Barley
Overview
Barley is a major cereal grain, a member of the grass family. It serves as a major animal fodder
Fodder
Fodder or animal feed is any agricultural foodstuff used specifically to feed domesticated livestock such as cattle, goats, sheep, horses, chickens and pigs. Most animal feed is from plants but some is of animal origin...

, as a base malt
Malt
Malt is germinated cereal grains that have been dried in a process known as "malting". The grains are made to germinate by soaking in water, and are then halted from germinating further by drying with hot air...

 for beer
Beer
Beer is the world's most widely consumed andprobably oldest alcoholic beverage; it is the third most popular drink overall, after water and tea. It is produced by the brewing and fermentation of sugars, mainly derived from malted cereal grains, most commonly malted barley and malted wheat...

 and certain distilled beverages, and as a component of various health food
Health food
The term health food is generally used to describe foods that are considered to be beneficial to health, beyond a normal healthy diet required for human nutrition. However, the term is not precisely defined by national regulatory agencies such as the U.S...

s. It is used in soups and stews, and in barley bread of various cultures.

In a 2007 ranking of cereal crops in the world, barley was fourth both in terms of quantity produced (136 million tons) and in area of cultivation (566,000 km²).
The Old English word for 'barley' was bære, which traces back to Proto-Indo-European
Proto-Indo-European language
The Proto-Indo-European language is the reconstructed common ancestor of the Indo-European languages, spoken by the Proto-Indo-Europeans...

 and is cognate to the Latin
Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

 word farina "flour".
Encyclopedia
Barley is a major cereal grain, a member of the grass family. It serves as a major animal fodder
Fodder
Fodder or animal feed is any agricultural foodstuff used specifically to feed domesticated livestock such as cattle, goats, sheep, horses, chickens and pigs. Most animal feed is from plants but some is of animal origin...

, as a base malt
Malt
Malt is germinated cereal grains that have been dried in a process known as "malting". The grains are made to germinate by soaking in water, and are then halted from germinating further by drying with hot air...

 for beer
Beer
Beer is the world's most widely consumed andprobably oldest alcoholic beverage; it is the third most popular drink overall, after water and tea. It is produced by the brewing and fermentation of sugars, mainly derived from malted cereal grains, most commonly malted barley and malted wheat...

 and certain distilled beverages, and as a component of various health food
Health food
The term health food is generally used to describe foods that are considered to be beneficial to health, beyond a normal healthy diet required for human nutrition. However, the term is not precisely defined by national regulatory agencies such as the U.S...

s. It is used in soups and stews, and in barley bread of various cultures.

In a 2007 ranking of cereal crops in the world, barley was fourth both in terms of quantity produced (136 million tons) and in area of cultivation (566,000 km²).

Etymology

The Old English word for 'barley' was bære, which traces back to Proto-Indo-European
Proto-Indo-European language
The Proto-Indo-European language is the reconstructed common ancestor of the Indo-European languages, spoken by the Proto-Indo-Europeans...

 and is cognate to the Latin
Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

 word farina "flour". The direct ancestor of modern English barley in Old English was the derived adjective bærlic, meaning "of barley". The first citation of the form bærlic in the Oxford English Dictionary
Oxford English Dictionary
The Oxford English Dictionary , published by the Oxford University Press, is the self-styled premier dictionary of the English language. Two fully bound print editions of the OED have been published under its current name, in 1928 and 1989. The first edition was published in twelve volumes , and...

 dates to around 966 AD, in the compound word bærlic-croft.
The underived word bære survives in the north of Scotland as bere
Bere (grain)
Bere, pronounced "bear," is a six-row barley currently cultivated mainly on 5-15 hectares of land in Orkney, Scotland. It is also grown on Shetland, Caithness and on a very small scale by a few crofters on some of the Western Isles, i.e. North Uist, Benbecula, South Uist and Barra...

, and refers to a specific strain of six-row barley grown there. The word barn
Barn
A barn is an agricultural building used for storage and as a covered workplace. It may sometimes be used to house livestock or to store farming vehicles and equipment...

, which originally meant barley-house, is also rooted in these words.

Biology

Barley is a member of the grass family
Poaceae
The Poaceae is a large and nearly ubiquitous family of flowering plants. Members of this family are commonly called grasses, although the term "grass" is also applied to plants that are not in the Poaceae lineage, including the rushes and sedges...

. It is a self-pollinating
Self-pollination
Self-pollination is a form of pollination that can occur when a flower has both stamen and a carpel in which the cultivar or species is self fertile and the stamens and the sticky stigma of the carpel contact each other in order to accomplish pollination...

, diploid species with 14 chromosome
Chromosome
A chromosome is an organized structure of DNA and protein found in cells. It is a single piece of coiled DNA containing many genes, regulatory elements and other nucleotide sequences. Chromosomes also contain DNA-bound proteins, which serve to package the DNA and control its functions.Chromosomes...

s. The wild ancestor of domesticated barley, Hordeum vulgare subsp. spontaneum, is abundant in grasslands and woodlands throughout the Fertile Crescent
Fertile Crescent
The Fertile Crescent, nicknamed "The Cradle of Civilization" for the fact the first civilizations started there, is a crescent-shaped region containing the comparatively moist and fertile land of otherwise arid and semi-arid Western Asia. The term was first used by University of Chicago...

 and is abundant in disturbed habitats
Secondary succession
Secondary succession is one of the two types of ecological succession of plant life. As opposed to the first, primary succession, secondary succession is a process started by an event that reduces an already established ecosystem Secondary succession is one of the two types of ecological...

