The germ of a cereal is the reproductive part that germinates to grow into a plant; it is the embryo of the seed. Along with bran, germ is often a by-product of the milling that produces refined grain products. Cereal grains and their components, such as wheat germ oil,rice bran oil, and maize may be used as a source from which vegetable oil is extracted, or used directly as a food ingredient. The germ is retained as an integral part of whole-grain foods. Non-whole grain methods of milling are intended to isolate the endosperm, which is ground into flour, with removal of both the husk (bran) and the germ. Removal of bran is aimed at producing a flour with a white rather than a brown color, and eliminating fiber: neither of these objectives is desirable from the nutritional viewpoint. Germ is rich in polyunsaturated fats (which have a tendency to oxidize and become rancid on storage) and so germ removal improves the storage qualities of flour.
^"10 great health foods for eating well". Nutrition and Healthy Eating. Mayo Clinic. Retrieved 9 July 2009. "...the germ is a highly concentrated source of nutrients, including niacin, thiamin, riboflavin, vitamin E, folate, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, iron and zinc. The germ also contains protein, fibre and some fat."
^"Should I be eating wheat germ?". The World's Healthiest Foods. The George Mateljan Foundation. Retrieved 9 July 2009. "People who choose to add wheat germ to their food often incorporate it into casseroles, muffins, and pancakes or sprinkle it over cereal or yogurt. The texture of wheat germ can add a great crunchiness and taste to these foods in a very convenient way."
^Ericksen, Marlene (15 June 2000). Healing with Aromatherapy. McGraw-Hill. ISBN0-658-00382-8. Retrieved 9 July 2009. "Carrier oils also turn rancid over an extended period of time and deteriorate with excess exposure to sunlight and oxygen. Most carrier oils like wheat germ... have a shelf life of eight to ten months."