Food barley has a long history as an essential crop and its nutritional properties are well documented. Barley is the fourth most important cereal crop in the world, yet the most prevalent and familiar uses are for malting/brewing and feed. However, barley is also one of the world’s oldest food crops. Unfortunately in modern day America, barley has all but disappeared as a food despite its virtues as a fiber-rich and versatile grain. Encouragingly, there is renewed enthusiasm for food barley and it comes from increasing public awareness of the value of healthy eating.
In order to address the general lack of information on food barley nutritional and processing quality traits, the OSU barley project has initiated research on 7 varieties that represent a spectrum of food barleys, as well as a feed and malt variety. We are in the process of characterizing these 7 lines for a number of different traits. This research is being done with the collaboration of several different labs on and off campus. This frequently updated spreadsheet contains all data collected thus far on the reference panel.