, roadsides and orchards. Outside this region, the wild barley is less common and is usually found in disturbed habitats.

Domestication

Wild barley has a brittle spike; upon maturity, the spikelets separate, facilitating seed dispersal
Seed dispersal
Seed dispersal is the movement or transport of seeds away from the parent plant. Plants have limited mobility and consequently rely upon a variety of dispersal vectors to transport their propagules, including both abiotic and biotic vectors. Seeds can be dispersed away from the parent plant...

. Domesticated barley has non-shattering spikes, making it much easier to harvest the mature ears. The non-shattering condition is caused by a mutation
Mutation
In molecular biology and genetics, mutations are changes in a genomic sequence: the DNA sequence of a cell's genome or the DNA or RNA sequence of a virus. They can be defined as sudden and spontaneous changes in the cell. Mutations are caused by radiation, viruses, transposons and mutagenic...

 in one of two tightly-linked
Genetic linkage
Genetic linkage is the tendency of certain loci or alleles to be inherited together. Genetic loci that are physically close to one another on the same chromosome tend to stay together during meiosis, and are thus genetically linked.-Background:...

 genes known as Bt1 and Bt2; many cultivar
Cultivar
A cultivar'Cultivar has two meanings as explained under Formal definition. When used in reference to a taxon, the word does not apply to an individual plant but to all those plants sharing the unique characteristics that define the cultivar. is a plant or group of plants selected for desirable...

s possess both mutations. The non-shattering condition is recessive
Recessive
In genetics, the term "recessive gene" refers to an allele that causes a phenotype that is only seen in a homozygous genotype and never in a heterozygous genotype. Every person has two copies of every gene on autosomal chromosomes, one from mother and one from father...

, so varieties of barley that exhibit this condition are homozygous for the mutant allele
Allele
An allele is one of two or more forms of a gene or a genetic locus . "Allel" is an abbreviation of allelomorph. Sometimes, different alleles can result in different observable phenotypic traits, such as different pigmentation...

.

Two row and six row barley

Spikelets are arranged in triplets which alternate along the rachis
Rachis
Rachis is a biological term for a main axis or "shaft".-In zoology:In vertebrates a rachis can refer to the series of articulated vertebrae, which encase the spinal cord. In this case the rachis usually form the supporting axis of the body and is then called the spine or vertebral column...

. In wild barley (and other Old World
Old World
The Old World consists of those parts of the world known to classical antiquity and the European Middle Ages. It is used in the context of, and contrast with, the "New World" ....

 species of Hordeum), only the central spikelet is fertile, while the other two are reduced. This condition is retained in certain cultivars known as two-row barleys. A pair of mutations (one dominant, the other recessive) result in fertile lateral spikelets. This produces six-row barleys. (See Cultivars). Recent genetic studies have revealed a mutation in one gene, vrs1, is responsible for the transition from two-row to six-row barley.

Two-row barley has a lower protein content than six-row barley and thus more fermentable sugar content. High protein
Protein
Proteins are biochemical compounds consisting of one or more polypeptides typically folded into a globular or fibrous form, facilitating a biological function. A polypeptide is a single linear polymer chain of amino acids bonded together by peptide bonds between the carboxyl and amino groups of...

 barley is best suited for animal feed. Malting barley is usually lower protein
('low grain nitrogen', usually produced without a late fertilizer application) which shows more uniform germination, needs shorter steeping, and has less protein in the extract that can make beer cloudy. Two-row barley is traditionally used in English ale style beers. Six-row barley is common in some American lager
Lager
Lager is a type of beer made from malted barley that is brewed and stored at low temperatures. There are many types of lager; pale lager is the most widely-consumed and commercially available style of beer in the world; Pilsner, Bock, Dortmunder Export and Märzen are all styles of lager...

 style beers, especially when adjuncts
Adjuncts
Adjuncts are unmalted grains used in brewing beer which supplement the main mash ingredient , often with the intention of cutting costs, but sometimes to create an additional feature, such as better foam retention.- Definition :Ingredients which are standard for certain beers, such as wheat in a...

 such as corn and rice are used, whereas two-row malted summer barley is preferred for traditional German beers.

Hulless or "naked" barley

Hulless or "naked" barley (Hordeum vulgare L. var. nudum Hook. f.) is a form of domesticated barley with an easier to remove hull. Naked barley is an ancient food crop, but a new industry has developed around uses of selected hulless barley in order to increase the digestible energy of the grain, especially for swine and poultry. Hulless barley has been investigated for several potential new applications as whole grain, and for its value-added products. These include bran and flour for multiple food applications.

Classification

In traditional classifications of barley these morphological differences have led to different forms of barley being classified as different species. Under these classifications two-rowed barley with shattering spikes (wild barley) is classified as Hordeum spontaneum K.Koch
Karl Koch (botanist)
Karl Heinrich Emil Koch was a German botanist. He is best known for his botanical explorations in the Caucasus region, including northeast Turkey. Unfortunately, most of his collections have today been lost. He is also known as the first professional horticultural officer in...

. Two-rowed barley with non-shattering spikes is classified as H. distichum L., six-rowed barley with non-shattering spikes as H. vulgare L. (or H. hexastichum L.), and six-rowed with shattering spikes as H. agriocrithon Åberg.

