Barley (Hordeum vulgare L) is one of the major cereal grains grown in temperate countries and ranked globally as the fourth largest grain crop. Currently, it is produced in more than 100 countries around the world with a global production of approximatively 159 million tonnes and 51 million hectares in 2019. The production and value-added barley products impact breweries, food processors, feed mills, and livestock operations. Barley grain is used primarily as an energy and protein source in beef cattle diets and as a malt source for alcoholic beverages, especially in the beer industry. Also, barley is used in bread, soups, stews, and health products since the barley grain is rich in several health-boosting components. As such, barley is high in protein, fibre, vitamins and natural bioactive antioxidants such as phenolics and lipids. However the studies of bioactive and nutritional properties of barley and the utilization of the crop as a functional food in animal and human diet is still limited. The work herein provides a review covering world production, end-use and processing, nutritional attributes, and will advocate its potential as a functional food for animal and human health and its role in preventing some chronic diseases.
Part of the book: Cereal Grains