Don’t be offended by naked barley, especially if you have not heard of it before. Natural mutation results in no hole on the naked barley seed, the hole important for malting and brewing and naked barley is not as common as say pearl barley. Pat Hayes of Oregon State University says now a group of land grant universities are hoping to develop new varieties of naked barley.
“Maybe we could have naked barley varieties that could meet all three uses, malting and brewing, human food and the feed industry.”
Currently, naked barley lends itself easier for food production due to the lack of a hull. However, the soluble fiber, beta-glucan, that provides dietary benefits of barleys, creates complications in the brewing process. Hayes said the project relies on the organic sector to help develop new naked barley varieties.
“Because of, really the track record of innovation, accelerated acceptance of new products ad the price premiums that are attached to organic production,” said Hayes.