The fact that these differences were driven by single-gene mutations, coupled with cytological
Cell biology
Cell biology is a scientific discipline that studies cells – their physiological properties, their structure, the organelles they contain, interactions with their environment, their life cycle, division and death. This is done both on a microscopic and molecular level...

 and molecular
Molecular biology
Molecular biology is the branch of biology that deals with the molecular basis of biological activity. This field overlaps with other areas of biology and chemistry, particularly genetics and biochemistry...

 evidence, has led most recent classifications to treat these forms as a single species, H. vulgare L.

History

Barley was one of the first domesticated grains
Neolithic founder crops
The Neolithic founder crops are the eight plant species that were domesticated by early Holocene farming communities in the Fertile Crescent region of southwest Asia, and which formed the basis of systematic agriculture in the Middle East, North Africa, India, Persia and Europe...

 in the Near East
Near East
The Near East is a geographical term that covers different countries for geographers, archeologists, and historians, on the one hand, and for political scientists, economists, and journalists, on the other...

, near the same time as einkorn and emmer wheat. Wild barley (H. vulgare ssp. spontaneum) ranges from North Africa
North Africa
North Africa or Northern Africa is the northernmost region of the African continent, linked by the Sahara to Sub-Saharan Africa. Geopolitically, the United Nations definition of Northern Africa includes eight countries or territories; Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, South Sudan, Sudan, Tunisia, and...

 and Crete
Crete
Crete is the largest and most populous of the Greek islands, the fifth largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, and one of the thirteen administrative regions of Greece. It forms a significant part of the economy and cultural heritage of Greece while retaining its own local cultural traits...

 in the west, to Tibet
Tibet
Tibet is a plateau region in Asia, north-east of the Himalayas. It is the traditional homeland of the Tibetan people as well as some other ethnic groups such as Monpas, Qiang, and Lhobas, and is now also inhabited by considerable numbers of Han and Hui people...

 in the east. The earliest evidence of wild barley in an archaeological
Archaeology
Archaeology, or archeology , is the study of human society, primarily through the recovery and analysis of the material culture and environmental data that they have left behind, which includes artifacts, architecture, biofacts and cultural landscapes...

 context comes from the Epipaleolithic
Epipaleolithic
The Epipaleolithic Age was a period in the development of human technology marked by more advanced stone blades and other tools than the earlier Paleolithic age, although still before the development of agriculture in the Neolithic age...

 at Ohalo II at the southern end of the Sea of Galilee
Sea of Galilee
The Sea of Galilee, also Kinneret, Lake of Gennesaret, or Lake Tiberias , is the largest freshwater lake in Israel, and it is approximately in circumference, about long, and wide. The lake has a total area of , and a maximum depth of approximately 43 m...

. The remains were dated to about 8500 BC. The earliest domesticated barley occurs at Aceramic Neolithic
Neolithic
The Neolithic Age, Era, or Period, or New Stone Age, was a period in the development of human technology, beginning about 9500 BC in some parts of the Middle East, and later in other parts of the world. It is traditionally considered as the last part of the Stone Age...

 sites, in the Near East such as the Pre-Pottery Neolithic B
Pre-Pottery Neolithic B
Pre-Pottery Neolithic B is a division of the Neolithic developed by Dame Kathleen Kenyon during her archaeological excavations at Jericho in the southern Levant region....

 layers of Tell
Tell
A tell or tel, is a type of archaeological mound created by human occupation and abandonment of a geographical site over many centuries. A classic tell looks like a low, truncated cone with a flat top and sloping sides.-Archaeology:A tell is a hill created by different civilizations living and...

 Abu Hureyra, in Syria
Syria
Syria , officially the Syrian Arab Republic , is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the West, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest....

. Barley has been grown in the Korean Peninsula since the Early Mumun Pottery Period
Mumun pottery period
The Mumun pottery period is an archaeological era in Korean prehistory that dates to approximately 1500-300 BC This period is named after the Korean name for undecorated or plain cooking and storage vessels that form a large part of the pottery assemblage over the entire length of the period, but...

 (c. 1500–850 BC) along with other crops such as millet, wheat, and legumes.

In the Pulitzer Prize
Pulitzer Prize
The Pulitzer Prize is a U.S. award for achievements in newspaper and online journalism, literature and musical composition. It was established by American publisher Joseph Pulitzer and is administered by Columbia University in New York City...

-winning book Guns, Germs, and Steel
Guns, Germs, and Steel
Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies is a 1997 book by Jared Diamond, professor of geography and physiology at the University of California, Los Angeles . In 1998 it won the Pulitzer Prize for general non-fiction and the Aventis Prize for Best Science Book...

, Jared Diamond
Jared Diamond
Jared Mason Diamond is an American scientist and author whose work draws from a variety of fields. He is currently Professor of Geography and Physiology at UCLA...

 argues that the availability of barley, along with other domesticable crops and animals, in southwestern Eurasia
Eurasia
Eurasia is a continent or supercontinent comprising the traditional continents of Europe and Asia ; covering about 52,990,000 km2 or about 10.6% of the Earth's surface located primarily in the eastern and northern hemispheres...

 significantly contributed to the broad historical patterns that human history has followed over approximately the last 13,000 years; i.e., why Eurasian civilizations, as a whole, have survived and conquered others.

Barley beer was probably the first drink developed by Neolithic humans. Barley later on was used as currency.
Alongside emmer wheat, Barley was a staple cereal of ancient Egypt
Ancient Egypt
Ancient Egypt was an ancient civilization of Northeastern Africa, concentrated along the lower reaches of the Nile River in what is now the modern country of Egypt. Egyptian civilization coalesced around 3150 BC with the political unification of Upper and Lower Egypt under the first pharaoh...

