Barley is a cereal grain used in large proportions as an animal feed, while the rest is used as a malt in whiskey or sugar as well as health food. Barley belongs to the family of 'poaceae', a plant commonly known as grass. It is available in a variety of forms like whole barley, hulled barley, pearled barley as well as barley flakes. It is a rich source of metals like zinc, copper, phosphorous, etc. as well as other nutrients like calcium and iron.
The cultivation of barley in India is mainly concentrated in the areas of Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh. Barley production in India is a mere 1.33 million tonnes out of a total grain production of 219 million tonnes. In 2007-08, the total area for barley cultivation was 0.77 million hectares, while the production was estimated at 1.31 million tonnes. With an increased area in cultivation, it is believed that barley cultivation would accelerate in the near future. Although the feed portion would remain stable, the food, seed and industrial use would go up at a substantial rate.
Barley is the world's most nutritional crop and is recommended for children during their growing up stage. This is because barley contains many elements that are rich sources of health and energy. The composition of barley, excluding the percentage of salt, gives a general idea about its uses in everyday life. Barley contains about 15% water, 12.98% of nitrous compounds, 6.74% of gum, 3.2 % of sugar, 60% (approx.) of starch and 2.2% of fat.
Barley is considered to be the most nutritional cereal, comprising of the right quantity of all the vital nutrients. Fiber contains two types of nutrients, namely, soluble and insoluble fiber. The soluble fiber helps in lowering the level of cholesterol by eliminating the fatty acids, while the insoluble fiber keeps the digestive system in a proper order, thereby avoiding the risk of dreadful diseases like colon cancer. Pearl barley is a rich source of protein, fiber and other nutrients, and helps in maintaining health and vitality. Barley water is known to have many medicinal properties and helps in quick healing of many diseases and ailments.
- High Source OfFiber.
- Improves Digestion.
- Helps with Weight Loss
- Helps Control Blood Sugar Levels.
- Helps lower High Cholesterol
- Prevents Heart Disease.
- Provides Antioxidants
- High in Vitamins and Minerals
- Protects Against Cancer.
It is used in soups and stews, and in barley bread of various cultures. Barley grains are commonly made into malt in a traditional and ancient method of preparation.
Barley commands a wide range of usage. Some of these uses are:
Animal Feed: Barley, being a good source of protein, is used as a feed for the livestock. The barley used as an animal feed is either rolled, grounded, flaked or pelleted. These products are given in the form of grain, silage, or straw to dairy and beef cattle. The by-products of malted barley are also used in the form of animal feed.
Human Consumption: A wide variety of barley products are known to be suitable for human consumption. These include porridge, muesli, cookies, etc. made of barley flakes, cereals made of barley bran, and muffins, cookies, breads, pasta, etc. made of barley flour.
Malted Barley: Barley is malted to be used in alcoholic beverages like beer, wine, etc. Apart from this, the malted barley is also used as flavors, sweeteners, malt extracts, malt flours, etc.
Malted Barley with Molasses
Mushroom Barley Soup
Barley Oats Cookies