Why barley is consumed as a cereal?

It belongs to the genus Hordeum. In India, barley is grown mostly in the northern parts of the country.

Composition in Percentage :

The lysine content of the total protein is low. The biological value of barley protein is less than that of wheat.

Barley is milled to make blocked shelled barley, pearl barley, barley grits, barley flakes and barley flour.

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Barley grain has a fused husk and pearling involves two stages; dehusking and then abrasion of the bran.

Pearl barley is used in soups and infant foods. It is also used for medicinal purposes. Barley, which has little gluten, good quality bread or chapaties cannot be produced. The major human use for barley is in the production of beer and whisky.

Barley is cultivated under both irrigated and non-irrigated conditions in India. It is an important raw material for the distilling and brewing industry.


Barley malt is used in bakery, processed foods and in vinegar and syrup making. The malt quality and nutritive value are dependent upon its chemical constituents.

When barley starts germinating various hydrolytic enzymes are either synthesised de novo or activated from the pre-existing inactive forms, which results in hydrolytic cleavage of the reserves.

Activation of these enzymes during germination of barley is thought to be controlled by the balance of four kinds of hormones namely, gilberellins, absiesic acid, auxin and cytokinin.

Increase in gibberellic acid concentration in barley endosperm during malting is accompanied by a concomitant increase in reducing sugars.

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