, where it was used to make bread
Bread
Bread is a staple food prepared by cooking a dough of flour and water and often additional ingredients. Doughs are usually baked, but in some cuisines breads are steamed , fried , or baked on an unoiled frying pan . It may be leavened or unleavened...

 and beer
Beer
Beer is the world's most widely consumed andprobably oldest alcoholic beverage; it is the third most popular drink overall, after water and tea. It is produced by the brewing and fermentation of sugars, mainly derived from malted cereal grains, most commonly malted barley and malted wheat...

. The general name for barley is jt (hypothetically pronounced "eat"); šma (hypothetically pronounced "SHE-ma") refers to Upper Egypt
Upper Egypt
Upper Egypt is the strip of land, on both sides of the Nile valley, that extends from the cataract boundaries of modern-day Aswan north to the area between El-Ayait and Zawyet Dahshur . The northern section of Upper Egypt, between El-Ayait and Sohag is sometimes known as Middle Egypt...

ian barley and is a symbol of Upper Egypt. The Sumerian term is akiti.
According to Deuteronomy
Deuteronomy
The Book of Deuteronomy is the fifth book of the Hebrew Bible, and of the Jewish Torah/Pentateuch...

 8:8, barley is one of the "Seven Species
Seven Species
The Seven Species are seven agricultural products - two grains and five fruits - that are listed in the Hebrew Bible as being special products of the Land of Israel....

" of crops that characterize the fertility of the Promised Land
Promised land
The Promised Land is a term used to describe the land promised or given by God, according to the Hebrew Bible, to the Israelites, the descendants of Jacob. The promise is firstly made to Abraham and then renewed to his son Isaac, and to Isaac's son Jacob , Abraham's grandson...

 of Canaan
Canaan
Canaan is a historical region roughly corresponding to modern-day Israel, Palestine, Lebanon, and the western parts of Jordan...

, and barley has a prominent role in the Israelite
Israelite
According to the Bible the Israelites were a Hebrew-speaking people of the Ancient Near East who inhabited the Land of Canaan during the monarchic period .The word "Israelite" derives from the Biblical Hebrew ישראל...

 sacrifices described in the Pentateuch (see e.g. Numbers
Book of Numbers
The Book of Numbers is the fourth book of the Hebrew Bible, and the fourth of five books of the Jewish Torah/Pentateuch....

 5:15). A religious importance extended into the Middle Ages
Middle Ages
The Middle Ages is a periodization of European history from the 5th century to the 15th century. The Middle Ages follows the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 and precedes the Early Modern Era. It is the middle period of a three-period division of Western history: Classic, Medieval and Modern...

 in Europe, and saw barley's use in justice
Justice
Justice is a concept of moral rightness based on ethics, rationality, law, natural law, religion, or equity, along with the punishment of the breach of said ethics; justice is the act of being just and/or fair.-Concept of justice:...

, via alphitomancy
Alphitomancy
Alphitomancy is a form of divination involving barley cakes or loaves of barley bread....

 and the corsned
Corsned
In Anglo-Saxon law, corsned , also known as the accursed or sacred morsel, or the morsel of execration, was a type of trial by ordeal consisting in the eating of a piece of barley bread and cheese, totalling about an ounce in weight, consecrated with a form of exorcism, and...

.
Barley in Egyptian hieroglyphs
jt barley determinative
Determinative
A determinative, also known as a taxogram or semagram, is an ideogram used to mark semantic categories of words in logographic scripts which helps to disambiguate interpretation. They have no direct counterpart in spoken language, though they may derive historically from glyphs for real words, and...

/ideogram
Ideogram
An ideogram or ideograph is a graphic symbol that represents an idea or concept. Some ideograms are comprehensible only by familiarity with prior convention; others convey their meaning through pictorial resemblance to a physical object, and thus may also be referred to as pictograms.Examples of...

M34
jt (common) spelling i-t-U9:M33
šma determinative/ideogram U9


In ancient Greece, the ritual significance of barley possibly dates back to the earliest stages of the Eleusinian Mysteries
Eleusinian Mysteries
The Eleusinian Mysteries were initiation ceremonies held every year for the cult of Demeter and Persephone based at Eleusis in ancient Greece. Of all the mysteries celebrated in ancient times, these were held to be the ones of greatest importance...

. The preparatory kykeon
Kykeon
Kykeon was an Ancient Greek drink made mainly of water, barley and naturally occurring substances. It was used at the climax of the Eleusinian Mysteries to break a sacred fast, but it was also a favourite drink of Greek peasants.Kykeon is mentioned in Homeric texts: the Iliad describes it as...

 or mixed drink of the initiates, prepared from barley and herb
Herb
Except in botanical usage, an herb is "any plant with leaves, seeds, or flowers used for flavoring, food, medicine, or perfume" or "a part of such a plant as used in cooking"...

s, referred in the Homeric hymn to Demeter
Demeter
In Greek mythology, Demeter is the goddess of the harvest, who presided over grains, the fertility of the earth, and the seasons . Her common surnames are Sito as the giver of food or corn/grain and Thesmophoros as a mark of the civilized existence of agricultural society...

