Cereal germ
The germ of a cereal
Cereals are grasses cultivated for the edible components of their grain , composed of the endosperm, germ, and bran...

 is the reproductive part that germinates to grow into a plant; it is the embryo
An embryo is a multicellular diploid eukaryote in its earliest stage of development, from the time of first cell division until birth, hatching, or germination...

 of the seed
A seed is a small embryonic plant enclosed in a covering called the seed coat, usually with some stored food. It is the product of the ripened ovule of gymnosperm and angiosperm plants which occurs after fertilization and some growth within the mother plant...

. Along with bran
Bran is the hard outer layer of grain and consists of combined aleurone and pericarp. Along with germ, it is an integral part of whole grains, and is often produced as a by-product of milling in the production of refined grains. When bran is removed from grains, the grains lose a portion of their...

, germ is often a by-product
A by-product is a secondary product derived from a manufacturing process or chemical reaction. It is not the primary product or service being produced.A by-product can be useful and marketable or it can be considered waste....

 of the milling
Mill (grinding)
A grinding mill is a unit operation designed to break a solid material into smaller pieces. There are many different types of grinding mills and many types of materials processed in them. Historically mills were powered by hand , working animal , wind or water...

 that produces refined grain products. Cereal grains and their components, such as wheat germ
Wheat germ oil
Wheat germ oil is extracted from the germ of the wheat kernel, which makes up only 2½% by weight of the kernel Wheat germ oil is particularly high in octacosanol - a 28 carbon long-chain saturated primary alcohol found in a number of different vegetable waxes. Octacosanol has been studied as an...

, rice bran
Rice bran oil
Rice bran oil is the oil extracted from the germ and inner husk of rice. It is notable for its very high smoke point of and its mild flavor, making it suitable for high-temperature cooking methods such as stir frying and deep frying...

, and maize
Maize known in many English-speaking countries as corn or mielie/mealie, is a grain domesticated by indigenous peoples in Mesoamerica in prehistoric times. The leafy stalk produces ears which contain seeds called kernels. Though technically a grain, maize kernels are used in cooking as a vegetable...

 may be used as a source from which vegetable oil is extracted, or used directly as a food ingredient. The germ is retained as an integral part of whole grain
Whole grain
Whole grains are cereal grains that contain cereal germ, endosperm, and bran, in contrast to refined grains, which retain only the endosperm. Whole grains can generally be sprouted while refined grains generally will not sprout. Whole-meal products are made by grinding whole grains in order to make...


Wheat germ

Wheat germ is a concentrated source of several essential nutrient
A nutrient is a chemical that an organism needs to live and grow or a substance used in an organism's metabolism which must be taken in from its environment. They are used to build and repair tissues, regulate body processes and are converted to and used as energy...

s including Vitamin E
Vitamin E
Vitamin E is used to refer to a group of fat-soluble compounds that include both tocopherols and tocotrienols. There are many different forms of vitamin E, of which γ-tocopherol is the most common in the North American diet. γ-Tocopherol can be found in corn oil, soybean oil, margarine and dressings...

, folate (folic acid), phosphorus
Phosphorus is the chemical element that has the symbol P and atomic number 15. A multivalent nonmetal of the nitrogen group, phosphorus as a mineral is almost always present in its maximally oxidized state, as inorganic phosphate rocks...

, thiamin, zinc
Zinc , or spelter , is a metallic chemical element; it has the symbol Zn and atomic number 30. It is the first element in group 12 of the periodic table. Zinc is, in some respects, chemically similar to magnesium, because its ion is of similar size and its only common oxidation state is +2...

 and magnesium
Magnesium is a chemical element with the symbol Mg, atomic number 12, and common oxidation number +2. It is an alkaline earth metal and the eighth most abundant element in the Earth's crust and ninth in the known universe as a whole...

, as well as essential fatty acids and fatty alcohols. It is a good source of fiber. White bread
White bread
White bread is made from wheat flour from which the bran and the germ have been removed through a process known as milling. Milling gives white flour a longer shelf life by removing the bran which contains oil, allowing products made with it, like white bread, the ability to survive storage and...

 is made using flour
Flour is a powder which is made by grinding cereal grains, other seeds or roots . It is the main ingredient of bread, which is a staple food for many cultures, making the availability of adequate supplies of flour a major economic and political issue at various times throughout history...

 that has had the germ and bran removed.
Wheat germ can be added to protein shake
Protein shake
Protein Shake is a Filipino rock band. It is the part of Soupstar Entertainment, Inc.-Members:*Vic Aquino *Tutti Caringal *David Mariano *Franz Morales *Dave Villaruel...

s, casserole
A casserole, from the French for "saucepan", is a large, deep dish used both in the oven and as a serving vessel. The word casserole is also used for the food cooked and served in such a vessel, with the cookware itself called a casserole dish or casserole pan...

s, muffin
A muffin is an American English name for a type of quick bread that is baked in small portions. Many forms are somewhat like small cakes or cupcakes in shape, although they usually are not as sweet as cupcakes and generally lack frosting. Savory varieties, such as cornbread muffins, also exist...

s, pancake
A pancake is a thin, flat, round cake prepared from a batter, and cooked on a hot griddle or frying pan. Most pancakes are quick breads; some use a yeast-raised or fermented batter. Most pancakes are cooked one side on a griddle and flipped partway through to cook the other side...

s, cereal
Cereals are grasses cultivated for the edible components of their grain , composed of the endosperm, germ, and bran...

s, yogurt, cookies, and other goods.
Wheat germ can become rancid
Rancidification is the chemical decomposition of fats, oils and other lipids . When these processes occur in food, undesirable odors and flavors can result. In some cases, however, the flavors can be desirable . In processed meats, these flavors are collectively known as "warmed over flavor"...

 if not properly stored in a refrigerator or freezer, and away from sunlight.
Some manufacturers prevent rancidity by storing wheat germ in vacuum sealed glass containers.

Other uses

In molecular biology
Molecular biology
Molecular biology is the branch of biology that deals with the molecular basis of biological activity. This field overlaps with other areas of biology and chemistry, particularly genetics and biochemistry...

, wheat germ extract is used to carry out in vitro
In vitro
In vitro refers to studies in experimental biology that are conducted using components of an organism that have been isolated from their usual biological context in order to permit a more detailed or more convenient analysis than can be done with whole organisms. Colloquially, these experiments...

Translation (genetics)
In molecular biology and genetics, translation is the third stage of protein biosynthesis . In translation, messenger RNA produced by transcription is decoded by the ribosome to produce a specific amino acid chain, or polypeptide, that will later fold into an active protein...

 experiments, as the plant embryo contains all the macromolecular components necessary for translating mRNA into amino acids, but contains relatively low levels of its own mRNA.

Wheat germ is also useful in biochemistry
Biochemistry, sometimes called biological chemistry, is the study of chemical processes in living organisms, including, but not limited to, living matter. Biochemistry governs all living organisms and living processes...

 as it contains lectins which bind strongly to certain glycoproteins, hence it can be used to isolate such proteins.
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