (Frankfurt), Haowr'r ( Altmark ), Havern ( Middle Low German ), Hawer / Hawerkorn ( Mecklenburg , Waldeck , Unterweser ), Heberin / Hebrein Brod (Middle High German), Huever ( Transylvania ), Hyllmann ( Swabia ), Koorn ( Münsterland ) and Rispenhafer.
The earliest evidence of oat cultivation is documented in the Bronze Age pile dwellings in Switzerland . The Germanic tribes also valued oats. The importance of oat is also clear from the fact that it occurs in German family names, e.g. B. Haferkamp (= oat field).
In the ancient grain finds, oats never appear in their pure form, but always as an admixture. This leads to the conclusion that oats initially grew as coarse grass in barley and wheat fields. It is therefore counted among the secondary crops . Around 5000 BC The oldest records of oat usage can be found in Poland and the northern Black Sea region. The first evidence of usage in Central Europe dates from 2400 BC. Until the Middle Ages, oat cultivation was limited to the area north of the Main . From the High Middle Ages , oats became an important field crop in low mountain ranges , which only lost their position with the introduction of the potato . As recently as 1939, oats ranked third in terms of global importance after wheat and maize of the grain types. In Germany, oats were the most important type of grain after rye until the first half of the 20th century . Today the cultivation of oats in Germany is of secondary importance compared to other types of grain.
Up until modern times, oats were often grown in regions of Germany that were not climatically favorable, as they yield more stable yields than spring barley, for example, under unfavorable weather conditions (waterlogging, drought, poor soil quality) and poor nutrient supply . After the Second World War , cultivation declined, in part because of motorization, which made draft horses (as oat consumers) more and more redundant and thus reduced demand. In the past few decades, production has picked up again as equestrian sports have grown in popularity.
- Antiquity - late antiquity: Theophrast 4th century BC BC --- Dioscurides 1st century --- Pliny 1st century --- Galen 2nd century
- Arab Middle Ages: Ibn al-Baitar 13th century
- Latin Middle Ages: Hildegard von Bingen 12th century --- Guy de Chauliac 1363 --- Cpg 226 1456–1469 --- Cpg 666 1478 --- Garden of Health 1485 --- Hortus sanitatis 1491
- Modern times: Otto Brunfels 1537 --- Hieronymus Bock 1539 --- Leonhart Fuchs 1543 --- Mattioli / Handsch / Camerarius 1586 --- Nicolas Lémery 1699/1721 --- William Cullen 1789/90 --- Jean-Louis Alibert 1805 / 05 --- Hecker 1814/15 --- Pereira / Buchheim 1846/48 --- Bentley / Henry Trimen 1880 --- Berta Brupbacher-Bircher 1927/32
Vienna Dioscurides 6th century
Garden of Health 1485
Hortus sanitatis 1491
Otto Brunfels 1537
Leonhart Fuchs 1543
Hieronymus Bock 1546
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- List of health claims (PDF) (PDF) , REGULATION (EU) No. 432/2012 OF THE COMMISSION of 16 May 2012 establishing a list of permissible other health claims about food than information about the reduction of a disease risk as well as the development and the Children's health.
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- Charles Victor Daremberg and Friedrich Anton Reuss (1810–1868). S. Hildegardis Abbatissae Subtilitatum Diversarum Naturarum Creaturarum Libri Novem. Physica , Book I, Chapter 3: Avena . Migne, Paris 1855. Sp. 1130–1131 (digitized version ) - Translation: Herbert Reier: Hildegard von Bingen Physica. Translated into German after the text edition by JP Migne, Paris 1882. Kiel 1980, p. 51: Warm oats with a sharp taste and strong steam are tasty and a healthy food for healthy people, makes happy sense, clear mind, good color and good meat. For the slightly ill it is good to eat as bread or flour and does not harm them. The seriously ill and cold should not eat it, because oats always require warmth. He prepares coagulated and phlegm in the stomach for those who eat it and gives him no strength because he is cold. But whoever is paralytic, and therefore has a divided mind and delusions, so that he is something without mind, may pour oats boiled in water on hot stones in a sweat and so often until he regains consciousness.
- Guy de Chauliac Chirurgia magna , 1363. In the edition by Édouard Nicaise: La grande chirurgie de Guy de Chauliac, chirurgien, maître en médecine de l'université de Montpellier, composée en l'an 1363. Editions Alcan, Paris 1890, p 642: Avoine, grain chaud et humide temperément. Il meurit et nettoy (digitized version ) . Translated into: Hieronymus Brunschwig: Book of the Cirurgia. Johann Grüninger , Strasbourg, July 4, 1497, sheet 126r: Avena have / is hot and extremely tempered and makes quivering / and pressing. (Digitized version)
- Cpg 226 , Alsace, 1456–1469, sheets 113r – 114v (digitized version ) . Transcription: (Who doesn’t like to urinate (Nym haberstro a quarter of a bundle vnd bapeln vnd ybischen vnd put it in a cauldron and suds the almost vnd sere and when it is brewed the third year / so put it in a cup and huch over it so hot when you do it / and nym then the flow and the herbs and rib you almost with it (the other make a secklin with linem cloth me then one stretch long and one hand wide and thu darjnn good sake fol / vnd sude the jn eym port bit the water the third part jn gesiede vnd the owner vff kyme vnd nym that as you say it is done and put it over the thing between the legs the thicker the better you enjoy.
- Cpg 666 , Südwestdeutschland 1478, sheet 127r (digitized version ) . Transcription: Permütter Item dÿ permüter dy vnder sich tringt / Sewde green haber stö vnd pee dich do with czwey ader dreÿ times vnd leave the other day on the foot nÿth half of the little ten there jst out of the crowd.
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- Berta Luise Brupbacher-Bircher : The turning point cookbook . Zurich 1927, 6th edition 1932, p. 80: Apple diet food (Birchermüesli). (This recipe gives one serving for one person.) 2 - 3 small or 1 large apples, cleaned by rubbing with a dry cloth, but without removing the skin, casing or seeds. 1 tablespoon of grated walnuts, hazelnuts or almonds. A level tablespoon of oat flakes (if oat flakes are to be used according to the recipes in this book, we recommend the companies listed in the advertisement section), pre-soaked for 12 hours with 3 tablespoons of water. Lemon juice from half a lemon. 1 tablespoon of condensed, sweetened milk. ...
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