The multifunctional uses of oats include forage, fodder, straw for bedding, hay, haylage, silage chaff, human food; most commonly, they are rolled or crushed into oatmeal, or ground into fine oat flour. Oatmeal is chiefly eaten as porridge, but may also be used in a variety of baked goods, such as oatcakes, oatmeal cookies, oat bread and raw material for food, health care and cosmetic products. The major components of oats that contribute to its function include β-glucan, protein, oil, and starch. The minor protein of oat is a prolamine, avenin. In addition there are minor components, including tocols and avenanthramides that have antioxidant properties and may contribute to human health and well being. Here we review the progress made in oats and highlight the potential and future prospects.
Key words: Fodder, forage, food, β-glucan, protein, tocols, avenanthramides, health.
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