All About Barley


Barley is a gluten-containing grain that can be consumed by both humans and animals. It can be used in bread making, beer and other beverages, and other dishes. It provides fiber, vitamins (a rich source of B vitamins, especially thiamine, pyridoxine and niacin) and minerals.

Barley is a cool climate grain and is the type with the highest regeneration ability in this group. It is cultivated both in summer and winter. It is the most planted grain after wheat in Turkey. It is the 4th most planted grain in the world after corn, wheat and paddy. Barley is among the plants that can be planted dry because it can withstand stress, that is, conditions that are not very suitable for other grains. It is frost tolerant.

Barley is mostly used for malting in developed countries and for both animal feed and human consumption in developing countries. The nearby mountain is shown as the origin of barley (cultivated about 10,000 years ago). Wild barley is still common in northwest Asia and the eastern Mediterranean. Wild barley is not tolerant of low temperatures. 9 million tons of barley is planted in Turkey.

A basic feature of barley is that when it is cooked, its volume increases 3.5 times. This gives a feeling of satiety. It has a nutty flavor.

Barley Types by Consumption Class

It is usually sold in 2 forms; conch and pearl. In hulled barley, the bran and germ are left intact, only the inedible outer husk is removed. Pearl barley has neither bran nor husk. Hulled barley is considered a whole grain as only the inedible outer hull is removed during processing. However, the more commonly available pearl barley is not a whole grain, as the fiber-containing bran has been removed. While pearl barley is still a good source of some nutrients, hulled barley is a healthier option.


The benefits of whole-grain barley may stem not only from its fiber content, but also from phytonutrients, which are plant compounds that have beneficial effects on health.

Eating whole grains such as hulled barley is linked to a reduced risk of chronic disease and death. Shelled barley contains fiber and other plant chemicals that are beneficial for health.

What’s in Barley?

The main type of fiber in barley is beta-glucan, a soluble fiber that forms a gel when combined with liquid. Beta-glucan, also found in oats, can help lower cholesterol and improve blood sugar control. In addition, barley contains antioxidants such as vitamin E, beta-carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin that help protect and repair cell damage caused by oxidative stress.

What are the Benefits of Barley?

The main health benefits of barley are;

  • Heart health and blood pressure

Various nutrients in barley support the cardiovascular system.

  • Vitamins and minerals

The potassium, folate, iron and vitamin B-6 content of barley support cardiovascular functions together with the lack of cholesterol. Niacin, riboflavin, thiamine, folate, iron, magnesium and selenium improve cell formation processes such as transporting oxygen through the blood and the functioning of the immune system. Barley is a good source of all these nutrients

  • Sodium and potassium

Consuming vegetables, fruits, grains and other foods rich in potassium can help maintain healthy blood pressure.

  • Fiber

Fiber helps manage blood pressure and control cholesterol levels. More specifically, the beta-glucan fiber found in barley reduces low-density lipoprotein or “bad” cholesterol by binding to bile acids and removing them from the body through excretion. In 2008, researchers found that eating pearl barley with high beta-glucan significantly reduced high serum cholesterol levels and visceral fat in Japanese men. Both of these are risk factors for cardiovascular disease.

  • Bone health

Phosphorus, calcium, copper, magnesium and zinc found in barley contribute to the development of bone structure and strength.

For example, zinc plays a role in bone mineralization and development. Calcium, copper, magnesium and phosphorus contribute to bone health and are necessary to maintain a strong skeletal system.

  • Cancer

Barley contains selenium. Getting selenium from the diet can help prevent inflammation. Selenium also acts as an antioxidant, protecting cells against damage caused by molecules called free radicals. This type of damage can increase the risk of cancer. Fiber obtained from plant-based foods can especially help reduce the risk of colorectal cancer.

  • Inflammation

The choline in it helps reduce inflammation. Choline aids sleep, muscle movement, learning and memory. It also helps maintain the structure of cellular membranes, helps transmit nerve impulses, and helps absorb fat.

  • Digestion, weight management and satiety

The fiber content of barley helps prevent constipation and supports regularity for a healthy digestive system. Eating fiber-rich foods, such as barley, contributes to weight loss. This is because it acts as a “filler” in the digestive system and makes a person feel full for longer. This can reduce calorie consumption and promote weight loss.

It can aid effective weight management, reduce obesity and related complications such as type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and other health problems.

Potential Risk (Harms) in Barley

  • Whole grains are generally a good addition to anyone’s diet. However, some people may want to avoid barley. First, it is a whole grain that contains gluten, such as wheat and rye.
  • Additionally, barley contains short-chain carbohydrates called fructans, which are a type of fermentable fiber. Fructans can cause gas and bloating in people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or other digestive disorders. Therefore, you may want to avoid barley if you have IBS or a sensitive digestive system.
  • Finally, since barley has a powerful effect on blood sugar levels, you may want to be careful when eating it if you have diabetes and are taking any blood sugar lowering medication or insulin.

In Which Ways Is Barley Offered To The Consumer?

Shell : This is the whole grain version of barley with only the inedible outer husk removed. It is more chewy and takes longer to cook compared to other types of barley.

Pearl : This type is partially steamed and its shell and bran are removed. Pearl cooks faster than shelled barley but has less nutritional value.

Barley Flakes : It is flattened and sliced similar to oatmeal. They cook quickly, but contain less nutrients than hulled barley.

Semolina: Semolina is made from roasted and crushed barley. Nutrient content varies by source (shelled or pearled barley).

You can use hulled barley instead of rice, quinoa, oats or buckwheat. While pearl barley cooks in about an hour, it takes about 1.5 hours for hulled barley to soften.

Here are some ways to add barley to your diet:

  • Try barley flakes instead of oats for breakfast porridge.
  • Add it to soups and stews.
  • Mix barley flour with wheat flour in bakery products.
  • Make a grain salad with cooked barley, vegetables and dressing.
  • Eat it as a side dish instead of rice or quinoa.
  • Try drinking barley water.

Barley Malt Extraction

The grains are cleaned and foreign products such as soil, stones, weeds and seeds are removed. Of course, for this process, you must first obtain malted unprocessed barley. If you are going to do this at home, throw the barley into the water for cleaning and separate the broken and garbage etc. structures that come up. Cleaned barley is kept in warm water (18-21 oC) for 1 to 2 hours to release enzymes. It is stored in such a way that it gets enough air (the water on the barley should be filtered during aeration, it is necessary to prevent mold) and re-humidification is applied between 6 and 8 hours. The average moisture content is 13% in dry barley and 45% in moistened barley. It is turned upside down to ensure the balance of dry and wet grains. With this moistening, rooting occurs on the 3rd day. If you want to make the color of the product in germination darker, you can increase it up to 23 oC. During this time, the barley should be mixed. Mixing also prevents the barley from heating up and prevents lumps. Green malt has formed in the part up to this stage. During the drying and roasting phase, the product is taken into the oven at 50-60 oC and its moisture is blown by a fan. If you want to make English style malt, the temperature should be 99 degrees.

Barley absorbs about 50% of water and reaches water saturation.

Barley Products

  • Flake
  • Flour
  • Grain
  • Bread
  • Fracture (fracture)
  • Flour Cookies and Dessert Products
  • Bar
  • Malt Flour

Note: Barley Noodle is a product made from wheat, this name is given due to the similarity in shape.

Nutritional Components of Barley

You can find it here

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