Barley is an important cereal worldwide cultivated since about 10,000 years. Barley crop is the fourth most important cereal in the world, after wheat, corn, and rice. It could be a food source for millions of people even though today it is mainly used as animal feed and brewing. So, recently, more than 70% of barley crop has been used for feed; about 21% has been intended to malting, brewing, and distilling industries; lesser than 6% has been consumed as human food. In addition, a growing interest in renewable energy has led to the modest use of barley grain for the production of fuel ethanol. The prominence of barley as food is mainly due to its potentialities in the production of healthy food, as an excellent source of dietary fiber, and a functional food ingredient such as β-glucan. The purpose of this chapter is to carry out an analysis of barley market and to present, in summary, its principal uses.
Part of the book: Grasses as Food and Feed