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Milling Food Barley: Production of functional fractions enriched with ß-glucans and other dietary fiber components.

Izydorczyk, M.S., Miller, S.S., and Beattie, A.D. (2014). "Milling Food Barley: Production of functional fractions enriched with ß-glucans and other dietary fiber components.", Cereal Foods World, 59(6), pp. 277-285. doi : 10.1094/CFW-59-6-0277  Access to full text


Barley has a long history of use in food applications and, in the ancient world, was grown primarily as a food staple. Today, there is a resurgence of interest in growing barley as a food grain due to the presence of β-glucans, which have been proven to lower cholesterol and alleviate the risk of heart disease in humans. Consumer interest in foods and food ingredients that can deliver specific health effects has increased, and this has created a demand for production of innovative fiber preparations from barley. Our studies show that common milling techniques can be applied to generate functional barley fractions enriched with β-glucans. The fiber-rich fraction (FRF) yield and β-glucan concentration in barley fractions can be altered by choosing an appropriate milling technique and food barley variety. The much higher concentration of β-glucans in FRF compared with the whole grain eliminates the need to consume high amounts of grain products to satisfy the intake of 3 g of β-glucans/day stipulated by barley health claims. This allows barley to be added to wheat-based products, such as pastas, noodles, and breads, at levels that will potentially improve their health benefits but not negatively affect product quality and consumer acceptance. In addition, certain properties of β-glucan (fiber) preparations, such as water solubility, viscosity-building capacity, porosity, and water swelling, may affect their bioavailability and physiological efficacy. Some of these physicochemical properties also can be controlled by different milling techniques.

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