, whose name some scholars believe meant "Barley-mother". The practice was to dry the barley groats
Groats
Groats are the hulled grains of various cereals, such as oats, wheat, barley or buckwheat . Groats are whole grains that include the cereal germ and fiber-rich bran portion of the grain as well as the endosperm...

 and roast them before preparing the porridge, according to Pliny the Elder
Pliny the Elder
Gaius Plinius Secundus , better known as Pliny the Elder, was a Roman author, naturalist, and natural philosopher, as well as naval and army commander of the early Roman Empire, and personal friend of the emperor Vespasian...

's Natural History (xviii.72). This produces malt
Malt
Malt is germinated cereal grains that have been dried in a process known as "malting". The grains are made to germinate by soaking in water, and are then halted from germinating further by drying with hot air...

 that soon ferments and becomes slightly alcoholic.

Pliny also noted barley was a special food of gladiators known as hordearii, "barley-eaters". However, by Roman times, he added that wheat had replaced barley as a staple.

Tibetan barley has been a staple food
Staple food
A staple food is one that is eaten regularly and in such quantities that it constitutes a dominant portion of a diet, and that supplies a high proportion of energy and nutrient needs. Most people live on a diet based on one or more staples...

 in Tibet
Tibet
Tibet is a plateau region in Asia, north-east of the Himalayas. It is the traditional homeland of the Tibetan people as well as some other ethnic groups such as Monpas, Qiang, and Lhobas, and is now also inhabited by considerable numbers of Han and Hui people...

 since the 5th century AD. This grain, along with a cool climate that permitted storage, produced a civilization that was able to raise great armies. It is made into a flour product called tsampa
Tsampa
Tsampa is a Tibetan staple foodstuff, particularly prominent in the central part of the region. It is roasted flour, usually barley flour and sometimes also wheat flour or rice flour...

 that is still a staple in Tibet. The flour is roasted and mixed with butter and butter tea to form a stiff dough that is eaten in small balls.

In medieval Europe, bread made from barley and rye was peasant food, while wheat products were consumed by the upper classes. Potatoes largely replaced barley in Eastern Europe in the 19th century.

Production

Top ten barley producers — 2009
(million metric tonne)
17.9
12.9
12.3
11.8
9.5
8.1
7.3
6.8
4.9
4.0
World total 152
Source:
UN Food & Agriculture Organization
Fão
Fão is a town in Esposende Municipality in Portugal....

 (FAO)


Barley was grown in about 100 countries worldwide in 2007. The world production in 1974 was 148,818,870 tonnes; since then, there has been a slight decline in the amount of barley produced worldwide.

Cultivation

Barley is a widely adaptable crop. It is currently popular in temperate areas where it is grown as a summer crop and tropical areas where it is sown as a winter crop. Its germination
Germination
Germination is the process in which a plant or fungus emerges from a seed or spore, respectively, and begins growth. The most common example of germination is the sprouting of a seedling from a seed of an angiosperm or gymnosperm. However the growth of a sporeling from a spore, for example the...

 time is anywhere from 1 to 3 days. Barley likes to grow under cool conditions but is not particularly winter hardy.

Barley is more tolerant of soil salinity than wheat, which might explain the increase of barley cultivation in Mesopotamia from the 2nd millennium BC onwards. Barley is not as cold tolerant as the winter wheats (Triticum aestivum), fall rye (Secale cereale) or winter Triticale
Triticale
Triticale is a hybrid of wheat and rye first bred in laboratories during the late 19th century. The grain was originally bred in Scotland and Sweden. Commercially available triticale is almost always a second generation hybrid, i.e., a cross between two kinds of primary triticales...

 (× Triticosecale Wittm. ex A. Camus.), but may be sown as a winter crop in warmer areas of the world such as Australia.

Barley has a short growing season and is also relatively drought tolerant.

Plant diseases

This plant is known or likely to be susceptible to barley mild mosaic bymovirus
Barley mild mosaic bymovirus
-References:* . . ....

 as well as bacterial blight
Bacterial blight (barley)
Bacterial blight is a disease of barley caused by the bacterial pathogen Xanthomonas campestris pv. translucens . It has been known as a disease since the late 19th century. It has a worldwide distribution.- Symptoms :...

. Barley can be susceptible to many diseases but plant breeders have been working hard to incorporate resistance. The devastation caused by any one disease will depend upon the susceptibility of the variety being grown and the environmental conditions during disease development. Serious diseases of barley include powdery mildew, caused by Blumeria graminis
Blumeria graminis
Blumeria graminis is a fungus that causes powdery mildew on grasses, including cereals . It is the only species in the genus Blumeria. It has also been called Erysiphe graminis and Oidium monilioides or Oidium tritici.-Systematics:Previously B...

 f.sp. hordei, Leaf Scald, caused by Rhynchosporium secalis
Rhynchosporium secalis
Rhynchosporium secalis is an ascomycete fungus that is the causal agent of barley and rye scald.-Morphology:No sexual stage is known. The mycelium is hyaline to light gray and develops sparsely as a compact stroma under the cuticle of the host plant. Condia are borne sessilely on cells of the...

, Barley rust, caused by Puccinia hordei, and various diseases caused by Cochliobolus sativus
Cochliobolus sativus
The fungus Cochliobolus sativus is the teleomorph of Bipolaris sorokiniana which is the causal agent of a wide variety of cereal diseases. The pathogen can infect and cause disease on the root , leaf and stem, and head tissue...

. Fusarium species cause Head Blight (Am. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fusarium_ear_blight)

Algicide

Barley straw, in England
England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

, is placed in mesh bags and floated in fish ponds or water gardens to help reduce algal growth without harming pond plants and animals. Barley straw has not been approved by the EPA for use as a pesticide and its effectiveness as an algicide in ponds has produced mixed results during university testing in the US and the UK.

