Oat products are a raw ingredient in a wide variety of food products, including: cookies, breakfast cereals, breads & muffins, crackers & snacks, beverages, and meat extenders.
Oat products are also used in the cosmetic industry as talc replacers and in skin care products.
In addition to the above uses, there have been several unsuccessful attempts to market oats in other areas.
One area of particular note has been the research done with respect to using oats as an edible oil source. The oil is very high quality, but low oil content of current varieties makes the process too costly for commercial application.
Oat millers manufacture the following oat products:
Whole Oat Groats
Steel Cut Oat Groats
Whole Oat Flour
Low Bran Oat Flour
Fine Oat Bran
Medium Oat Bran
Coarse Oat Bran
Rolled Oats #6
Regular Rolled Oats #5
Medium Rolled Oats #4
Thick Rolled Oats #3
Thick Quick Rolled Oats
Thin Quick Rolled Oats
Quick Rolled Oats
Baby Rolled Oats
Instant Rolled Oats
Rolled Oat Blend
Whole oat groats are oats that have had the hulls removed and have been heat treated to inactivate enzymes which cause rancidity.
Steel cut oat groats are whole oat groats that have each been cut into two or four pieces.
Whole oat flour can be produced in several granulations, but all are produced by grinding whole oat products through hammermills or rollstands.
Low bran oat flour is the flour produced during the production of bran (any granulation). It is lower in protein and fiber content than whole oat flour.
Crushed oats are produced by lightly grinding groats, steel cut, or flakes to produce a meal type product. Various textures (fine and coarse as rough categories) are available.
Large flake rolled oats (#3, #4, #5, #6) are produced by rolled whole oat groats. All large flake oats are essentially the same product, but produced at different thicknesses, which results in a range of absorption characteristics, as well as visual differences.
The quick, baby, and instant rolled oats are all manufactured by rolling steel cut oat groats. Different granulations of steel cut and different rolling thicknesses result in a variety of related products.
Whole oat groats and steel cut oat groats are often marketed to be used as raw material for further processing into flakes, flour, bran, and crushed oat products. Whole oat groats can be rolled into large flakes (#3, #4, #5, #6), cut into steel cut, ground into whole oat flour, or used to make oat bran and low bran oat flour.