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What are the different parts of a grain?

Toby Smithson
Nutrition & Dietetics

A grain contains three parts: bran, germ and endosperm. The bran is the outer layer and is rich in fiber. The germ is the inner layer and is rich in nutrients. The endosperm is the bulk of the kernel and contains some of the vitamins and minerals. The endosperm is what white flour is made up of. A product is a whole grain if it contains all three of these parts.

Margaret Floyd
Nutrition & Dietetics
Grains are made up of three parts: the bran, the germ, and the endosperm. The bran is the outer layer or "shell," and its role is to protect the grain. It contains fiber, B vitamins, and minerals. The germ is the grain's core, the seed that has the capability of sprouting into a new plant. It contains antioxidants, more B vitamins, vitamin E, the minerals zinc and magnesium, and some protein and fats. The endosperm is the starchy part of the grain, its energy source. This is where the carbohydrates and most of the protein in the grain reside.
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Janis Jibrin, MS, RD
Nutrition & Dietetics
Most grains have three parts: bran, endosperm, and germ. (Some, such as barley and oats, are built slightly differently.) The bran, the outer layer, makes up most of the grain. The middle layer is the endosperm, which is starch, and in the center sits the germ, which is rich in protein, fat, vitamins, and minerals.
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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.