Animal feed

Half of the United States' barley production is used as an animal feed. Barley is an important feed grain in many areas of the world not typically suited for maize production, especially in northern climates - for example, northern and eastern Europe. Barley is the principal feed grain in Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

, Europe, and in the northern United States
Northern United States
Northern United States, also sometimes the North, may refer to:* A particular grouping of states or regions of the United States of America. The United States Census Bureau divides some of the northernmost United States into the Midwest Region and the Northeast Region...

. A finishing diet
Cattle feeding
Different cattle feeding production systems have separate advantages and disadvantages. Most cows have a diet that is composed of at least some forage . In fact most beef cattle are raised on pasture from birth in the spring until autumn...

 of barley is one of the defining characteristics of Western Canadian beef used in marketing campaigns.

Alcoholic beverages

A large part of the remainder is used for malt
Malt
Malt is germinated cereal grains that have been dried in a process known as "malting". The grains are made to germinate by soaking in water, and are then halted from germinating further by drying with hot air...

ing, for which barley is the best suited grain. It is a key ingredient in beer
Beer
Beer is the world's most widely consumed andprobably oldest alcoholic beverage; it is the third most popular drink overall, after water and tea. It is produced by the brewing and fermentation of sugars, mainly derived from malted cereal grains, most commonly malted barley and malted wheat...

 and whisky
Whisky
Whisky or whiskey is a type of distilled alcoholic beverage made from fermented grain mash. Different grains are used for different varieties, including barley, malted barley, rye, malted rye, wheat, and corn...

 production. Two-row barley is traditionally used in German
German beer
Beer is a major part of German culture. For many years German beer was brewed in adherence to the Reinheitsgebot order or law which only permitted water, hops and malt as beer ingredients until its repeal in 1988. The order also required that beers not exclusively using barley-malts such as wheat...

 and English beers. Six-row barley was traditionally used in US beers, but both varieties are in common usage now. Distilled from green beer, whisky has been made primarily from barley in Ireland and Scotland, while other countries have utilized more diverse sources of alcohol; such as the more common corn, rye and wheat in the USA. In the USA, a grain type may be identified on a whisky label if that type of grain constitutes 51% or more of the ingredients and certain other conditions are satisfied.

Barley wine
Barley wine
Barley wine or Barleywine is a beer style of strong ale originating in England. The first beer to be marketed as Barley Wine was Bass No. 1 Ale, around 1870...

 was an alcoholic drink in the 18th century. It was prepared by boiling barley in water, then mixing the barley water with white wine and other ingredients like borage
Borage
Borage, , also known as a starflower, is an annual herb originating in Syria, but naturalized throughout the Mediterranean region, as well as Asia Minor, Europe, North Africa, and South America. It grows to a height of , and is bristly or hairy all over the stems and leaves; the leaves are...

, lemon and sugar. In the 19th century a different barley wine was made prepared from recipes of ancient Greek origin.

Non-alcoholic beverages

Non-alcoholic drinks such as barley water
Barley water
Barley water, usually flavoured with lemon or other fruit, is a traditional British soft drink. It is made by boiling washed pearl barley, straining, then pouring the hot water over the rind and/or pulp of the fruit, and adding fruit juice and sugar to taste. The rind may also be boiled with the...

 and barley tea (called mugicha
Mugicha
Roasted barley tea is a caffeine-free, roasted-grain-based tisane made from barley, which is popular in Japanese, Chinese, and Korean cuisine. It is also used as a caffeine-free coffee substitute in American cuisine...

 in Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

) have been made by boiling barley in water.

Food


Barley contains eight essential amino acids. According to a recent study, eating whole grain barley can regulate blood sugar (i.e. reduce blood glucose response to a meal) for up to 10 hours after consumption compared to white or even whole-grain wheat, which has a similar glycemic index
Glycemic index
The glycemic index, glycaemic index, or GI is a measure of the effects of carbohydrates on blood sugar levels. Carbohydrates that break down quickly during digestion and release glucose rapidly into the bloodstream have a high GI; carbohydrates that break down more slowly, releasing glucose more...

. The effect was attributed to colonic fermentation of indigestible carbohydrates. Barley can also be used as a coffee substitute
Coffee substitute
Coffee substitutes are non-coffee products, usually without caffeine, that are used to imitate coffee. Coffee substitutes can be used for medical, economic and religious reasons, or simply because coffee is not readily available. Roasted grain beverages are common substitutes for coffee.In World...

.

Hulled barley (or covered barley) is eaten after removing the inedible, fibrous outer hull. Once removed, it is called dehulled barley (or pot barley or scotch barley). Considered a whole grain
Whole grain
Whole grains are cereal grains that contain cereal germ, endosperm, and bran, in contrast to refined grains, which retain only the endosperm. Whole grains can generally be sprouted while refined grains generally will not sprout. Whole-meal products are made by grinding whole grains in order to make...

, dehulled barley still has its bran
Bran
Bran is the hard outer layer of grain and consists of combined aleurone and pericarp. Along with germ, it is an integral part of whole grains, and is often produced as a by-product of milling in the production of refined grains. When bran is removed from grains, the grains lose a portion of their...

 and germ
Cereal germ
The germ of a cereal is the reproductive part that germinates to grow into a plant; it is the embryo of the seed. Along with bran, germ is often a by-product of the milling that produces refined grain products. Cereal grains and their components, such as wheat germ, rice bran, and maize may be used...

 making it a nutritious and popular health food
Healthy diet
A healthy diet is one that helps maintain or improve general health. It is important for lowering many chronic health risks, such as obesity, heart disease, diabetes, hypertension and cancer. A healthy diet involves consuming appropriate amounts of all essential nutrients and an adequate amount of...

