Have you ever wondered what the difference between bran, husk and ear is? Which parts of the grain are actually meant here?
Let us now go from the big to the small and start with the ear. This is a type of inflorescence in which the individual flowers of a plant sit on a stretched main axis. If we imagine a rye, for example, the appearance is exactly that of an ear or spikelet. In cereals, the individual flowers are not directly on the main axis. What is meant by spikelets is when the flowers are arranged behind bracts on the main axis. These bracts are called husks, which already leads us to the next term explanation.
The bracts of the flowers are thus called husks. In cereals, several husks are present in the spikelet. They serve to protect the flower. When threshing in the field, the husks are removed from the grain when it is going to be processed into grain products.
For the sake of completeness, it must be said that not every type of grain has a spike-like arrangement. In oats and rice, for example, the flowers are arranged in the form of panicles.
Let us now turn to bran. As these are mostly also external parts of the grain, they should not be confused with the husk. If grain is processed into white flour, the remaining residues form the bran: seed and fruit husks, the aleurone layer and the germ. All these components of the grain are particularly rich in nutrients and fibre. However, since far too many white flour products are produced nowadays, these important grain components do not end up on people’s plates but are used as animal feed.
When the grain is processed into wholemeal flour, the bran is also included and ground. This is why it is so rich in nutrients and fibre and can have beneficial effects on health. With a Salzburg grain mill, whole grains can be ground very easily. The result: fresh wholemeal flour rich in nutrients and fibre.
If you want to know more about the atonomy of a whole grain HERE is a blogpost for you!
Münzing-Ruef, I. (2000): Kursbuch gesunde Ernährung. Die Küche als Apotheke der Natur. München: Wilhelm Heyne Verlag