Difference Between Cereals and Millets

Main Difference

The main difference between cereals and millets is that cereals grow as the main crop, large-grained, grow in good soil and require a good amount of rainfall whereas, millets are grown as a mixed crop, small-grained, grow in poor soil and require low rainfall.

Cereals vs. Millets

Cereals are grasses that are mainly cultivated for their edible seeds whereas; millets are forage grass, an annual cereal that widely grown in dry regions. Cereals are rich in carbohydrates (60-70%) and also have fats, proteins, and vitamins; on the other hand, millets contain a high percentage of minerals such as phosphorus, potassium, and magnesium and also have nutrients like fats, vitamins, and proteins. Cereals are not easy to digest as they have carbohydrate and nutrients; on the contrary, millets are easy to digest. Cereals are grown as the main crop, having large grain, and grown in good soil; on the flip side, millets are grown as a mixed crop, having small grain, and grow in poor soil. Cereals require a good amount of rainfall for their growth; conversely, millets require low rainfall as they grow in dry regions, and, they are resilient to droughts. Cereals have a high level of economic importance, whereas millets are economically less important, yet they are a short growing season and have high productivity. Main cereals are oats, rice, rye, barley, maize, wheat, sorghum, etc. whereas, main millets are proso millet, pearl millet, jowar and ragi, foxtail millet, etc.

Comparison Chart

CerealsMillets
Cereals are grasses that are mainly cultivated for their edible seeds of its grain and are large-seeded grains.Millets are extremely flexible small-grained grasses that widely grown around the world as grains or cereal crops for human food.
Origin
Origin from Greek Goddess Ceres, whom Romans worshiped as a grain giverKnown as several species of cereals which produce small grains as compared to the size of maize
Nutritional Value
Rich in carbohydrates (60-70%) and also have fats, proteins, and vitaminsContain a high percentage of minerals such as phosphorus, potassium, and magnesium and also nutrients like fats, vitamins, and proteins
Digestion
Not easy to digestEasily digested
Specifications
Grown as the main crop, having large grain, and are grown in good soilGrown as mixed crop, having small grain, and grow in poor soil
Rainfall Requirement
Require a good amount of rainfallRequire low rainfall
Drought Resistant
Not resilient to droughtsResilient to droughts
Economic Importance
High level of economic importanceLess economically important
Types
Oats, rice, rye, barley, maize, wheat, sorghum, etcProso millet, pearl millet, jowar and ragi, foxtail millet, etc

What are Cereals?

Cereals are grasses that are mainly cultivated for their edible seeds of its grain and are large-seeded grains. Cereals have their origin from Greek Goddess Ceres, whom Romans worshiped as a grain giver. Cereals are rich in carbohydrates (60-70%), and they are also a rich source of fats, proteins and vitamins, and oils. Cereals like rice, maize, and wheat are accounted for 89% of all cereal production worldwide in 2012. The cultivation of all cereals is similar, yet some are annual plants. Cereals are made up of bran, endosperm, and germ. Cereals are grown as the main crop, having large grain, and grown in good soil, and they require a good amount of rainfall for their growth. Cereals have a high level of economic importance. Main cereals are oats, rice, rye, barley, maize, wheat, sorghum, etc.

Composition

  • Endosperm: starchy part of the grain and food storage tissue.
  • Germ: it germinates, and it is the reproductive part of the grain that grows into a plant.
  • Bran: the outer covering of cereal used as dietary fiber.

What are Millets?

Millets are forage grass, an annual cereal that widely grown in dry regions. There is a 97% production of millets in developing countries. This crop favored because of its high productivity and short growing season under high-temperature and dry conditions. They are also resilient to droughts. Millets grow rapidly and can be cultivated 5-7 weeks after sowing when it is 20-30 cm high. Millets contain a high percentage of minerals such as phosphorus, potassium, and magnesium and also have nutrients like fats, vitamins, and proteins. They are grown as a mixed crop, having small grain, and grow in poor soil, require less amount of rainfall. Millets are less economically important, yet they are a great source of food in arid semiarid regions. Millets are gluten-free, its grains and flour may be with gluten comprising cereals. Main millets are proso millet, pearl millet, jowar and ragi, foxtail millet, etc.

Key Differences

  1. Cereals are grasses that are mainly cultivated for their edible seeds whereas; millets are forage grass, an annual cereal that widely grown in dry regions.
  2. Cereals are rich in carbohydrates (60-70%) and also have fats, proteins, and vitamins; on the other hand, millets contain a high percentage of minerals such as phosphorus, potassium, and magnesium and also nutrients like fats, vitamins, and proteins.
  3. Cereals are not easy to digest as they have a high amount of carbohydrate and nutrients; on the contrary, millets are easy to digest.
  4. Cereals are grown as the main crop, having large grain, and grown in good soil; on the flip side, millets are grown as a mixed crop, having small grain, and grow in poor soil.
  5. Cereals require a good amount of rainfall for their growth; conversely, millets require low rainfall as they grow in dry regions, and, they are resilient to droughts.
  6. Cereals have a high level of economic importance, whereas millets are less economically important, yet they are a short growing season and have high productivity.
  7. Main cereals are oats, rice, rye, barley, maize, wheat, sorghum, etc. whereas, main millets are proso millet, pearl millet, jowar and ragi, foxtail millet, etc.

Conclusion

Above discussion concludes that cereals are grown as the main crop, large-grained, grown in good soil and require a good amount of rainfall whereas, millets are grown as a mixed crop, small-grained, grow in poor soil and require low rainfall.

Aimie Carlson

Aimie Carlson is an English language enthusiast who loves writing and has a master degree in English literature. Follow her on Twitter at @AimieCarlson

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