Wheat is a cereal grain originally from the Levant region but now cultivated worldwide. In 2016, world production of wheat was 749 million tonnes making it the second most-produced cereal after maize (1.03 billion tonnes), with more than rice (499 million tonnes). This grain is grown on more land area than any other commercial food. World trade in wheat is greater than for all other crops combined.
When eaten as the whole grain, wheat is a source of multiple nutrients and dietary fiber and is associated with lower risk of several diseases, including coronary heart disease, stroke, cancer and type 2 diabetes. In a small part of the general population, gluten – the major part of wheat protein – can trigger coeliac disease, non-coeliac gluten sensitivity. In domesticated wheat, grains are larger, and the seeds remain attached to the ear by a toughened rachis during harvesting.