Nutritional benefits of barley
Barley is naturally high in both insoluble and soluble fiber. Soluble fiber, especially ß-glucan, has been studied extensively. These studies have shown that that barley lowers cholesterol levels and reduces the risk of coronary heart disease. Both the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) have approved the health claims that barley helps for the reduction of cholesterol and risk of coronary hear disease. The claim is still under consideration by Health Canada.
FDA (21 CFR 101.81) and EFSA (Article 13 and 14) Health Claim Requirements:
- Must contain at least 3 g/day or 0.75 g/serving of ß-glucan.
- Barley must contain four percent of ß-glucan.
- Food has to be low in fat, saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium to use the claim.
The below 'sample claim' can be used on a product package:
"Soluble fiber from foods such as (name of food), as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol, may reduce the risk of heart disease. A serving of (name) supplies (x) go of the soluble fiber necessary per day to have this effect."
Barley is exceptionally high in ß-glucan compared to other sources, which makes it an ideal source of ß-glucan extraction. In addition to heart health benefits, barley also reduces the risk of high blood pressure, visceral fat and can increase satiety (important for weight control). Barley also has a low glycemic index and is high in antioxidants.
Utilization of barley in foods
For more information about barley chemical characteristics, grading factors and certification methods, click here.
For more information about food barley suppliers, click here.