. Pearl barley
Pearl barley
Pearl barley is barley processed to remove its hull and bran. Barley must have its fibrous outer hull removed before it can be eaten; pearl barley is taken a step further, polished to remove the nutritious bran layer....

 (or pearled barley) is dehulled barley which has been steam processed further to remove the bran. It may be polished, a process known as "pearling". Dehulled or pearl barley may be processed into a variety of barley products, including flour
Flour
Flour is a powder which is made by grinding cereal grains, other seeds or roots . It is the main ingredient of bread, which is a staple food for many cultures, making the availability of adequate supplies of flour a major economic and political issue at various times throughout history...

, flakes similar to oatmeal
Oatmeal
Oatmeal is ground oat groats , or a porridge made from oats . Oatmeal can also be ground oat, steel-cut oats, crushed oats, or rolled oats....

, and grits
Grits
Grits are a food of American Indian origin common in the Southern United States and mainly eaten at breakfast. They consist of coarsely ground corn, or sometimes alkali-treated corn . They are also sometimes called sofkee or sofkey from the Muskogee language word...

.

Barley-meal, a wholemeal barley flour which is lighter than wheatmeal but darker in colour, is used in porridge
Porridge
Porridge is a dish made by boiling oats or other cereal meals in water, milk, or both. It is usually served hot in a bowl or dish...

 and gruel
Gruel
Gruel is a food preparation consisting of some type of cereal—oat, wheat or rye flour, or rice—boiled in water or milk. It is a thinner version of porridge that may be more often drunk than eaten and need not even be cooked...

 in Scotland
Scotland
Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. Occupying the northern third of the island of Great Britain, it shares a border with England to the south and is bounded by the North Sea to the east, the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, and the North Channel and Irish Sea to the...

. Barley-meal gruel is known as Sawiq in the Arab world
Arab world
The Arab world refers to Arabic-speaking states, territories and populations in North Africa, Western Asia and elsewhere.The standard definition of the Arab world comprises the 22 states and territories of the Arab League stretching from the Atlantic Ocean in the west to the Arabian Sea in the...

. With a long history of cultivation in the Middle East
Middle East
The Middle East is a region that encompasses Western Asia and Northern Africa. It is often used as a synonym for Near East, in opposition to Far East...

, barley is used in a wide range of traditional Assyrian
Assyrian people
The Assyrian people are a distinct ethnic group whose origins lie in ancient Mesopotamia...

, Arabic, Kurdish
Kurdish cuisine
Kurdish cuisine consists of a wide variety of foods prepared by the Kurdish people that have got many traditions from their homeland, Kurdistan.-Culinary customs:...

, Persian, and Assyrian
Assyrian cuisine
Assyrian cuisine is similar to other Middle Eastern cuisines. It is rich in grains, meat, tomato, and potato. Rice is usually served with every meal accompanied by a stew which is typically poured over the rice. Tea is typically consumed at all times of the day with or without meals alone or as a...

 foodstuffs including kashkak, kashk
Kashk
Kashk , keshk, kishk, or kishik is a large family of foods found in Iranian, Lebanese and Syrian cuisines. There are three main kinds of food with this name: foods based on curdled milk products like yoghurt or cheese; foods based on barley broth, bread, or flour; and foods based on cereals...

 and murri
Murri (condiment)
Murrī or Almorí was a condiment made of fermented barley or fish used in medieval Arab cuisine.There are two kinds of murrī, the more usual kind made using fermented barley, with a less common version made from fish. Almost every substantial dish in medieval Arab cuisine used murrī in small...

. Barley soup is traditionally eaten during Ramadan
Ramadan
Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, which lasts 29 or 30 days. It is the Islamic month of fasting, in which participating Muslims refrain from eating, drinking, smoking and sex during daylight hours and is intended to teach Muslims about patience, spirituality, humility and...

 in Saudi Arabia. It is also used in soups and stews in Eastern Europe. In Africa, where it is a traditional food plant, it has the potential to improve nutrition, boost food security, foster rural development and support sustainable landcare.

The six row variety bere
Bere (grain)
Bere, pronounced "bear," is a six-row barley currently cultivated mainly on 5-15 hectares of land in Orkney, Scotland. It is also grown on Shetland, Caithness and on a very small scale by a few crofters on some of the Western Isles, i.e. North Uist, Benbecula, South Uist and Barra...

 is cultivated in Orkney, Shetland, Caithness
Caithness
Caithness is a registration county, lieutenancy area and historic local government area of Scotland. The name was used also for the earldom of Caithness and the Caithness constituency of the Parliament of the United Kingdom . Boundaries are not identical in all contexts, but the Caithness area is...

 and the Western Isles in the Scottish Highlands and islands. The grain is used to make beremeal, used locally in bread
Bread
Bread is a staple food prepared by cooking a dough of flour and water and often additional ingredients. Doughs are usually baked, but in some cuisines breads are steamed , fried , or baked on an unoiled frying pan . It may be leavened or unleavened...

