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Quinoa, a common pseudocereal

A pseudocereal or pseudograin is one of any non-grasses that are used in much the same way as cereals (true cereals are grasses). Pseudocereals can be further distinguished from other non-cereal staple crops (such as potatoes) by their being processed like a cereal: their seed can be ground into flour and otherwise used as a cereal. Prominent examples of pseudocereals include amaranth (love-lies-bleeding, red amaranth, Prince-of-Wales-feather), quinoa, and buckwheat.[1]

Common pseudocereals[edit]


The following table shows the annual production of some pseudocereals in 1961,[2] 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013 ranked by 2013 production.[3]

Grain Worldwide production
(millions of metric tons)
1961 2010 2011 2012 2013
Buckwheat 2.5 1.4 2.3 2.3 2.5 A pseudocereal in the family Polygonaceae that is used extensively in India during fasts, and in Eurasia and to a minor degree the United States and Brazil. Major uses include various pancakes, groats, and noodle production.
Quinoa 0.03 0.08 0.08 0.08 0.10 A pseudocereal in the family Amaranthaceae, traditional to the Andes, but increasingly popular elsewhere.

Other grains that are locally important, but are not included in FAO statistics, include:


  1. ^ "Glossary of Agricultural Production, Programs and Policy". University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture. Archived from the original on 2007-02-14. Retrieved 2006-12-31.
  2. ^ 1961 is the earliest year for which FAO statistics are available.
  3. ^ "ProdSTAT". FAOSTAT. Retrieved 26 December 2006.