Barley

World barley production is over 130 million tonnes annually (Table 1). Barley (Hordeum vulgare) is grown mainly in temperate regions and can withstand sub-zero temperatures. About 17% of the total crop is used industrially, primarily to produce malt, which is used mainly in brewing and distilling. Only about 5% of the total is used for food. The highest food usage is in Morocco (104 g day-1 per person), followed by the Baltic States (Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania) and Moldova, where food usage is 86, 57, 55, and 55 g day-1 per person, respectively. Most barley grain has a fibrous hull that adheres closely to the caryopsis. However, naked or hull-less types are grown in some regions. Barley is processed for human use by removing the hull and polishing to yield pearl barley, which is used in soups and other foods. Pearl barley is also ground to a coarse meal and cooked as a gruel or ground to barley flour for making flat breads. Barley flours and brans, for ingredient use, are produced from pearl or hull-less barley.

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