, biscuit
Biscuit
A biscuit is a baked, edible, and commonly flour-based product. The term is used to apply to two distinctly different products in North America and the Commonwealth Nations....

s, and the traditional beremeal bannock
Bannock (food)
Bannock is a variety of flat quick bread. The word can also be applied to any large, round article baked or cooked from grain. When a round bannock is cut into wedges, the wedges are often called scones. But in Scotland, the words bannock and scone are often used interchangeably.-Scottish:"Bannock"...

.

Like wheat
Wheat
Wheat is a cereal grain, originally from the Levant region of the Near East, but now cultivated worldwide. In 2007 world production of wheat was 607 million tons, making it the third most-produced cereal after maize and rice...

 and rye
Rye
Rye is a grass grown extensively as a grain and as a forage crop. It is a member of the wheat tribe and is closely related to barley and wheat. Rye grain is used for flour, rye bread, rye beer, some whiskeys, some vodkas, and animal fodder...

, barley contains gluten
Gluten
Gluten is a protein composite found in foods processed from wheat and related grain species, including barley and rye...

 which makes it an unsuitable grain for consumption by those with celiac disease.

Measurement

Barley grains were used for measurement in England, there being 3 or 4 barleycorn
English unit
English units are the historical units of measurement used in England up to 1824, which evolved as a combination of the Anglo-Saxon and Roman systems of units...

s to the inch and 4 or 5 poppy seed
Poppy seed
Poppy seed is an oilseed obtained from the opium poppy . The tiny kidney-shaped seeds have been harvested from dried seed pods by various civilizations for thousands of years...

s to the barleycorn. The statute definition of an inch was 3 barleycorns, although by the 19th century this had been superseded by standard inch measures. This unit still persists in the shoe size
Shoe size
A shoe size is an alphanumerical indication of the fitting size of a shoe for a person. Often it just consists of a number indicating the length because many shoemakers only provide a standard width for economic reasons....

s which are used in Britain and the USA.

The barleycorn was known as arpa in Turkish, and the feudal system in Turkey employed the term Arpalik, or "barley-money", to refer to a second allowance made to officials to offset the costs of fodder for their horses.

Ornamental

A new stabilized variegated variety of Hordeum vulgare, billed as Hordeum vulgare varigate, has been introduced for cultivation as an ornamental and pot plant for pet cats to nibble on.

Research

The chlorophyll binding a/b protein is missing in albostrains of barley, and they have been used to study plastid
Plastid
Plastids are major organelles found in the cells of plants and algae. Plastids are the site of manufacture and storage of important chemical compounds used by the cell...

 development in plants. Researching white streaked strains, plant scientists have gained a greater understanding of reporter gene expression
Gene expression
Gene expression is the process by which information from a gene is used in the synthesis of a functional gene product. These products are often proteins, but in non-protein coding genes such as ribosomal RNA , transfer RNA or small nuclear RNA genes, the product is a functional RNA...

 in the production of chloroplast
Chloroplast
Chloroplasts are organelles found in plant cells and other eukaryotic organisms that conduct photosynthesis. Chloroplasts capture light energy to conserve free energy in the form of ATP and reduce NADP to NADPH through a complex set of processes called photosynthesis.Chloroplasts are green...

 proteins.

Cultural significance

In Islam
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

, Muhammad
Muhammad
Muhammad |ligature]] at U+FDF4 ;Arabic pronunciation varies regionally; the first vowel ranges from ~~; the second and the last vowel: ~~~. There are dialects which have no stress. In Egypt, it is pronounced not in religious contexts...

 prescribed barley (Talbina
Talbina
Talbina is a meal made from barley flour, formed by adding milk and honey to the dried barley powder. It is called Talbina which comes from the Arabic Word Laban meaning yogurt because of its resemblances to the yogurt, as it is soft and white.In Islam, the prophet Muhammad prescribed barley for...

) for seven diseases. It was also said to soothe and calm the bowels. Avicenna
Avicenna
Abū ʿAlī al-Ḥusayn ibn ʿAbd Allāh ibn Sīnā , commonly known as Ibn Sīnā or by his Latinized name Avicenna, was a Persian polymath, who wrote almost 450 treatises on a wide range of subjects, of which around 240 have survived...

 in his 11th century work The Canon of Medicine
The Canon of Medicine
The Canon of Medicine is an encyclopedia of Galenic medicine in five books compiled by Ibn Sīnā and completed in 1025. It presents a clear and organized summary of all the medical knowledge of the time...

 wrote of the healing effects of barley water, soup and broth for fevers. Additionally, barley can be roasted and turned into roasted barley tea, a popular Asian drink.

In English folklore, The figure of John Barleycorn
John Barleycorn
"John Barleycorn" is an English folksong. The character of John Barleycorn in the song is a personification of the important cereal crop barley and of the alcoholic beverages made from it, beer and whisky...

 in the folksong of the same name is a personification of barley, and of the alcoholic beverages made from it, beer and whisky. In the song, John Barleycorn is represented as suffering attacks, death, and indignities that correspond to the various stages of barley cultivation, such as reaping and malting. He may be related to older pagan gods such as Mímir
Mímir
Mímir or Mim is a figure in Norse mythology renowned for his knowledge and wisdom who is beheaded during the Æsir-Vanir War...

 or Kvasir
Kvasir
In Norse mythology, Kvasir was a being born of the saliva of the Æsir and the Vanir, two groups of gods. Extremely wise, Kvasir traveled far and wide, teaching and spreading knowledge. This continued until the dwarfs Fjalar and Galar killed Kvasir and drained him of his blood...

.

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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