Wheat germ is the inner embryo of the wheat kernel that is separated before milling for use as a cereal and food supplement. Wheat germ contains very high levels of vitamins and minerals and is considered to be the most nutritious part of the kernel.
Wheat germ is readily available and is often used as a cereal or added to foods such as yogurt for added nutritional value. It has a desirable nutty flavor, and as it is high in fat is also used to make wheat germ oil.
Wheat germ is a part of the wheat kernel. The germ is only a very small part of the kernel, approximately 2 ½ percent in total. The word germ does not have anything to do with bacteria; it simply refers to germination. The germ is the reproductive part that germinates and forms the wheat grass.
Selecting and Buying
Preparation and Use
If you make your own bread or cakes you can easily add wheat germ when baking by using it instead of a small amount of flour. You will find that it has a sweet, almost nutty flavor that is not too overpowering. It can also be added to meat dishes, eggs, vegetables and even yogurt.
Conserving and Storing
Wheat berries should be stored in an airtight container in a cool, dry and dark place. The optimal way to store wheat products such as flour, bulgur, bran and germ is in an airtight container in the refrigerator as the cooler temperature will help to prevent them from becoming rancid.