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Food Barley


GB Seeds, the specialist grain division of Agrii, has been looking into the opportunities for growing and marketing food barley in the UK for a number of years.

Food barley is still a relatively new crop to the UK market, but provides an unrealised opportunity for improving public health.

The development of a health food market for food barley could also benefit UK barley growers.

All current UK barley varieties have covered grain and the hull must be removed to render the grain edible. Food barley is a naked barley, so threshes free from the husk to produce a wholegrain that is full of nutritional benefits and destined for the human food chain.

At Agrii and GB Seeds, we are continuing to develop our agronomic guidance for growing food barley in the UK, but it is grown much like feed barley, with no minimum nitrogen requirements.

We have one main variety that we sell into the marketplace that has full end user acceptance. Following on from this we have a select number of lines that are still under evaluation by end-users for their suitability and opportunities in the marketplace.

Our current variety, BARLEYmaxTM, is a short-strawed 6-row spring barley. It needs monitoring for mildew and straw but is otherwise a manageable variety and early to mature. Current value is high, and the crop is offered on a buy-back contract in eastern regions.

In the UK it is thought that only 9% of adults meet the daily amount of fibre recommended by the UK Government’s Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN, 2015).

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Food Barley Research at Agrii Focus

We’re delighted to be working with AB Mauri UK&I to bring BARLEYmaxTM to the market in the UK. BARLEYmaxTM provides twice the dietary fibre of conventional cereals like barley, wheat and oats, which it is hoped will help consumers in Great Britain and Ireland to overcome the ‘fibre gap’.

Already a success in Asian and Australian markets, BARLEYmaxTM is currently used as flour, flakes and kibble in applications like baked goods, bread, breakfast cereals, noodles, pasta and rice products.

Please get in touch with us for more information at

A food barley crop being grown for Agrii in the UK

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